Vargas revealed that he will join CHK Racing — formerly Mike Harmon Racing — for the 2023 Xfinity Series season. He will serve as the anchor driver for the team after previously delivering a 23rd-place finish during the trip to Portland International Raceway.
Along with his role as an anchor driver, Vargas will take on responsibilities away from the track. He will serve as a consultant for the team as it restructures after the additions of Gary Keller and Mike Clayton Sr.
“I’m really excited to be joining CHK Racing this season,” Vargas said in a press release. “This undeniably is going to be a big year for this organization, and I look forward to serving a role that goes beyond driving the car.
“I’m excited to assist with helping the team in our reorganization and hopefully leading them into a new, competitive era. With the newfound support from Gary Keller and Mike Clayton along with Mike’s old-school racer mindset, I fully anticipate a swing for the better both on and off the track.”
Vargas Will Make His CHK Racing Debut in February
Neither Vargas nor CHK Racing revealed the number of races in which he will control the No. 74 Chevrolet Camaro. This schedule remains a work in progress. Though the main goal is to make the team more competitive after it only qualified for 11 of the 33 races in 2022.
The information that is available is that Vargas will take on the season-opening race at Daytona International Speedway. He will try to qualify for the Beef. It’s What’s for Dinner. 300 on February 18 while working with Léargas Security and Williamsburg Contracting, LLC as his sponsors.
Vargas turned heads during qualifying sessions in 2022, albeit with a different team. He kicked off the year by starting eighth overall at Daytona in the No. 6 JD Motorsports Chevrolet. He then started seventh and 10th during the two trips to Talladega Superspeedway, respectively.
Vargas has shown his ability to qualify well during previous trips to NASCAR’s superspeedways. If he can continue this trend with CHK Racing, he will help the team immediately make progress after struggles in 2022.
The Other Role Achieves a Goal for Vargas
Having further opportunities to compete in a national NASCAR series achieves one goal. Landing a role on the business side of a race team takes care of another.
When Vargas and JD Motorsports parted ways in October 2022, the California native released a statement and provided some more information. He made it clear that he wanted to have a role where he could be an asset behind the wheel and in business operations.
CHK Racing provides this opportunity. Mike Harmon Racing went through a rough stretch in 2022 after Kyle Weatherman and Bayley Currey delivered their first two top-10 finishes. Following the season, the team brought on Keller and Clayton with the goal of becoming more competitive, and it rebranded.
Vargas will have a significant role as the team moves forward. He will be able to provide insight with his unique perspective, and he will become an asset as CHK Racing attempts to get on the right track.
The work done internally already has been great to see, and I’m excited to be a part of helping this team make the steps necessary to build into competitive form,” Vargas added. “This is more than an opportunity behind the wheel for me, it’s an opportunity to play a personal role in a project that everyone involved cares about. That is special.”