Let the challenge begin (Joe Graf Jr. vs. Ryan Vargas)
DAYTONA BEACH, Fla.: Two of the National Football League’s toughest running backs Antonio Williams and Alvin Kamara will see their two NASCAR Xfinity Series drivers Joe Graf Jr. and Ryan Vargas battle it out on the track in Saturday’s Super Start Batteries 188 at the Daytona (Fla.) International Speedway Road Course all for a good cause.
On Wednesday, Kamara, the running back for the New Orleans Saints announced a partnership for the second Xfinity Series race of the season with Vargas and JD Motorsports with Gary Keller.
Williams, who announced last week that he has become a personal investor in the future of Joe Graf Jr.’s NASCAR career challenged Kamara and Vargas through a social media post that the top finishing driver in the 52-lap race would pledge a donation to a charity of each team’s choice.
If Graf Jr., finishes higher than Vargas’s No. 6 The Big Squeezy Chevrolet, Vargas and Kamara have agreed to make a donation to Graf’s charity myFace, a leading nonprofit focused on providing the comprehensive care, education and information to help people with craniofacial differences lead full and productive lives.
If Vargas finishes higher than Graf’s No. 07 Bucked Up Energy Chevrolet, Graf and Williams will proudly make a donation to Vargas’s charity, Son of a Saint, a nonprofit founded in 2011 by Sonny Lee, son of the late New Orleans Saints DB Bivian Lee whose mission is to transform the lives of fatherless boys.
William’s mission is to continue to bring the two worlds of the NFL and NASCAR together and encourage other players to consider investing in the sport he has enjoyed since childhood.
“This idea came together really quick, but I thought what a better way to welcome Alvin into NASCAR than with a friendly challenge between the two of our drivers,” Williams said. “Joe and Ryan have raced many races together – but this weekend it will be a little more important not just for points, but the chance to give to others who work tirelessly to make a difference.”
On the heels of a career-best 11th place finish at Daytona (Fla.) International Speedway on Feb. 13, Graf is ready for the task at hand and hopes his experience at the 14-turn road course last August will pay dividends on Saturday.
“I love being a part of ideas like this,” added Graf. “I’m not a road course expert by any means, but when there is a challenge on the line, I’m all in.
“I’m doing my part to adequately prepare myself to have a good weekend not only for my team and partners – but an extra incentive to bring a contribution and exposure to myFace too. Looking forward to Saturday afternoon.”
Graf will start Saturday’s race from ninth, while Vargas is scheduled to roll off 12th.
The Super Start Batteries 188 (52 laps | 187.72 miles) is the third of 33 NASCAR Xfinity Series races on the 2021 schedule. The 40-car field will take the green flag on Sat., Feb. 20, 2021 shortly after 5:00 p.m. with live coverage on FOX Sports 1, the Motor Racing Network (Radio) and SiriusXM NASCAR Channel 90.
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About SS Green Light Racing:
As one of the most tenured teams in all of NASCAR, SS GreenLight Racing has been a developmental hub for drivers looking to climb the ranks. Led by owner and former driver Bobby Dotter, the team has fielded entries in either the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series or the Xfinity Series competition since 2001.
SS GreenLight Racing will continue with a two-car program in the NASCAR Xfinity Series in 2021.