Just like for many other families around North America, racing has become a tradition for the Varneys. A new chapter in their racing history will be written on Saturday night during Winchester 400 weekend at Winchester Speedway, as Michigan veteran Bob Varney is set to compete with both his sons for the first time.
He will be joined by Brandon and Evan Varney, two young up-and-comers in the Champion Racing Association (CRA) ranks in the CRA Late Model Sportsman finale. In a long career highlighted by winning the inaugural ASA Late Model Series race at M40 Speedway back in 2003, this tops them all for the elder Varney.
“That’s probably going to be one of the biggest highlights of anything I’ve ever done in racing,” Varney told Speed51. “With the things we’ve done in the past, that says a lot.”
It will be a huge jump for his youngest son Evan in particular. This will be his first-ever start outside of the CRA Junior Late Model division, where he was runner-up in series points in 2020. Brandon has made big strides of his own in the current season, earning his first two CRA Late Model Sportsman wins at Anderson Speedway.
Bob and Brandon are also entered for Sunday afternoon’s 49th Running of the Winchester 400 presented by JEGS, their third straight year competing in the race. The older Varney having scored a respectable 13th one year ago.
“Brandon’s already had a couple starts in the 400 prior to this year. We’ve dabbled in the CRA Sportsmans, as well as the JEGS [All-Stars Tour] series. I’ve raced with Brandon a couple times and I’m sick and tired of him beating me all the time so we’ll see what he can do about this one. With my youngest son, it’s just the opportunity to race with both my boys this year that I think is going to be completely cool.”
Varney says the smack talk has been flowing for a couple years now, with no sign of slowing up.
“It’s been going on for a couple years now. Brandon usually starts it though. He tells me there’s no way I’m going to beat him and that he’s going to kick my butt all the time. It’s fun to talk all the time in the shop though, I enjoy that competitiveness in both my kids.”
Their team is one of several who choose to compete in multiple events during Winchester 400 weekend, more often than not utilizing at least one car across races. They were able to focus on just the 400 with Bob and Brandon in 2019, one year removed from the younger Varney’s participation in the “Championship Four” with the CRA Late Model Sportsman.
Their hard work during the weekend has not gone unnoticed over the previous years, drawing respect from drivers and industry leaders alike.
“Jeff Fultz has always been telling us man, ‘I watch you guys come every Winchester 400 weekend and you guys are just working your butts off.’ He says it’s too much, I get wore out just watching you guys. I call ourselves the five-to-nine racers as compared to the nine-to-fivers out there. You’ve got to do what you’ve got to do if you want to do this. We’re all working to support my boys and the whole racing program.”
With three drivers scheduled to compete under the same banner this weekend, each driver has their own goal they are looking to achieve. Well, that as well as fighting for family bragging rights, of course.
“Brandon’s going to be driving the No. 77 car that’s owned by Paul Freeland and we’re hoping we can go down and contend for a win in the Sportsman division with him. Evan’s going to join us for the first time in the Sportsman series and I’m hoping to see him at least complete all the laps and learn something because I think it’s going to be a huge learning experience for him. And myself, they’re probably going to make fun of the old man if he fell out of the seat by the end of the night so I’m looking to make all the laps too.”
The Winchester 400 weekend is scheduled for three action-packed days of racing at the “Fastest Half Mile” on October 9-11. More tickets have just been released and are available at winchesterspeedway.com/tickets.
Teams and fans wanting to purchase pit passes early to help expedite their entry to the infield can do so at pitpay.com or download the Pit Pay App wherever you obtain App for your mobile device.
Fans unable to make the trip to Winchester, Indiana will be able to watch all three days of racing via a pay-per-view broadcast on Speed51.TV. For more information and to order your video ticket today, click here.
Be sure to follow Winchester Speedway’s social media channels for the latest updates on upcoming events. “Like” the Winchester Speedway Facebook page, follow @FastestHalfMile on Twitter and Instagram.
-Story by: Koty Geyer, Speed51 National Correspondent – Twitter: @kgeyer3
-Photo Credit: Bob Varney Facebook