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Michigan's Brandon Varney Pursuing JEGS Tour Championship; Building on Consistent 2023

The goal for Brandon Varney this year is to turn the corner and become a team that’s a weekly threat to win races.


hero image for Michigan's Brandon Varney Pursuing JEGS Tour Championship; Building on Consistent 2023

The 2024 season is about proving to everyone else what Varney Brother Motorsports already knows - they are a championship-caliber team. The duo of Brandon Varney and Evan Varney have been an easy top 10 favorite throughout the years and more recently a top 5 threat every week they show up. This season, for older brother, Brandon Varney, the goal is to turn the corner and become a team that’s a weekly threat to win races, and again contend for a JEGS/CRA All-Stars Tour Presented by Chevrolet Performance Championship.

The 2023 season treated Brandon fairly well; he collected his first career JEGS Tour podium in the second race of the season at Salem Speedway and was a serious contender for the win. That performance after opening the season at Birch Run Speedway with a 7th place finish. From there, Brandon Varney went on to collect four more top-ten finishes, a career-best in a single season for Varney.

The finishes, however, didn’t always reflect the speed that Brandon had at the race track. In the JEGS Tour’s first race at Owosso Speedway, Brandon Varney was fastest in final practice and qualified fifth. Then, at Birch Run Speedway in July, a fifth-place qualifying effort allowed him to roll off on the outside pole. Speed returned for Varney at the Owosso Speedway Masters of the Pros 184 where he qualified 3rd fastest but lost an engine during the race. At Winchester Speedway during Labor Day Weekend, Brandon and Chase Burda engaged in a fierce battle along with Michael Hinde for the top spot. That race after Varney qualified fourth fastest on the day. Unfortunately, an accident took Brandon out of contention for the win. In the return to Birch Run Speedway, Brandon played the invert qualifying fifth and starting on the pole of the race. After leading the first 50 laps, Varney couldn’t hold off Kyle Crump who went on to win.

Varney Brother Motorsports owner and father, Bob Varney says he can see what Brandon needs to crack through for his first win, and he doesn’t shy away from sharing that with his driver.

“I’m not a rose-colored glasses dad,” said Bob Varney. “If they’re making a mistake, I’m going to tell them they didn’t capitalize on their abilities. For Brandon, he needs to learn that if he’s a fifth-place car, you’re not going to win with it; truly knowing when to attack, and when to bring the car home is important. Our focus with Brandon is to make better critical decisions during the race. I think that’s going to net him a breakout season if he does that,” explained Bob Varney.

The 2024 season is important to the entire team for many reasons. Not only is Brandon looking to move up one spot in the Championship battle, but it’s also the 70th anniversary of the Varneys becoming involved in auto racing.

“My grandfather started this back in the 50s at the old Motor City Speedway here in Detroit,” said Bob. “He started out in a dirt driveway and barely a garage to work out of and he wanted to go racing. That’s just parlayed itself into what we’re doing today. 70 years,” Bob considered, “Not many people are doing it that long anymore.”

The opportunity to win a championship doesn't come around very often. Bob Varney says he could see the disappointment in Brandon's eyes as the margin grew larger between Varmey and eventual Champion, Chase Burda.

“With the way things played out for Brandon last year, he could have been a stronger contender for the championship at the end,” Bob explained. “But, because of inconsistency, he couldn’t truly race for a championship in the final few weeks. So it’s important to him that we can at least be a contender for it,” Bob concluded.

As for Brandon Varney, the 22-year-old native of Richmond, Michigan echoes the thoughts of his father. Capitalizing on opportunity and maintaining consistent finishes is the key to the first win and ultimately a championship season.

“You definitely have to finish [the race] off and finish it off right,” explained Brandon. “Last year, I made the mistake of pushing too hard too fast. I think just keeping it under you, keeping the fenders on, and overall, just giving yourself the best chance at the end of the race. I didn’t do enough of that last year,” he continued.

While Brandon says this could be the year for him to break into Victory Lane and again contend for a Championship, the influx of new drivers and continued growth of talent in the JEGS Tour doesn’t go unnoticed.

“I think it’s a great thing honestly, because we’ve been missing that in the sport for a while,” Brandon said of the several drivers who have committed to the JEGS Tour. “We haven’t had the overarching competition that we used to see. I think we’re going to start seeing more nose-to-tail, bumper-to-bumper, side-by-side racing for 100 laps,” Varney speculated.

In the end, for Brandon and his DTS Drive Train Specialist, Bassett Racing Wheels, Van’s Tire Center sponsored No.61 Chevrolet, the 2024 goal is simply to take what they learned in 2023 and apply it this season.

“Really, the main goal is capitalize on what [we] missed out on,” says Brandon. “I caused myself a lot of grief last year - last year should have been the year to get those goals and I just failed to do so. This year is a little bit of a redemption year, but not in a pressing manner; I just need to let these things happen as they should - get the wins and top fives,” he said.

The Varney Brother Motorsports’ 2024 campaign begins on Saturday, April 27th at Berlin Raceway in Marne, MI. Discounted advanced tickets are available for the $5,000 to win JEGS/CRA All-Stars Tour season opener at BerlinRaceway.com. Fans who can’t attend the event in person can catch the action LIVE on TrackTv.com and RacingAmerica.Tv.

For more information on the JEGS/CRA All-Stars Tour Presented by Chevrolet Performance log onto CRA-Racing.com. Find CRA: Champion Racing Association on Facebook and follow @CRARacing on X.

-Story: Zach Hiser, CRA
-Photo credit: Will Bellamy, Racing America

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