Home of “Canada’s Fastest 1/4 Mile High Banked Paved Oval”
and now your Community Entertainment Center! Offering Weekly racing from May through September.
The History of Varney International Speedway
In 1966, brothers Joe and Tom Kennedy purchased a property on Highway 6 that consisted of 35 acres. In 1967 the Kennedy’s decided to ‘improve’ their property and put a speedway on it. During the fall of 1969, paving, drains, lights and the first grandstand went up as the 30 degree high bank asphalt 1/4 mile oval track started to take shape.
Varney Speedway’s opening day came on June 1970 with Durham’s Mayor Ken McDonald cutting the ribbon. After Saturday night’s action, kids in town everywhere were playing stock car. Many special events were held at Varney; Ken Carter’s bus jump, Jose with his motorcycle jumps, and Benny Boom blew himself up to delight the crowd. As time went on the grandstand had to be replaced and in its place a two storey tower went up and additional grandstands to its current capacity of 6,000 people which was during the Rick Mercer Report night.
The track was run by the Kennedy family until 1985 when it was leased to Don Davidson until 1987. Tom Donnelly ran the track from 1988 to 1996 and then the Hamilton family leased the track for 5 years.
Ken and Joan McLellan bought the facility in 2001 and ran it until 2012. During their time as owners they repaved portions of the track and move the wall down the backstretch making a tri-oval, adding two more lanes and bigger track size for side by side racing. In 2012, the track saw the Nuhn family operate it until 2014.
The track has seen many updates and changes since it first began back in 1970. One recent change was its name during the spring of 2014 after being purchased by the current ownership. Varney International Speedway still sits in the same location it started, though the rest of the property has nearly tripled to a large 98 acres. One aspect of the track that hasn’t changed is the history it has, and the history it writes.
2020 will be the 7th year of operation and the 51st Season of continuous competition at The Varney high banked oval track. 2020 will see the addition of the Grand Bend 1/4 mile oval in their 24th year of operation into the On Track Ventures Group racing on Friday Nights and Long Weekend Sundays.
Both speedway are now Co Sanctioned for better fan and competitors opportunities at the two speedways. We promise to keep the tradition intact while continuous improvements for fans and competitors are being done on an ongoing basis with the vision of being #1 in fan satisfaction, cost effectiveness, family fun and safety in mind. Hold on tight as we have our 51st year in operation, hopefully your visit to Varney International Speedway and Grand Bend International Speedway will be enjoyable and addictive with many return visits to the historic 1/4 mile asphalt tracks,
2021 will see the 52nd season at the fastest 1/4 mile paved oval high banks track in Ontario. With new owners Paul Trepanier and Amy Ellis adding in their own flare with cleanup and upgrades such as, a new score tower, new kitchen equipment, concrete pads in the pits, etc. and many more upgrades to come, its the best place to be on the weekend. So don’t forget racing starts at 6pm every Saturday night from May to September. We hope to see everyone here!
- Track construction began in 1969 and was officially opened in May 1970
- Owned by the Kennedy family until 1985
- Admission price opening night was $1. for adults
- The overhead sign and gates at the entrance were new in 1972
- The banking is 33 degrees in the corners
- The track is D-shaped oval that measures 1/4 mile on the outside.
- One of the few racetracks anywhere to have a covered grandstand.
- The position of the flagstand has not changed since 1970.
- The scoreboard located in turn two was originally for Michigan International Speedway