Sometimes game plans just do not work out the way you expect them to.
That is what happened to Bobby Varin and the Petruska brothers No. 66 race team last weekend at the 60-Over Special honoring the late Doug Hoffman at Bridgeport Speedway in New Jersey.
Varin finished fourth in his heat race and started 19th in the 30 car field. The team figured they would set the car up for a solid finish, but that strategy did not work the way they expected.
"It was a smart race," Varin said. "We sat in the trailer and talked about what it would take to win that race. To tell the truth, we didn't expect to win. We played out the scenario of what it would take to finish up front in that race rather than win it. But, lo and behold we were coming for a good solid finish and ended up winning it, mainly because of everybody else's misfortune."
The final laps played out with race-leader Danny Johnson getting a flat with two laps remaining. Stewart Friesen inherited the lead with Varin second and Duane Howard third. The caution flew again with one lap to go for Frank Cozze also stopping with a flat tire. Friesen was in command on the restart but slowed out of gas two turns away from the checkers. Varin got by and out dragged Howard to the checkers for the win.
Varin said he hopes the win is only the first of the season as he will drive the No. 66 full time on Saturday nights at Orange County Speedway in Middletown.
"I think we are going to be in for a successful season this year," the six-time Fonda Speedway track champion said. "I am hoping for a long relationship with the Petruskas. They are good people and they seem to like me and I like them. Hopefully we can keep this all moving in the right direction and it turns into a long term relationship."
The move to Orange County is not the first time Varin has switched Saturday night venues away from Fonda, where he has 48 feature wins, in his career.
"I started racing modifieds at Fonda in 1989, then we went to Lebanon Valley, then we ran in Canada for a couple years and back to Fonda," he said. "I went to Canandaigua with Fred Tanners stuff, then back to Fonda for the last 10 or 12 years. Fonda is close to home, but has only been our home track for about half of my racing career."
Although making the trip to Middletown for racing on Saturday nights, Varin will be behind the wheel of the Nelson No. 85 on Friday nights at Glen Ridge Motorsports Park and then some Sundays at Utica-Rome Speedway.
"We will run the first couple of races there with the No. 00 car, then we will see what happens," Varin said. "We will definitely be there for the New Yorker and the Victoria races. Dave Cruickshank called me the other day and said if somebody had a really good full-time deal to run at Utica to take the deal. Obviously, with that, we would lose the big races with the double zero team."
Varin said that if Fonda Speedway does run Saturday with its season-opening 40-lap, $4,000-to-win Ice Jam event, he will have the No. 66 in the pits and ready to run.
Varin also said there is one thing he is hoping will happen at Fonda Speedway this season.
"I am hoping for a track championship for Danny at Fonda," he said.
Danny Varin will return to the cockpit of the Ed Munger-owned No. 93 modified and also the wheel of the No. 07 305 sprinter.
"If you liked last year's car, you will really like the way it looks this year," Danny said. "I can't wait to get it out on the track."
Rocky Warner also made the haul to Bridgeport Speedway last week and found the track to his liking.
In his first appearance on the track, Warner suffered a flat tire in his heat race and qualified for the feature through the consolation race. Warner picked his way through the 26-car field of crate sportsmen for a ninth place finish.
Ready to go
Things are falling into place for racing action to get under way Saturday afternoon at Fonda Speedway.
The late-season snow storm set the time table back a bit but the grandstands are open, the track is being worked and the facility cleaned up for racing.
In addition to the scheduled 40-lap Ice Jam for modifieds, the 602 sportsman division will run a feature that will serve as a qualifying event for the Hurricane 100, which will be run later this season at the Brewerton Speedway.
The pro stocks also will run a 15-lap $250-to-win Dash for Cash put on by 2012 Fonda Speedway pro stock champion Pete Broderson.
The track also is open for practice for all divisions.
Pit gates will open at 1 p.m. with front gates opening at 2 p.m. and racing at 4 p.m. Adult general admission is $15.
Due to wet grounds, the season opener at Glen Ridge Motorsports Park has been pushed back from Friday night to April 19.
The green flag is slated to drop on the season for new promoters Pete and Matt Demitraszek at 7:30 p.m.