Professional motorcycle racer Ryan Varnes died on Monday at the age of 24. He was involved in an on-track incident in the American Motorcyclist Association’s Production Twins Main Event at Weedsport Speedway in New York over the weekend.
According to a news release, on-scene emergency personnel responded to the incident immediately. They transported Varnes to Upstate University Hospital in Syracuse – which is 30 minutes away from the track – where he later succumbed to his injuries.
“The Varnes family has been a staple in the flat track community for decades. They need our prayers during this difficult time,” Gene Crouch, COO of AMA Pro Racing, said. “Ryan was the class of the field, both on-track and off-track. His bright smile, perpetual optimism and loyal friendship will be dearly missed. Our thoughts and prayers are with his family and friends.”
Despite his tragic death, Varnes may still save others. He chose to be an organ donor, meaning his organs can be donated to those in need of transplants to survive.
Racing Was in Ryan Varnes’ Blood
Growing up in Berks County, Pennsylvania – just over an hour west of Philadelphia – Ryan Varnes’ family was full of motorcyclists. His father was a former American Flat Track racer, as were two of his uncles on his mother’s side and his grandfather. According to Lancaster Online’s John Walk, Varnes’ parents actually met at a racetrack.
The Varneses were believed to be the first family in flat track racing to have three generations of riders hold a national number. Ryan wore No. 68, his dad wore No. 89 and his grandfather wore No. 78. Even though he began competing at age five, Varnes did not feel any pressure to live up to some kind of family legacy. He just loved racing.
May this young man rest in peace.