Trever Varney

Wrestler of Giants

By Florida Night Train


If you are stuck in a dead-end situation (or not) and you need an inspiring story, well, you have been served.In the vibrant world of motorcycling in Florida, two names stand out as pillars of excellence and passion – Ducati Tampa Bay www.ducatitampabay.com and Next Ride www.nextride.com. At the heart of these enterprises is the visionary entrepreneur Trever Varney, a street-smart motorcycle enthusiast with a deep love for speed, craftsmanship…and wrestling.

Born as an only child in Missouri, USA, Trever’s journey with two-wheelers began a bit later in life. Mom was a hair stylist and dad was an engineer who was a pioneer in the creation of automation. Trever went to the school of hard knocks. Literally. He got out of high school and pursued his dreams of professional wrestling immediately by going to school for it. Brock Lesner and John Cena were only a few of the warriors he rubbed shoulders with. In his pre-teens and thanks to his grandfather, Trever developed other interests in the stock market. All went well until he lost most of his investments.

Regardless, Trever’s grandfather’s values were well ingrained in his young heart. That is, work hard! To make ends meet from 2002 to 2008 Trever took jobs as overnight shifts at Target, other warehouse jobs and even became a bouncer. Based in Kentucky at the time, pro-wrestling was still a dream to him. He never drank or smoked, just trained and worked hard. Trever would travel miles and miles for wrestling gigs that paid little or no money. He built a good reputation and came to the threshold of becoming pro. But wrestling back then took a dive and Trever found himself at a crossroads.  

After Trever’s repeated attempts to take a loan and having his application denied for a decent much-needed vehicle, pro wrestler Nigel McGuinness offered his place in Largo, Florida, to Trever so he could start fresh. With a credit score of ~400 and ~$2K in his pockets, Trever packed his bags and drove his old rusty 1991 beat-up Ford F-150 to Florida alone. That’s when the tides turned!

On a hot Florida day, Trever was walking to his job at the London Steak House. Sweltering hot day that it was, he always walked by West Coast Powersports on Ulmerton Road in Clearwater. Going by walking, he was approached by Kirk Miller, who at that time was a sales rep at West Coast Powersports. Miller successfully convinced Trever to apply for credit to purchase a motorcycle and his application was accepted! Following that, Miller offered a sales position to Trever and Trever soon became top sales performer in the dealership.

A few months passed, and Trever had sold a bike above market value to an unsuspecting client who happened to be attorney Paul Puzzanghera. Sadly, Paul passed away on July 4, 2022. Paul served for 8 years in the U.S. Coast Guard. He enjoyed spending time with his friends and family. He was a very effective negotiator with a presence that commanded respect. He was known to be strong-willed yet loving, powerful yet caring. Paul never backed down and fought for the truth and what he knew was right.

“Paul is the one who gave me my chance” Trever said with a great deal of visible internal emotional turmoil as he sat in front of me. Trever recounts the encounter after his sale to Paul.  “I ran into Paul by pure coincidence one day. Paul recognized me and told me “No one sells me anything above market value like you did!”. After a few chuckles between the two, Paul took a liking to Trever. “You should start your own dealership, boy!” He said. That sounded nice for sure but with only $50 in his pockets, Trever’s hopes for a dealership were not very promising. After confiding and discussion, Paul coughed up $50K on the table for Trever to start a business.

With $50K to his name and I guess a now whopping ~500 credit score, Trever started “Buy Here Pay Here Motorsports” on East Bay in Clearwater. The rent was free for a year. He bought a handful of foreign-made moped-style bikes which he successfully sold and that’s how everything snowballed. With street smarts, determination, discernment, and most importantly the right mentors by his side, Mr. and Mrs. Mike Duttry, Trever built an enviable empire. “Paul gave me my first break but Mike and Laura were there every step of the way for me as mentors.” Sadly, Mike also passed recently and Trever’s voice betrayed his emotions speaking of him.  

Trever opened a second store in which he hired his old manager Kirk Miller and eventually opened two more dealerships in California. Within 8 years Trever went from ~$50 in his pockets to an annual revenue of ~$30 million.

After a few years, Trever married Stacie who was in the corporate world. Stacie was armed with an MBA in Finance. She chose to quit her job in his support. Even today as he spoke about Stacie and her choice, this badass white-knuckle wrestler slightly stuttered with emotions of great admiration still for his beloved bride. Today, Stacie and Trever enjoy being parents above all to two amazing boys. They have downsized to two dealerships and a better quality of life; Ducati of Tampa Bay, which is now the sixth highest performing Ducati dealership in the nation after only two years, and Next Ride in Largo, Florida.   

Ducati Tampa Bay quickly became synonymous with excellence, offering a curated selection of Ducati motorcycles known for their performance, design, and cutting-edge technology. The dealership, under Trever’s guidance, also prioritized customer experience, establishing a service center staffed by expert technicians such as George Antoine Nasr with several decades of experience under his belt and ranking as one of the top Ducati technicians in the nation. Let’s not forget Kirk Miller as GM. The entire team creates a community where riders can share their passion. “Ducati is not like other brands. Ducati is an aspirational bike.” Trever said.

Fresh off the press; As the nation’s leading dealership, Ducati Tampa Bay is thrilled to announce its participation in the upcoming Moto America Hooligans race at the prestigious Daytona 200 from March 7-9, 2024.

Leading the charge will be seasoned pro racer Hunter Dunham, a former Stock 1000 and Superbike Cup podium finisher, eager to showcase his talent in the Hooligan class. Dunham will pilot a meticulously prepared Ducati Monster SP, expertly tuned by Varney’s team under his guidance and expertise, highlighting the unparalleled capabilities of the Ducati brand on the competitive stage. Behind the scenes, the Ducati Tampa Bay team, led by Ducati National Manager Jason Routhier, works tirelessly to ensure every aspect of the Ducati Monster SP is finely tuned and ready to tackle the challenges of the race.

Acknowledging the invaluable support of their sponsors, Varney extends his gratitude to Gratzii Italian Grille, St. Pete Fools Social Club, Taylor Financial, Dental Theory, Tampa Constructors Corp, and the Ducati Official Club Tampa Bay for their unwavering commitment.

As Trever and Stacie’s influence in the motorcycle community continues to grow, so are their businesses. Seeing an opportunity to cater to a broader audience, they also founded Next Ride, a venture aimed at providing a diverse range of motorcycles for riders of all levels. Next Ride became a one-stop destination for those seeking the thrill of the open road, offering both new Aprilias and used motorcycles from various manufacturers.

With a commitment to customer education and satisfaction, Ducati of Tampa Bay and Next Ride didn’t just sell motorcycles; they fostered a culture of riding. Trever, Stacie, and their teams envisioned a space where beginners could find their first bike, and seasoned riders could discover their next adventure companion. The dealership organized events, riding classes, and community rides, solidifying Next Ride as a trusted name in the motorcycle community.

Trever and Stacie’s dual success with Ducati Tampa Bay and Next Ride exemplifies dedication to the world of motorcycles. Their contributions extend beyond commerce, reaching into the fabric of the motorcycle culture in Tampa Bay. Both dealerships have become more than just places to buy bikes; they are institutions that celebrate the joy of riding, the camaraderie among enthusiasts, and the beauty of the open road. Fabrizio Uberti-Bona, President of the Ducati Club of Tampa Bay is a good example of passion for the sport and the community. Fabrizio and his circle of influence are always active, creating opportunities and events that benefit all. In fact, Saturday, May 4, 2024, at 10 a.m., Ducati Tampa Bay will be the starting point for the biggest ride of the year; a worldwide event globally organized for Ducati riders. 

Trever and Stacie’s commitment to quality, customer service, and fostering a sense of community within the motorcycle culture has left an enduring legacy. Ducati Tampa Bay and Next Ride continue to thrive, providing a haven for riders to connect, explore, and indulge in the unparalleled exhilaration of the motorcycle lifestyle.

In the ever-evolving world of motorcycling, Trever Varney’s journey, as well as Stacie’s, stand as a testament to the enduring allure of two-wheelers and the transformative power of pursuing one’s passion. Ducati Tampa Bay and Next Ride remain not just businesses but living embodiments of the freedom, spirit, and adventure that define the world of motorcycles.

Trever’s top speed? 189mph

Source: Trever Varney

Contact: www.facebook.com/floridanighttrain