It can be argued that no nickname fits a person better than Steve 'Wheels' Bucaro. A double meaning, Wheels earned the nickname for both the right and the wrong reasons. A paraplegic as a result of a motorcycle accident, Bucaro now relies on a pair of wheels to perform everyday activities, but when it's time to prove to people that his disability is just a minor inconvenience, Bucaro turns a set of wheels with a little bit of horsepower.
Steve Bucaro became a fully sponsored driver this year, joining Kenny Osborne's Black Rhino team, a move that is paying huge dividends.
This season Steve Bucaro is running in the Pilot class for the regional Lucas Oil Off Road Racing Series.
"For me, driving is the ultimate freedom from being in a wheelchair," Bucaro said. "And then you get in a racecar and have people chasing you as well as yourself trying to chase down someone else is great."
Bucaro has looked into all forms of racing, but he found a passion in off-road racing. This season Bucaro is running in the Pilot class for the regional Lucas Oil Off Road Racing Series. Because the Pilot program is still growing, the division runs with the SR1 Rhino class, and Bucaro loves every minute of it.
"I am pretty darn quick for a twenty two year old, 400cc buggy. I have an absolute blast every time I strap in, and my results are proof of my passion for racing. With the exception of one (did not finish), all the other races have resulted in first place."
Bucaro became a fully sponsored driver this year, joining Kenny Osborne's Black Rhino team, a move that is paying huge dividends not only now, but also hopefully down the road as well.
Lucas Oil Off Road Racing Series' Steve Bucaro and his 400cc buggy
"To be able to pit under a tent and with such a great company and group of people is flat-out awesome. Being the only paralyzed driver in our series and having someone recognize your passion and drive is the best feeling in the world, so to that I owe a 'thank you' to Kenny and everyone at Black Rhino.
"My goal is to be in a SR 1 Rhino next season and just keep moving up from there, hopefully into Super Lite and Pro Lite trucks."
While Bucaro has enjoyed jumping back onto a specially modified motorcycle, he says nothing fills his need for speed like off-road racing.
"I think the rush and easy accessibility, plus getting a little dirty makes off-road racing the most fun and best choice. I have drifted, still ride street bikes and drive every chance I get, but nothing takes the cake like one of my races. Pushing yourself for a faster time and smoother line is something that can't be matched. Plus, you get out and roll away in the wheelchair and people like at you saying 'what?' I think that's funny."
Wheels is looking forward to the season finale coming up in Las Vegas, where the California series will run a combined event with vehicles from Utah and Arizona as well. Bucaro thinks the event is "going to be explosive."
Bucaro also wanted to thank K&N for their support of his racing career.
"K&N is the only oil and air filter I have or ever will use. Proven performance, more horsepower and a family-like company, what else could you want? Everyone at K&N is great and my loyalty will always lie with them. I'm looking to get that second championship this season thanks to them."
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