Global Rallycross Season Review: Bucky Lasek
If Global Rallycross had presented a “Most Improved Driver” award for the 2013 season, it would have gone to Bucky Lasek.
That didn’t stop him from earning some hardware at the end-of-season awards ceremony, as he won the season’s Sportsmanship Award, but his positive demeanor isn’t the real story of Lasek’s season. The more significant story is how impressively he blossomed into a bona fide race car driver and a competitive force, fighting off the perception of “skateboarder first, racer second.”
For Lasek, 2013 was his second season with the Subaru PUMA Rallycross Team. Barring mechanical malfunction, if he didn’t make it into the main event, he was usually right on the edge of making it in, and the battles were close. That’s a big step forward from last year, when Lasek was more focused on getting acclimated to the car.
It was only bad luck that kept Lasek 11th in series points. Two missed opportunities in particular come to mind: in New Hampshire, he was running competitively in the main event until damage to the rear of the car forced him to retire in eighth place. He was also the fastest non-Ford driver in Las Vegas seeding, but couldn’t make it off the line in the last chance qualifier with a mechanical issue—his second in the final three races.
With that in mind, when everything worked for Lasek, it worked well. Had an incident disabling Travis Pastrana’s car in the middle of the track not forced a restart, Lasek might have run away with second place at The Dirt Track at Charlotte. Even so, he still earned a respectable sixth place finish, his best of the year.
2014 will be Lasek’s third year as a GRC driver, and all indications seem to point to another move up the standings. With a new car prepared for next season, both driver and team hope to build on the lessons learned the past two years; after spending countless hours behind the wheel in both rally and open-wheel cars, expect Lasek to take advantage.
Photo credit: QBA/QNIGAN.com (1); Larry Chen (2); Matthew Kalish (3)