Skateboard star Bucky Lasek has not only made a name on the deck but also behind the wheel of a car. Since his racing days at Subaru, the athlete has developed a love for the Subaru boxer engines and has started building some of the most exciting Subarus the world has ever seen. We gave him a call to find out more.
Bucky, you’re a professional skater and rally driver. When did you swap the skateboard for a steering wheel?
I’ve actually been a big motorsport fan all my life. During my early skating days, I also fell in love with racing karts. So, I got a shifter kart early and really became a weekend warrior on that thing, going out on the track every weekend. From there I took a lot of driving schools such as the Tim O’Neil rally school. I moved on to club racing and turned out to be quite fast behind the wheel of a car as well, so I almost ended up driving Grand Am with Porsche at the time. It was at that moment Travis Pastrana took a shot at NASCAR and his seat at Subaru became vacant. I applied for the drive, took a course at Dirtfish rally school and I ended up getting the drive.
A lot of extreme sports athletes like yourself and the likes of Travis Pastrana, Ken Block and many others are also very involved in motorsport. Why is that?
I can only speak for myself, but I believe it’s a similar story with Travis and Ken. When I go for something, I give myself 100%. I don’t go for half measures. It’s all or nothing, so I believe that’s why you see a lot people from freestyle or extreme sports go into motorsport and make it stick.
Do you think extreme sports have given you an edge when it comes to racing?
I think it did help me a lot. A lot of drivers work their way up to the limit whereas I would go “show me the limit” and go all in and be really comfortable at the limit quite quickly. I think it’s a confidence I gained from skating. I also have to admit I’ve been off the track a few times in that process, but I believe that’s part of the game.
You have made your name building and racing Subarus. Did you immediately gravitate towards the Japanese boxers from the start?
No, not at all. My first car was a Honda Civic and I got a VW Corrado afterwards, which I swapped to a VR6. That was the first car I really took to the track. After that I had an E36 M3 and a Porsche Turbo. Then I got picked up by Subaru, and that’s when that love affair really started.
On your YouTube channel you have two very well documented Subaru builds. What’s the story behind them?
Yes, if you want to see the full story, I document both on my channel “Buck Yeah”. The white one was pretty much my dream build. I’ve always been in love with the Impreza 22B. So, I wanted to build my version of it: a WRC wide body STI. I bought the car from craigslist for $800. I learned how to do everything myself. When skating took a bit of dive I started working at my buddy’s shop and he thought me a lot. I’m still working on the details, but the build is nearly done.
What about the blue STI?
I originally bought that car for my daughter, but she didn’t feel comfortable and she preferred driving my truck. So, I made different plans for the blue GC8. I’ve engine swapped it to a much younger and more modern EJ205 engine, so it should be a real powerhouse.
How you got any plans on future builds and more racing plans?
Yes, there are always plans and dreams. I still have a third Subaru sitting in my shop. I’ve got a few ideas for that one. Maybe I’ll turn it into a rally car. I definitely want to go back to racing.