Racing provided a solace for Bucher, a way to get away from the hustle and bustle of owning a business.
“To me, I guess it’s more of a relaxation thing,” he said. “It’s a time where I need to completely focus on what I’m doing.
“It’s just a time away where I can clear my head and not worry about the everyday financial business stuff.”
Racing put him at ease. He couldn’t chance focusing on anything else but racing once strapped into his car. If he let his focus just slip a little bit, it could’ve been disastrous. After a while, he felt more at ease in his car, whipping around area dirt tracks, sometimes racing on the edge of disaster.
That still holds true to this day, even after a scary accident in 2008, just about a year after his racing career began.
“It was the second lap,” he recalled. “I remember that somebody got down into the infield and everybody checked up. I was on the high side and I clipped them. I was feeling nauseous. I opened my eyes and I was spinning. Next time I opened my eyes, I saw feet (from the safety workers outside the car).”
Since then, the crashes haven’t been as scary and he’s figured out how to win races, too.
In 2012, he took his first checkered flag in a heat race at Beaver Dam Raceway.
This year, he added another heat race victory. And he had a strong 2013 season on the third-mile dirt oval about an hour northwest of Milwaukee.
Bucher finished seventh in the points standings at Beaver Dam and in the top 10 of the national standings in the pro division. At one point this season, he had 14 top-10 finishes, including 10 in a row. His best finish was fourth July 13. Combined in heat races and features, Bucher averaged a seventh place finish.
As the season’s laps clicked away, Bucher decided to continue to learn so he experimented with different car setups to no avail.
“It was consistent until the last month,” Bucher said about the season. “I tried a couple things that didn’t work out.”
He experimented with different car setups, such as spring and suspension combinations. In his first 14 starts of the season, he had just one finish outside the top 10. He had five in the final six weeks of the season.
Going into the INEX Dirt Legends Nationals, which was held last weekend at Bucher’s home track, Beaver Dam, Bucher was nervous.
“It’s exciting to have it here,” Bucher said. “But then there’s the added pressure that I race 25 times a year (at Beaver Dam) so it’s expected for me to do well. It’s expected the guys from Wisconsin should do well because we’re here all the time.”
“I’m nervous just because I know I need to perform well and with the way I ended my season, it wasn’t how I wanted it to end,” he added. “I did change everything back.”
Bucher went on to finish 15th in the 16-car field after being caught up in a crash just short of the halfway point.