It was right after running to the ARP Nitrous Pro Street championship in 2015 that Joe Bucaro decided he was going to give it everything he had to back it up with another championship in 2016.
He began by blasting to the winner’s circle at the first race of the season at Bradenton Motorsports Park in Florida in March, and followed that with wins at Lucas Oil Raceway in Indiana in June and Summit Motorsports Park in Ohio in August, where he indeed sealed the 2016 championship deal.
“Because we destroyed our engine at the race in Illinois in July and weren’t going to get parts in time to have it repaired before the final race of the season in Ohio in August, we were forced to go into the race with a cam and four pistons from my previous engine,” said Bucaro, who also earned a championship in 2009. “The engine was running at only 50 percent, and we knew we would have to win by reaction time.”
In addition to ending the season with the championship, Bucaro ends it as the holder of the category’s elapsed-time and top speed records with a 7.246 and 187.11, which is proof that his ’04 Mustang packs a lot of power with its Zapp Racing Engines-built small-block Ford topped with Blue Thunder heads, HRE intake and Holley carburetors massaged by CFM Performance Carburetors.
It’s enhanced by a Nitrous Outlet nitrous system and ARC bottle warmers, and a Proformance Racing Transmissions-built Turbo 400 and Neal Chance Racing converter help put all of the power down.
Support every step of the way comes from his wife, Appolonia, Tony Sinacore, Mike Testani and “Don and Mike the Cook.” When asked about this year’s additional driving force, he said without hesitation that it was his daughters, Sofia, Bella and Gabriella.
“I had championships for my first two daughters, and I wanted one for my third daughter,” said Bucaro. “Now, I have it.”