Through The Esses - Jeff Bucknum - Keeping Team Bucknum In The Game
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© Andrew S. Hartwell

Ronnie Bucknum was an American sportscar racer who became Honda's first Formula One driver back in the 1960's. He drove a Camaro in the Trans Am series with Mark Donohue, racing for Roger Penske. He also ran in Indy Cars and he competed at the 24 hours of Le Mans. He won Sports Car Club of America titles in 1959, 1960, 1962 and 1964, winning 44 times in 48 races. But he was a quiet man who didn't put much energy into selling himself. He let his skills in a racecar do all the talking.

When Ronnie Bucknum passed away in 1992, he left behind a young son who, over time, elected to pursue a career in the field of his father's dreams. From karts to Formula Ford to prototype racing in the American Le Mans Series, Jeff Bucknum is very much a part of the modern day world of sportscar racing. And a race weekend rarely passes without someone telling him that they remember his dad.

"Fans usually tell me what they remember about my dad from when they saw him race. It feels good to know so many people remember him. When I was younger I never really had much of a chance to ask him about his racing because I was only around two years old when he stopped."

"I would say I am definitely in racing because of my dad and his history. When I was growing up my dad was no longer racing but there were lots of stories about racing. It wasn't like I was 12 years old and going to the racetrack to watch him race, he was out of racing while I was still an infant. Growing up we lived on the west coast and I was into surfing. Later on dad got me interested in trying my hand at racing go-karts.

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