From surviving cancer, to becoming an amputee, to riding the most powerful motorcycles on the planet, nitro drag racer Benny Stevens' wild life has been put into words for the first time with the release of his new book Fuelled.
Fuelled is a collection of entertaining tales from a young Australian larrikin who lives life on the ragged edge – and often past it.
Stevens said he wrote a book at the urging of friends, who told him he had so many stories that he needed to get them all down to paper. A successful Kickstarter campaign in 2018 got Fuelled to the start line and the book was launched in early January at a function for family, friends and Kickstarter partners.
“Seeing your life there in words is a strange thing; I sometimes think it's hard to believe the story myself,” he said.
Fuelled was written with Drag News Magazine editor Luke Nieuwhof, who turned Stevens' tales into a book that people have found hard to put down once they start reading.
“Benny has had an extreme life and it was a privilege to bring that story to print,” Nieuwhof said.
“These are very much Benny's words and I think we've struck the right balance between getting his stories into words and keeping those rough edges that make Benny who he is.”
The book was written across 2018 and 2019, with the process leading Stevens to reflect on his life in a way he hadn't done before.
“Every time I got one story out it would lead to another one,” he said. “It all starts from my accident-prone childhood, which hasn't changed!"
While telling the events that have made Stevens' life unique, Fuelled also brings his unique perspective on how to be your best self in the face of adversity.
“I've faced some challenges in life for sure and one thing I wanted to do in Fuelled was tell people about how I have dealt with those, and hopefully they might be able to apply some of my experience to their own lives. To own the consequences of my actions has given me the power to stay positive even when the chips are down.”
Those affected by cancer, amputees and drag racing fans are all likely to be engaged by the stories inside Fuelled.
“The feedback we have had so far about the book has been tremendous,” Stevens said. “I think Fuelled appeals to a wide range of people. It's not just a story about racing, in fact that is a pretty small part of it. It's about overcoming anything life can throw at you.”
Growing up in a family of hot rodding gardeners, Stevens' world was turned upside down with a cancer diagnosis in his early twenties. The toughest fight of a rough and tumble existence was a challenge he relished.
Given a second chance at life, Stevens was an adrenaline junkie without fear, jumping motorcycles and quad bikes off giant ramps and putting his body on the line. Then came the accident that would change his life, and his right leg, forever.
Fuelled is now available to purchase at www.bennystevens.com.au.