KENILWORTH, NJ - Tyler Sztancsik, a 7-year-old dirt bike racer, recently made his own dream come true by qualifying for the largest amateur motocross race in the world, the 37th Annual Rocky Mountain ATV/MC AMA Amateur National Motocross Championship.
The race will take place in August at the historic Loretta Lynn Ranch in Tennessee. Sztancsik took on more than 22,000 hopefuls from across America to earn one of only 1,446 qualifying positions.
“The Amateur national at Loretta Lynn’s is the best of the best motocrossers in America and around the world," said Tim Cotter, directors of MX Sports. “Just being here makes you an elite racer and a top athlete. A solid finish at Loretta’s would give you instant national recognition and possible professional career.”
Sztancsik, who attends Harding Elementary School and is going into second grade, has been riding dirt bikes since he was about three. He is following in the footsteps of his father and his 11-year-old sister, Ava, who also enjoys riding around the dirt track on her motorcycle.
Sztancsik competes almost every weekend at races up and down the East Coast. With the help of corporate sponsors, Tyler is enjoying the opportunity to pursue his dream.
A Family Adventure
He will make the long journey to Tennessee with parents and sister. The race runs July 30 through Aug 4. Sztancsik and his family will be camping onsite for the week-long event and will participate in many non-racing evening activities.
Sztancsik spent the last four months qualifying for the event. The top finishers in area qualifiers and regional championships earn a gate position in the National Championship at Loretta Lynn’s. Racers may enter a wide variety of classes - from mini-cycle classes for children as young as four all the way up to a senior division for riders over 50.
There are also classes for women and classes for both stock and modified machines. In total, there are 35 different classes of competition.
Sztancsik will race in the highly competitive 50cc 4-6 Shaft Drive classagainst 42 of the best riders in the nation in his class. He will be the only rider to represent New Jersey in this class.
The motocross track contains a variety of jumps, corners and other obstacles designed to test the skills and stamina of the racers. The course is used only once a year for motorcycles, so there is no hometown advantage. Racers compete in three 15-to 20-minute races over the course of the week per class, sometimes in grueling temperatures. Proper training and preparation are paramount.
Most riders attend the event with the help of their families. In fact, many consider the event their family’s summer trip, nicknaming it the “World’s Greatest Motocross Vacation.” Besides the races, the week-long event hosts many family-friendly activities, including swimming, talent show, concerts, and live entertainment.
The race action will be broadcast live daily at www.RacerTV.com, July 30 through Aug. 4, for a total of 40 hours of live coverage. In addition, two highlight shows featuring the event will air on NBC Sports Network in the fall.