Make us your home page
Instagram

Get the quickest, smartest news, analysis and photos from the Bucs game emailed to you shortly after the final whistle.

(View our Privacy Policy)

Youth Sports

His family's dedication, sponsors drive Tyler Lang's motocross career

DADE CITY

Between receiving money to race, having his own mechanic, winning consistently and competing in national championships, Tyler Lang is, to say the least, off to a good start in his racing career.

The Lang family lives in Port Richey, but commutes to Dade City several times a week for the 9-year-old Tyler to ride at his home track, Dade City Motocross. It's here where Tyler learned his sport and where spectators around the motocross community have watched him grow into an impressive rider.

"He's definitely on the curve of being a professional rider," Dade City Motocross owner Randy Yoho said. "He's off to a very good start with some of the wins that he has had and with his family support and understanding of the proper techniques, he's got a really good chance at success."

By participating in classes held by Yoho and the staff at Dade City Motocross, Lang has mastered proper riding techniques.

"We have a good competitive race program here that has put out some of the best racers of all time (Ricky Carmichael and James "Bubba" Stewart) and he (Lang) could possibly follow in their footsteps," Yoho said. "Tyler is at all of our schools and keeps improving."

With his success in motocross, Lang's family has devoted a large portion of their time together to helping young Tyler succeed.

"We've given up all of our weekends," said Tyler's mother, Theresa Lang. "We made a decision when we first started motocross that it was going to be all or nothing. We've gone two solid years without doing any family functions, but I'd say that the sport has brought (the family) closer together because when he rides, we're all together, and he rides a lot."

Theresa even works a second job at a track in Ocala on select weekends to allow her son more track time. The family's dedication paid off when Tyler qualified for the National Motocross Championship, which is held at country music star Loretta Lynn's house the first week of every August. Tyler qualified for the event through a series of local and regional qualifiers.

However, the travel is difficult for the families. So they get help from elsewhere.

"We have some great sponsors that help us get to nationals and help with equipment cost," Theresa said. "We've done a lot of this on our own through family support, but without some of the sponsors it wouldn't be possible."

For Tyler, the experience has formed a need for speed and victory. At the National Championship held three weeks ago in Hurricane Mills, Tenn., Tyler didn't fare well as mechanical difficulties hampered his ability to race.

"I was really upset, but that stuff happens," Tyler said. "I love racing and doing jumps. My goal is to just train hard and win a lot of races. That would make me really happy."

Submit feedback, story ideas to community sports@tampabay.com.

Fast facts

Tyler Lang

Age: 9

School: Chasco Elementary, fourth grade

His bike: 50 CC Palini

Favorite bike: Kawasaki 450

Note: Tyler has been riding since he was 4 with the help of his father and mechanic, Tony Lang.

Tyler leads his local race standings by 300 points. More than 20,000 racers compete for the chance to go to Loretta Lynn's ranch, but only 1,386 make it.

Tyler has received sponsorships from nine companies after his exploits in the two annual National Motocross Championships over the past few years.

His family's dedication, sponsors drive Tyler Lang's motocross career 08/20/09 [Last modified: Tuesday, August 25, 2009 2:44pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times

    

Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

Loading...
  1. Rowdies shut out at Pittsburgh

    Soccer

    PITTSBURGH — The Rowdies lost their first USL game in nearly a month, 1-0 to Pittsburgh on Thursday night.

  2. LSU's Paul Mainieri defends FSU's Mike Martin; Gators play Friday

    College

    OMAHA, Neb. — LSU coach Paul Mainieri says whether Florida State's Mike Martin ever wins a national championship should have no bearing on how his long career in college baseball is judged.

    MADE IT: Josh Watson beats the tag of Louisville catcher Colby Fitch during TCU’s 4-3 win in the College World Series.
  3. Lightning fans, don't get attached to your first-round draft picks

    Lightning Strikes

    CHICAGO — When Lightning GM Steve Yzerman announces his first-round pick tonight in the amateur draft at No. 14, he'll invite the prospect onto the stage for the once-in-a-lifetime photo opportunity.

    Tampa Bay Lightning left wing Jonathan Drouin (27) eludes  Montreal Canadiens left wing Phillip Danault (24) during the second period of Wednesday???‚??„?s (12/28/16) game between the Tampa Bay Lightning and the Montreal Canadiens at the Amalie Arena in Tampa.
  4. Lightning GM Steve Yzerman also has top-9 wing on his wish list

    Lightning Strikes

    CHICAGO — Much has been made about the Lightning's interest in bolstering its blue line, even after last week's acquisition of defense prospect Mikhail Sergachev.

    Tampa Bay Lightning general manager Steve Yzerman gestures as he speaks to the media about recent trades during a news conference before an NHL hockey game against the Carolina Hurricanes Wednesday, March 1, 2017, in Tampa, Fla. The Lightning, over the past few days, have traded goaltender Ben Bishop to the Los Angeles Kings, forward Brian Boyle to the Toronto Maple Leafs, and forward Valtteri Filppula to the Philadelphia Flyers. (AP Photo/Chris O'Meara) TPA101