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."
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