Tyler Stepek is a name that really started to stand out to me at the end of the 2021 Lucas Oil Pro Motocross Championship. He had been climbing the results, scoring his first points at High Point, finishing a career best 14th in the second moto at Unadilla, and he scored a total of 27 points last summer. Stepek earned national #93 for this season. At the time, that’s all I really knew of him, other than the fact that he is a Maryland native and that Budd’s Creek is his home National. So, in honor of Budds Creek this weekend, let’s learn more about this privateer.
Loretta Lynn’s was never really a big priority growing up for Stepek and he was never able to go to any training facilities. Stepek is that local racer with big dreams who would work on his craft at Tomahawk MX, the closest track to his house growing up. [NOTE: THE VURB SHRED TOUR IS GOING TO TOMAHAWK ON SEPT 9-11!!!!!]
Although, I will point out that he did make it to Loretta’s in 2016 in Schoolboy 1 and the now defunct 250 All Star A/B class. He finished in the top 20 twice, but as Stepek said, “It did not go well.” After that he decided to focus on getting his pro license for the following season.
The 2021 season was more than just a great season for a rider like Stepek, who also worked part time as an electrician to pay the bills. If Stepek wrote a book, the chapter about last Summer would have been called, “The Comeback”. If Slaw does his job correctly, then he will have embedded a video called, “Some Kind of Monster” by Wade Raynor, who sat Stepek down to get his take on the terrible injuries he sustained in 2020. Stepek was racing an NESC race at New Hampshire MX Park when he was caught up in a huge pile up two corners into the race.
In that crash, Tyler Stepek broke his C-5 and C-6 in his neck and he could not feel his arms or legs.
Luckily, Stepek had surgery and the feeling in his arms and legs came back to him quite quickly. In the video he goes on to explain how he was able to get back on the bike and the feelings he felt getting back into racing. To come back from a broken neck to earning your first national number is quite the story!
Before the 2022 season started, Stepek was able to obtain more sponsors to his program, which allowed him to quit his job as an electrician and focus solely on racing. He went to ClubMX for two months this past winter to get some riding time. Stepek said that he needs to figure out how to get his Supercross points and that is really the big reason why he hasn’t raced indoors since turning pro in 2017. Stepek did say that the goal is to race SX in 2023.
This season, Stepek has grabbed 16 points total and recently made the switch to the 250 class for Unadilla. At Unadilla it was his first 250 national of his career and he said it was fun racing some new guys. He will be racing his Cernics’ Yamaha the rest of the season.
As far as his home race at Budds Creek, he’s ready. Stepek said he hasn’t been practicing there lately because the track hasn’t had many open ride days. However, Tyler is ready to get back. “They [Budd’s Creek] definitely put a lot of work into the place recently, so I’m excited to get back there soon.”
Main image: @j_reedphotos