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FOR THE LOVE OF THE SPORT: Tyler Stevenson takes on intense schedule to pursue racing goals

A full-time college student at Oswego State University, Stevenson finds time to juggle school, lacrosse, and racing – eyes Super DIRT Week return at Oswego Speedway

Tyler Stevenson has no concept of slowing down. Not in racing, nor in life.

The 20-year-old of Watertown, NY, currently carries a full-time course load at Oswego State University, majoring in technology management and playing on the school’s Division III lacrosse team.  Simultaneously, he competes as a DIRTcar Sportsman driver – at Series competitions and weekly at Can-Am Speedway.

Managing such an intense schedule can only be accomplished when incentivized by one thing – passion.

“I love race cars,” Stevenson said. “I love how they work; I love learning about them. There’s so much to them nowadays with the coils and the shocks and how everything works. The movement of those things are awesome. It’s just something I feel I’ll be doing for the rest of my life.”

Stevenson grew up in a racing family, watching both of his parents compete as drivers. Most of his childhood memories are in the garage with his father and siblings, gaining valuable skills and wisdom for the future racing career he stepped into.

He was a late bloomer by racing standards, not starting in Mini Karts until 2017 when he was 14 years old. Most other kids his age already had 10 years of experience. After a family friend allowed him to try out competing in a Novice Sportsman for a couple races, his moment finally came.

His father retired from racing at the end of the 2019 season and decided it was his son’s turn.

“It was basically to the point where I was doing a lot on the [DIRTcar Sportsman],” Stevenson said. “He said, you know everything about these cars. I think he just gave me the opportunity… As a father looking at his son, I think he is pretty happy with what we are doing right now and likes to see us being successful.”

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Now, in his third season competing in the DIRTcar Sportsman his father owns, Stevenson has tasted some of his sweetest success. On June 28, Stevenson outdueled Kyle Devendorf at Can-Am Speedway for his first career Series win. The milestone gave him a substantial confidence boost, realizing he had the capabilities to win against the best. He recorded three victories at Can-Am last season but had struggled to find his rhythm this season before the win.

Stevenson hopes to build on that confidence to take the success into the second half of the year. There’s one event he already has circled on the calendar that has special meaning to him – Super DIRT Week 51, Oct. 2-8, at Oswego Speedway – three miles from the Oswego State campus. He made his first start at the prestigious event last year.

“Last year, it was a great time,” Stevenson said. “I promoted it as much as I could at the school there. I tried to get as many people as possible to go. A kid wrote an article about me and put it in the school newspaper. A lot of students and even professors went out to DIRT Week just to watch. Some of them, it’s their first time ever being to the racetrack. It was a super cool experience last year… I’m excited to go back there this year. Just the atmosphere there is awesome.”

Until the prestigious fall event, Stevenson will continue to channel his energy developing his skills for his passions. While he can’t name a specific job title yet that he sees himself working post-graduation, he’s well on his way to figuring it out.

“I’m not quite sure what I’m going to do right out of school,” Stevenson said. “But, someday, I want to build race car parts and manufacture my own brand someday, like my own chassis, something along those lines.”

UP NEXT: The DIRTcar Sportsman Series action returns Wednesday, July 19, at Land of Legends Raceway in Canandaigua, NY for a 30-lap, $1,000-to-win, showcase event.

Super DIRT Week 51 at Oswego Speedway will be Monday to Sunday, Oct. 2-8. For tickets, CLICK HERE.

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