Motorommel Rumblin’

By Eric Gerlach –

Fumes, grease and motors. This would be Tyler Dommel’s life.

The Penn Manor High School senior is considered a racing superstar in some students’ eyes. Dommel competes in races all over the country and still manages to maintain good grades in school. He wowed them at his most recent and local race, Motorama, held in Harrisburg Saturday.

“Keep your mind focused on winning, that’s my secret,” Dommel said before the race.

Dommel’s success also comes from his experience. He has been racing competitively for more than five years. He made over $2,000 racing this past year and hopes to increase his winnings.

“I’ve competed in um… too many races to count. I’ve been racing since I was 13,” Dommel said.

Dommel is very committed to his racing and plans to race after high school. Dommel’s father owns his own plumbing business, and Dommel hopes to work and then run the family business.

“Racing is my life,” Dommel said, “the only thing else I do is hangout with Paige (girlfriend) and work on my quads and truck.”

Dommel has two race quads, one for racing, and one for practicing. He has a lot of aftermarket parts on his quads. His  seven sponsors help him get the parts he needs either by giving him discounts, or giving it to him for free. Dommel’s fastest quad has 60 horsepower and the top speed is 75 mph. Even if that seems slow to some, racing quads are geared for acceleration not just top speed.

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Dommel had some high points and low points in his racing career. During a race in 2008, he broke his ankle and tore his shoulder in 2009.

“My biggest race was National A Class, and I finished third out of sixty-five,” Dommel said.

Last Saturday Dommel raced in two races at Motorama, placing third and fifth. Racing against pros like Jason Dunkelberger, featured on the popular video game MX vs. ATV, was a challenge for Dommel.

Motorama is not just quad racing, it consists of go-kart, dirt bike and RC car racing, as well as a car show and, of course, a bikini contest. It also features a robot conflict, a battle between competing makeshift robots.