Former pro AMA and GP motocross racer Scott Sheak has passed away, two weeks after suffering multiple spinal and internal injuries from a heavy crash while training at Walden Motocross in New York. Sheak used to race for Rob Hooper in the British championship and GPs, and recently returned to riding in the Vet class.
After the crash, Sheak was first taken to MidHudson Medical Center, then moved to Westchester Medical Center in Valhalla, where doctors and nurses worked to stabilise him. Unfortunately, the massive injuries and subsequent pneumonia and staph infections proved to be too much, and he passed away yesterday. He was 47 years old.
Born in 1974, Scott Sheak grew up racing motocross, and he became one of the most promising young riders in the sport by the early 1990s. That’s when he graduated from the amateur ranks with Kawasaki Team Green, winning multiple championship titles at major events all over the country. Sheak then began a long and steady climb up the professional ladder that saw him go from privateer status to teams like Boyesen Yamaha and a full-factory ride with Team Honda in 1997.
That was the year Sheak achieved a childhood dream when he won an AMA 125 Pro Motocross National in Mt. Morris, Pennsylvania. He would finish the ’97 season ranked third in the final 125cc AMA National Championship standings, behind only Ricky Carmichael and Kevin Windham.
In the years to follow, Sheak would spend time riding for various teams, including FMF Honda and Pro Circuit Kawasaki. He also found himself on the FIM 125cc World Championship tour, traveling all over Europe to compete. Wherever Sheak went, his humble and gracious nature—not to mention ever-present smile—made him as popular with fans as he was with his teammates. Unfortunately, an assortment of injuries hampered his results, and by the mid-2000s Sheak was done with professional racing. He turned his attention to working with younger riders, and he thoroughly enjoyed helping them achieve their own goals in motorcycle racing by being a tireless and dedicated teacher.
Recently, returned to his amateur racing roots as a veteran rider. He was preparing to qualify for the AMA Amateur National Motocross Championship at Loretta Lynn’s Ranch in Tennessee when he suffered his tragic accident in New York.
Scott Sheak is survived by his beloved wife, Amy, whom he’d known since high school, and stepchildren Ryan and Brooke’lyn. Amy said today that she takes solace knowing that Scott was doing exactly what he loved doing throughout his entire life—he was riding his motorcycle.
The Road 2 Recovery Foundation has been working closely with the Sheak family to help them navigate this unforeseen tragedy and have set up a fund to help them offset the immense costs of his hospitalisation and care; they will continue accepting donations in his memory, with all funds going to support his family.
Please donate here on Scott’s R2R Fund page- https://road2recovery.com/cause-view/scott-sheak/ On behalf of the entire motocross community, we offer our sincere condolences to Scott Sheak’s family, his friends, and all the countless people he touched along the way.
Words by Davey Coombes/ Racer X.