Broc Hepler has been announced as the 2004 AMA Motocross/Supercross Rookie of the Year. A strong second-place ranking in the AMA Chevrolet 125 Motocross Championship earned the 18-year-old the honors.

After an illustrious amateur racing career, Hepler made his pro debut late in 2003. This season was his first full year in the pro ranks. Hepler experienced a breakthrough motocross season, finishing runner-up in the 125 championship to James Stewart, he also finished second to Stewart in the AMA 125 East Supercross Series.

Hepler earned his first podium result at the High Point National, appropriately enough in his home state of Pennsylvania. In all Hepler scored six podiums in the AMA 125 Motocross Championship this year. His late-season drive included four consecutive second-place finishes and pushed Hepler past veteran Mike Brown for second place in the standings.

Hepler's season came to a tough-luck end when he injured his shoulder in the final moto at Glen Helen Raceway in San Bernardino, California, last Sunday. In spite of the injury Hepler said he plans on healing and coming back strong in 2005. He is considered to be one of the top contenders for both AMA 125 Supercross and Motocross titles next season.

Hepler was quick to credit his team for his success.

"This year has gone great," he said. "Without Suzuki I don't know if it would have been possible. I just come prepared to the races, Suzuki builds the bikes; and I just ride my hardest."

On the subject of the high expectations placed on him for next season Hepler seems to have the right attitude.

"I'm going to work super hard," he says. "I want to take what I learned from this year and take it a step farther. Hopefully things will go my way."

Hepler's Rookie of the Year Award is the latest in a string of impressive accomplishments.

His racing resume includes wins at top-notch events such as the Suzuki RM Cup, Loretta Lynn's AMA Amateur National Championships, the 125 class of the U.S. Open of Supercross and the Mini O's Olympiad to name a few.

As AMA Rookie of the Year, Hepler adds his name to a prestigious list of past winners of the award that includes James Stewart, Ricky Carmichael, Travis Pastrana, Kevin Windham and many more of the top names in motocross and supercross.

Hepler comes from a dedicated racing family. His father was such an enthusiast of the sport that he named his only son after legendary Motorcycle Hall of Famer Broc Glover.

The AMA Motocross/Supercross Rookie of the Year award is given to the rider tallying the most points in his or her first full season with a pro license. Points from the AMA Supercross Series and AMA 125 and 250 Motocross Championships are counted toward the award.