The walls of the office at Dr. Aaron Stein’s practice, Stein Chiropractic in Pekin, feature a wide variety of framed motorcycle racing photographs. He has set aside space for a storage room for plaques and trophies that fill several shelves and provide tangible evidence of his personal success at motorcycle road racing. The profusion of mementos clearly demonstrates that racing in the Championship Cup Series is not a mere hobby for Stein, but a passion.
“In 1993, my neighbor, who was a racer, invited me to come to an event at Blackhawk Farms in South Beloit (Illinois), and try racing his motorcycle on their track," Stein said. "I signed up for one race, and I passed one fellow when he crashed. So, I managed to not finish last. I’ve been hooked ever since.”
As a chiropractor, Stein has continued a family tradition, having followed in his father, Dr. Avrum Stein’s footsteps. As an avid motorcyclist, he has helped to begin a new family tradition. His wife, Christine Stein, works as a race registration official for the Championship Cup Series. His son, Alexander, is a CCS technical inspector and grid marshal. His daughters, Elizabeth and Kate Stein, are also affiliated with the CCS. Elizabeth is a timer and scorekeeper with the CCS and sang the national anthem at a racing event, while Kate has served as a “pit out,” in which capacity she directed racers onto the track.
“All of my kids have grown up around the race track,” said Stein. “I would say it’s a very family-oriented atmosphere.”
Stein’s niece and nephew, Kiara and Brycen Stein, currently hold CCS racing licenses. Stein, who has been a CCS racing school instructor for 10 years, taught them and signed their diplomas.
“It was a special pleasure to me to teach them at the race school,” said Stein. “I signed their diplomas when they completed the racing school as ‘Uncle Doc.’”
The most obvious conflict between Stein’s passion and his professional practice is that the former occasionally requires him to take time away from the latter. In 2003, that conflict was especially significant when a crash at the Mid-America Motorplex in Grand Junction, Iowa, left him with broken ribs, a fractured collarbone, and a punctured lung.
“My father, who had retired by then, came back,” Stein said. “Without even being asked, he dove right back into the work. He worked the first week and, by the second week, I had already tired of watching ‘Oprah,’ and came back into the practice with the intention of doing my paperwork.”
Stein considers himself an ambassador both to his profession and his sport. He said he has helped riders at Illinois racetracks who have crashed and sustained the types of injuries with which a chiropractor’s services would be effective.
“One rider they brought to me had fallen down and hurt his rib cage,” he said. “I was able to straighten him out so he could go and race in an event later that day. I have had occasion where a couple of people have asked if I could work on them. On one occasion, I did more work at a racetrack on a Saturday than I’d done all day Friday in my office. I don’t go to the racetrack to work, but sometimes it ends up that way. I am a racer, and I am a chiropractor. And that is what makes me.”
Stein owns several motorcycles and currently competes on either a Kawasaki EX-300 or a Yamaha R-6. He has won regional championships on motorcycles with engines ranging from 125 cubic centimeters to 1,000 cubic centimeters. He is currently preparing to compete in the Daytona 200 at Daytona International Speedway on Saturday, where he will ride the 600 cc Yamaha R-6. His son will be his pit crew chief for the event. After more than 25 years of racing, Stein will retire from competition after the Daytona 200 and become a CCS official.
“My son is joining the Air Force, and I will be taking over his job with the sanctioning body,” said Stein. “That will allow me to hang up my helmet and still be associated with racing.”