It’s back to racing this weekend in Southwick, Massachusetts for the ninth round of the Lucas Oil Pro Motocross Championship. Southwick is a very popular stop on the Series and has a very rich history. The town is a residential, business and farming community close to Hartford, Connecticut and Springfield, Massachusetts.
Southwick was incorporated in 1770 and is the oldest hosting town on the Series. The first track in Southwick was located off Route 10 and 202, just a few miles from where the track sits today. In 1973, the town began holding races at the American Legion Post 338, inspiring the track name of Moto-338 raceway.
In 1976, the track hosted its first National and continues to be an annual stop on the Series. In 2006, the owners reversed the track to the delight of the fans. Although most people think of Southwick as a home to Motocross racing, it is also home to many other forms of racing. Each year the track hosts races for many local racing organizations, including ACR, NEMA, NESC, NEMX, ATV’s and even an off-road jeep racing series.
As well as being the oldest hosting town on the Series, it also has been home to many other legendary feats in the past. Ricky Carmichael, also known as the “Greatest Of All Time,” won Nationals every year at Southwick from 1999-2007. Another great Southwick competitor, local rider John Dowd, is the oldest active champion in the Series and will be lining up at the gates there this weekend. He won back-to-back Nationals there in 1997 and 1998 and has always put in great finishes.
This track is challenging for the riders because it is mostly comprised of sand. Riders able to carry the most momentum in the corners and stay out of the harsh roost will have the advantage. The track is very hard on the bikes as well. The loss of traction in the sand will push the bikes harder, which leaves the riders vulnerable to complications. Only the most fit and ones with minimal mistakes will come out with a victory this weekend.