Preparations underway for this weekend’s Southwick Motocross Nationals at The Wick 338
SOUTHWICK, MA (WGGB/WSHM) - The annual Southwick National at The Wick 338 is less than 48 hours away and many motocross riders are almost ready to get in gear out on the race track.
Motorcycle engines will soon be burning loudly in Southwick. This weekend, dozens of racers representing at least 13 countries will look to win it all in the Southwick National Races at The Wick 338, the only sand track in American motocross and there is plenty of work to do before the main event.
“We brought in a little over 50 truckloads of fresh sand,” said Rick Johnson, general manage of The Wick 338. “You want to make sure all of the fences are safe. We have a pretty good crowd here and we want to make sure everybody stays safe.”
The event dates all the way back to 1976, but this year, it is the 23rd race of the first-ever 31-round Super Motocross World Championship. Johnson told Western Mass News that this race stands out from the other races on the schedule.
“It’s the most difficult track, if not in the country, in the world. It’s because of the sand. The sand moves every single lap, so as a racer, what you learned on the last lap means nothing on the next,” Johnson explained.
While this is a big weekend for racers and the thousands who will be attending, local businesses are looking forward to the crowds too.
“It was very good to us last year. The weather was on our side. There was probably a 25 percent jump in business for us. We expect at least that this year. Coming out of COVID, things have been returning to more normal and we got plenty of staff,” said Rick Grimaldo, co-owner of Summer House.
Grimaldi told us the restaurant is ready to sell lots of grilled items, sandwiches, and of course, ice cream.
Grimaldi, though, told us one of his favorite parts of this event weekend.
“They’re all new customers for the most part, unless they have come to previous nationals. They’re very friendly. What they come is experience some things they haven’t had before,” Grimaldi added.
With final preparations underway, Johnson has three words for this weekend: let’s go racing!
“We have a disproportionate number of local riders coming out,” Johnson said. “We have a disproportionate number of great riders that never go on the national circuit, but are capable of it and they’re going to be here fighting against the big guys that make millions of dollars every year.”
All of the participating racers will start their engines and rev it up on Saturday, beginning with the qualifying round at 9 a.m., followed by both of the Southwick national races at 1 p.m.
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