American Legion Post 338 Official Press Release
August 11, 2013
We have some great news! The legendary sand motocross track at the Southwick American Legion Post 338 is not closing. After months of working overtime, the Legion has finally selected a new partner to help bring our historic facility to a whole new level of performance. After considering 6-7 very qualified potential offers, one offer clearly stood above the rest. The Legion's board has unanimously selected the offer from Michael Grondahl. Mr. Grondahl has many ties throughout the business world and most importantly he has direct ties to the motocross industry both as an avid past motocross racer and a current partner of the GEICO Honda race team. In addition, Mr Grondahl has brought Gary Yellin along as a consultant to his team. Gary is the son of Southwick legend Bernie Yellin, the original founder and successful operator of MX338 for many decades. Our expectations for MX338 are sky high!
Michael Grondahl is the co-founder and former CEO of Planet Fitness, a fitness club chain which he grew from one gym in New Hampshire to the largest fitness chain in the world. Planet Fitness currently has over 675 locations and serves 4.6 million members. This business experience will prove invaluable to support his plans for MX338. But we believe the key to Mike's future success with MX338 lies in his passion for the sport of motocross. Mike raced his first NESC moto at Southwick in 1979 and earned his AMA professional motocross license in 1981. His grass roots knowledge of motocross and love for the sport made our decision an easy one.
Luckily for MX338, Mr. Grondahl became a better businessman than rider, and over the last 5 years he has proudly been a partner in the GEICO Honda race team which boasts numerous AMA 250 championships. This year the GEICO team will take a big jump by filling departing 450 rider Kevin Windham's boots with Eli Tomac, who will race both SX and MX in the 2014 season. In addition to the GEICO partnership, Mike recently started the ALIAS clothing line with longtime industry veteran Jeff Surwall, Jeff Makrzak, and the legendary Factory Connection suspension guru Rick Zielfelder.
Mike Grondahl is obviously a very busy guy and when we asked him what drew him to want to get directly involved in the success of MX338, Mike responded, "The thought of Southwick closing was just not an option that I could sit back and do nothing about. I remember when I was only 15 standing at the fence at the old finish line jump screaming for my hero JoJo Keller. So many motocross legends like Bob Hannah, Doug Henry and John Dowd have graced the sand whoops at Southwick. For me, getting involved was an obvious step for the luckiest guy alive!"
Mike continued, "Very soon we will negotiate Southwick's 2014 schedule and there are some new ideas that we need to agree upon with the Legion. I want to express my sincere thanks to the Southwick American Legion Post 338 for choosing me and for being absolutely fair and very open-minded to all of the various issues that have surfaced. At the recent Amateur Nationals held at Loretta Lynn’s ranch in Tennessee, Carrie Coombs told me in no uncertain terms there will be no 2014 National held at Southwick and there probably will never be one in the future. American Legion Southwick Post 338 has saved Southwick and it is now my job to bring some BIG races to this legendary sand track!"
"At the recent Amateur Nationals held at Loretta Lynn’s ranch in Tennessee, Carrie Coombs told me in no uncertain terms there will be no 2014 National held at Southwick and there probably will never be one in the future."
Will there be a sand track in future?
Any other legendary MX tracks such as Red Bud, Mount Morris, Unadilla on the chopping block?
Not a fan of SLC MX layout nor the last few Southern CA national tracks.
Keep Southwick on the National Schedule
Chuck Norris puts the laughter back in manslaughter
That's all great, but according to DC - No national at Southwick.
Unfortunate, but reality. I'm sure it will become a fun local track.
"At the recent Amateur Nationals held at Loretta Lynn’s ranch in Tennessee, Carrie Coombs told me in no uncertain terms there will be no 2014 National held at Southwick and there probably will never be one in the future"
X 10,000--------------- PAGING DC!!
THANK YOU Michael Grondahl x 1,000,000,000
It's great news for NESC racing in New England to have someone like Mike taking over the track, I hope he can work with the Legion and become a good race promoter and can get some big races back in there. We met and spoke at Loretta Lynn's as well. He's been very successful at his other ventures and could turn this place back around, keeps things going the way Ralph and Dianne wanted to do, then we'll see how it all fits in down the road...
How could you turn down the Geico/Planet fitness/Kevin Windham/Southwick National ?
Nothing to really elaborate on: the 'Wick has been saved for local racing, but the national promoters that we knew and worked well with for many years were forced out, and that's never a good thing. They did a lot for the sport and the series.
We will see how things go with this new promoter and the Legion and revisit the idea down the road. I know Mike wants to do big things there, and I am sure he will get himself sorted and moving forward soon.
I don't know what you guys expect Davey to do. They forced out his promoter, he's sticking by his word...gotta respect it. Coming from a promoter aspect of it, I think Davey is 100% right with his choice to move on.
Great, first Glen Helen now Southwick. Heard Colorado is next on the chopping block. WTF is going on???
Sounds like this guy has plenty of $ to do what ever DC wants done so what the problem?
Didn’t I read somewhere ralph and diane were payin $20 grand per year and they had around 20 events a year? Sounds like the legion was getting ripped off. So its there fault theres no national because they wanted fair $$$?
Does not add up.
im not sure offering less than 1/2 of market value for southwick is (being forced out )...DC would you take 40% for market for mxsports??
Atleast this guy knows motocross unlike what's going on there now, it's went to hell. Hopefully the sand gets put back and the direction goes back to the original way. The nationals appear to be a joke these days.
Is it purely a buddy decision? As in, DC's buddies were forced out so he wants to remain loyal to his friends and not hold a national there any longer?
I could see it from a loyalty issue on a friend level. If his friends built the track and put all of their hard work in, and the land owners yanked the land, I'd probably side on my friend's side too. There's got to be a way to make it a win win for everyone though.
And I'm not here to bash on DC. Southwick was my favorite track on the circuit basically because it's different from all other tracks. Like everyone else, I want to see it stay. If not, at least find another sand track that is that caliber.
I would say the new promoter is more than qualified. So DC is buthurt that ralph and diane didn't want to pay a fair price to the legion and were "forced out". as a result the new promoter won't even be considered for years.
This is such a big FU to motocross fans. So much of this Southwick story is complete bullshit. What it comes down to is mx sports wants another facility. One that will "grow the sport" and this was a perfect opportunity. His game he can do what he wants. Why not just say what the intentions were from day one of this bullshit.