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3/25/2010 7:42 PM

Copied from MXA:

By Jody Weisel

Although many people have an urge to make the story about Glen Helen dropping off of the AMA National schedule into a classic tale of good and evil—it was for the most part a business deal that didn’t work out (and, yes, there were a lot of different points of disagreement that would have had to have been worked out).

Yet, in its simplest terms, Glen Helen wanted a long-term contract before they would commit to holding another National. You can’t blame them. It is a big investment, much larger than what the cellar dwellers on the internet could ever comprehend, and without a guarantee that he will be holding a race the following year, a promoter could lose his shirt if there was a rain storm, earthquake, tornado, wind event or other crowd killing catastrophe. If you don’t believe that, ask the promoters who held AMA Nationals in 2009 during major thunderstorms. There is even one East Coast National that failed to pay the money they owed on time.

As for facility upgrades at the track: Glen Helen has added immensely to its facility in the last few years; including a two-story sign-up building (that the AMA uses at the National); there are three separate permanent restrooms at Glen Helen (one in each of the towers and the original one near the starting gate, plus Glen Helen brings in 200 port-cans on race weekend and meets all the MX Sports requirements for water bibs and porta-cans in the pits), Glen Helen also built an elevated viewing platform, separate announcer’s tower and added a second paved road into the track from the back (which comes from a massive parking lot with free parking). Glen Helen also has eight acres of flat pits and a separate, air-conditioned building for timing and scoring. Glen Helen was also the only track to comply with MX Sports’ request to build a bike washing area for all the bikes at the National (after it was built, MX Sports said that since no one else built one that it wouldn’t be used). Glen Helen was also the only race track in the USA to donate to the Danny "Magoo" Chandler Van Fund. Did everyone forget that Glen Helen opened it pits up for free in 2009? Other tracks charged up to $20 for a pit pass! Additionally, Glen Helen builds a new racetrack every year and fences it on both sides to allow the fans to get as close to the action as possible (this costs Glen Helen $50,000 and few if any tracks on the National circuit redesign their tracks every year).



What is true is that Glen Helen fought hard not to knuckle under to the AMA’s Steve Whitelock’s or MX Sports’ John Ayers’ “smooth track” concept (and every AMA National track owner should continue to fight against this stupid idea). And although harsh words were spoken every year, especially last year when John Ayers, and John Ayers alone, decided to put a Monster Arch on the landing ramp of a jump, the track was not a factor in the contract talks. Davey Coombs said on Thursday, “It had nothing to do with the track– Jody builds a very dynamic, spectacular track, and I asked him before about building some more in the future. Losing the race course itself is the most regrettable part of this development.”

So, the real issues on the demise of Glen Helen’s National program really boiled down to the length of the contract. Many other AMA National tracks had four-year deals. Glen Helen only had a deal for 2010, with no guarantee for 2011 or beyond. With another SoCal racetrack telling everyone who would listen that they were getting the Glen Helen date in 2011, it became obvious to Glen Helen owner Dr. Bud Feldkamp that MX Sports had no intention of renewing the contract after May 29th, 2010. Thus, Glen Helen pushed for a long-term deal. As an AMA National and FIM Grand Prix track (and the track that donated its use to save what was left of the ill-fated Competition Park MXDN in San Jacinto; honoring every MXDN ticket and holding the World Cup event so that teams that were stranded in America could have a race), Glen Helen felt that being the only National on the circuit not to have a long-term contract was a slap in the face.

Davey Coombs said on Thursday, in answering an email, “...for what it's worth, the one-year extension was the same one that a track in Pennsylvania got.” This is true, but actually false. MX Sports runs the track in Pennsylvania in question (Mt. Morris) and has already decided to drop Mt. Morris off the 2011 schedule because of disputes with the land owner. Thus, the one-year extension at Mt. Morris is not comparable to the one-year extension at Glen Helen.

So, when MX Sports refused to extend Glen Helen’s National contract, Glen Helen assumed that MX Sports had already committed, at least in principle, to the other track in question for 2011 (Pala).

"This was a difficult decision, but ultimately, we simply were not able to come to contractual terms with Glen Helen Raceway," said Davey Coombs. "By moving the date to September 11, we will have time to find a suitable venue. Riders, teams and fans are making travel plans now and we want them to feel secure that we will have an exceptional venue ready in Southern California. We apologize for any inconvenience caused by this change."

Leading up to the eventual outcome, Glen Helen, Hangtown and Washougal sought legal counsel (together) to resolve issues with MX Sports. The Hangtown group is not a favorite of MX Sports (nor vice versa), but it is reported that they got some of what they were asking for. Washougal, on the other hand, felt that they were on the chopping block for 2011—thus, they joined with Glen Helen and Hangtown as a group. Hangtown, for its part, did not stick with the group, but instead took the MX Sports compromise deal and dropped out of their “one-for-all” agreement with the other two tracks. It wasn’t the bravura move that you would expect from the Dirt Digger MC, but it happened. As for Washougal, that deal hasn't been decided yet. But Washougal feels that its days are numbered with MX Sports (and with talk of more Nationals at automobile tracks in the future), they wanted to fight now instead of getting the axe later (and alone). Perhaps, Glen Helen dropping out will get them a contract extension. We'll see.

As Davey Coombs said, “Change is never easy. Glen Helen's decision to cancel their 2010 National over the length of their new contract is as surprising as it is disappointing. It leaves us no choice but to move forward and find a new facility in Southern California. I feel bad for the fans of Glen Helen, as well as the ones who have already made travels plans for Memorial Day weekend.”

The reason that few people heard about what was transpiring was because contract talks are private until a resolution of some kind is reached. There was always the possibility of some kind of agreement. And, if the media had reported on this issue a week ago, it would have said that Hangtown, Glen Helen and Washougal were all going to pullout of the 2010 AMA Nationals. That would have been inaccurate—because negotiation take many twists and turns. Thus, nobody involved said anything in hopes that it would all work out. It should be noted that several leaks caused rumors to spread that actually impacted the contract talks—it is obvious that the rumors tainted the opinion of Glen Helen against the true intent of MX Sports’ position.

No one conspired to ruin the sport. MX Sports and Glen Helen had a difference of opinion, and based on the available evidence, they negotiated with their ultimate goals in mind. It didn’t work out.

This is also not about a battle between MXA and Racer X. Apart from the fact that I design the Glen Helen National track and have for 15 years, MXA has nothing to do with the management of Glen Helen (although we do race there all the time). Davey and I meet often to discuss issues of interest about the Nationals (we just had lunch two months ago). I am often at odds with Davey (particularly on the smooth track concept, moto length, track length, timed qualifying and limiting pro rider entries), but we normally state our opinions, agree to meet again when he’s in town and move forward. I don’t see how either magazine benefits from the AMA National series getting a black-eye.

On a side note: It is refreshing that neither Glen Helen nor MX Sports are attempting to trash each other in their press releases. The Nationals will continue and Glen Helen will most likely find another high-profile event for their facility.

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3/25/2010 8:16 PM
Edited Date/Time: 4/17/2016 9:40 PM

Un-fu$#ing believable. My opinion of DC and MX Sports has just been confirmed!!!
Sounds to me as if MX Sports was intentionally trying to piss off Feldcamp with that 1 year contract, slap in the face. MX Sports knew Feldcamp would have no other choice than to pull out, which is ultimatley what DC and his henchmen hoped he would do. It would then allow them to get what they ultimately wanted.....a new, more TV friendly venue.

I tell you what Davey Coombs, I hope your decision along with your quest to dumb down the sport of MX, bites you squarely in the ass. Not having Glen FUCKING Helen on the outdoor schedule is equatable to the PGA dropping Augusta from the tour.

This whole thing is a travesty.
.

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3/25/2010 8:25 PM

Augusta has been holding golf tournaments since the 1920's. GH has been holding nationals for, what, 20 years?

Red Bud, Hangtown and many others have them covered by a long way. They would be the "Augusta" of mx not Glen Helen.

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Mathis is getting weeded out of the pro pits one team at a time he and his almighty will be outsiders soon.

3/25/2010 8:25 PM

RACERX69 wrote:

Un-fu$#ing believable. My opinion of DC and MX Sports has just been confirmed!!!
Sounds to me as if MX Sports was intentionally trying to piss off Feldcamp with that 1 year contract, slap in the face. MX Sports knew Feldcamp would have no other choice than to pull out, which is ultimatley what DC and his henchmen hoped he would do. It would then allow them to get what they ultimately wanted.....a new, more TV friendly venue.

I tell you what Davey Coombs, I hope your decision along with your quest to dumb down the sport of MX, bites you squarely in the ass. Not having Glen FUCKING Helen on the outdoor schedule is equatable to the PGA dropping Augusta from the tour.

This whole thing is a travesty.
.

how'd you get that out of this?

"No one conspired to ruin the sport. MX Sports and Glen Helen had a difference of opinion, and based on the available evidence, they negotiated with their ultimate goals in mind. It didn’t work out. "

that pretty much sums it up to me.

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3/25/2010 8:26 PM

I would be curious to hear DC's side of this "smooth track" issue. I tend to agree with Jody that a rough track makes for better racing. However, if there is a legitimate correlation between rough tracks and rider safety that would make sense too.

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3/25/2010 8:29 PM

RACERX69 wrote:

Un-fu$#ing believable. My opinion of DC and MX Sports has just been confirmed!!!
Sounds to me as if MX Sports was intentionally trying to piss off Feldcamp with that 1 year contract, slap in the face. MX Sports knew Feldcamp would have no other choice than to pull out, which is ultimatley what DC and his henchmen hoped he would do. It would then allow them to get what they ultimately wanted.....a new, more TV friendly venue.

I tell you what Davey Coombs, I hope your decision along with your quest to dumb down the sport of MX, bites you squarely in the ass. Not having Glen FUCKING Helen on the outdoor schedule is equatable to the PGA dropping Augusta from the tour.

This whole thing is a travesty.
.

This message was brought to you by Teefus Inc.
"Fighting the Octopus, one leg at a time"

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3/25/2010 8:29 PM

automobile track races? Come on. That is pathetic. I just hope we aren't going in the same direction of the GP's

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3/25/2010 8:34 PM
Edited Date/Time: 3/25/2010 8:36 PM

Where's this two story sign up building used for the national? It's been a trailer down the road the last two years. Due respect to Jody for trying to keep it respectful, but that's one side of a deal advocating it's position, and DC should feel equally free to specify the facts of the negotiations.

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Twitter: @ftemoto
Instagram: @mstusiak

3/25/2010 8:45 PM

Dave to the red phone!!!!!!!!!! Wow look what he is doing this is messed up.As this is all old news. The Coombs and MX SPORTS knew this,Yet still move foward.Look what The coombs did to Washougal now want to screw the track owners out of the progam.Lets see your accounting documents for your track?And the price of upgrades.This is only a start.Show them the 2011-12 list. And all this smoke i thought 2 strokes were over?

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Bone or bail i got to race
It,s all about stayen on the box!
All these dudes think ya have a problem but the true problem is everyone else. Motocrossers are uptite family people!

3/25/2010 8:46 PM

RACERX69 wrote:

Un-fu$#ing believable. My opinion of DC and MX Sports has just been confirmed!!!
Sounds to me as if MX Sports was intentionally trying to piss off Feldcamp with that 1 year contract, slap in the face. MX Sports knew Feldcamp would have no other choice than to pull out, which is ultimatley what DC and his henchmen hoped he would do. It would then allow them to get what they ultimately wanted.....a new, more TV friendly venue.

I tell you what Davey Coombs, I hope your decision along with your quest to dumb down the sport of MX, bites you squarely in the ass. Not having Glen FUCKING Helen on the outdoor schedule is equatable to the PGA dropping Augusta from the tour.

This whole thing is a travesty.
.

Dude, you need to get hooked up to an EKG machine STAT.

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Preparation+Opportunity=Luck.

3/25/2010 8:49 PM

RACERX69 wrote:

Un-fu$#ing believable. My opinion of DC and MX Sports has just been confirmed!!!
Sounds to me as if MX Sports was intentionally trying to piss off Feldcamp with that 1 year contract, slap in the face. MX Sports knew Feldcamp would have no other choice than to pull out, which is ultimatley what DC and his henchmen hoped he would do. It would then allow them to get what they ultimately wanted.....a new, more TV friendly venue.

I tell you what Davey Coombs, I hope your decision along with your quest to dumb down the sport of MX, bites you squarely in the ass. Not having Glen FUCKING Helen on the outdoor schedule is equatable to the PGA dropping Augusta from the tour.

This whole thing is a travesty.
.

I have no idea how you came to those conclusions, at least rationally

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"Grant money is not pork" - Rep Allen West

3/25/2010 8:51 PM

You need to suck it old dude!Go sniff bike seats again you creepy old fart man.

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Bone or bail i got to race
It,s all about stayen on the box!
All these dudes think ya have a problem but the true problem is everyone else. Motocrossers are uptite family people!

3/25/2010 8:52 PM

Matthes wrote:

Augusta has been holding golf tournaments since the 1920's. GH has been holding nationals for, what, 20 years?

Red Bud, Hangtown and many others have them covered by a long way. They would be the "Augusta" of mx not Glen Helen.

Age has very little to with it, Steve. You of all people, I thought would understand. Wow!

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3/25/2010 8:57 PM

As far as the "auto track" approach goes - I was lucky enough to get to Brescia Italy for the MXoN last year, which was held at an auto track. Meh. The bikes race on a flat surface, the crowd is up above on a hill or in the stands. For it to be a true MX track, and not some glorified SX, the track needs to be big, which means parts of the track are way away from you. The MXoN track was like a supersized video game style SX track. High speeds and huge jumps. There were many parts of the MXoN that I couldn't see at all. I know that this happens at mx tracks too (I've only been to three - Millville, Budds, and Hangtown) but at least there you can walk around and see different sections and find a spot where you can see most of the track. At the auto tracks, not so much. So I don't' see the auto tracks being that much better from a spectator POV. Plus the tracks won't be as good on a flat surface.

I did talk to DC in Brescia, he is hard core moto. Loves it. He'd sit and bench race with anyone for hours.

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"Every time Dungey wins, I hope some kid, somewhere, pulls his pants up and puts his hat on straight" -mxmat813

3/25/2010 8:57 PM

Do other National Tracks have long-term contracts with MX Sports? That's what it sounds like. Why would MX Sports only offer GH a 1 year contract? Next Question I would be interested in knowing the answer to is how much more money is PALA offering MX Sports than GH?

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Brapasaurus Rex

3/25/2010 9:06 PM

RACERX69 wrote:

Un-fu$#ing believable. My opinion of DC and MX Sports has just been confirmed!!!
Sounds to me as if MX Sports was intentionally trying to piss off Feldcamp with that 1 year contract, slap in the face. MX Sports knew Feldcamp would have no other choice than to pull out, which is ultimatley what DC and his henchmen hoped he would do. It would then allow them to get what they ultimately wanted.....a new, more TV friendly venue.

I tell you what Davey Coombs, I hope your decision along with your quest to dumb down the sport of MX, bites you squarely in the ass. Not having Glen FUCKING Helen on the outdoor schedule is equatable to the PGA dropping Augusta from the tour.

This whole thing is a travesty.
.

are you drunk?

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"I think you're pretty slow, everyone else on here knew that for years."

3/25/2010 9:07 PM
Edited Date/Time: 3/25/2010 9:08 PM

Matthes wrote:

Augusta has been holding golf tournaments since the 1920's. GH has been holding nationals for, what, 20 years?

Red Bud, Hangtown and many others have them covered by a long way. They would be the "Augusta" of mx not Glen Helen.

RACERX69 wrote:

Age has very little to with it, Steve. You of all people, I thought would understand. Wow!

Augusta National is the crown jewel of PGA courses . It's very rich in tradition and history ! It has nothing to do with it's age . And interestingly enough the most spectacular part of it's TV appeal is that it's tournament telecast is as commercial free as possible . Does canada have golf courses ? Just Kiddin'

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"Men never do evil so completely and cheerfully as when they do it from religious conviction."

3/25/2010 9:11 PM

Glen Helen has had the national for 15 years so the "they could lose their shirt if it rains" excuse does not hold water because they have done very well for all those races. I could see a new track would want a longer deal as it might take a few years to make money but Glen Helen has made money for well over a decade with only small improvements to the track. But as a "cellar dweller" as jody calls us I guess my opinion means nothing.

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Ed Johnson

3/25/2010 9:12 PM


I think the most interesting part of Jody's article is "more Nationals at automobile tracks in the future". The future of outdoor motocross looks like the 2009 MXdN (which was a success).

As for the "smooth track" issue, that is how the tracks have to be if you want to have a TV friendly product...but I prefer the smooth tracks "live", too. Do you guys ever watch the MX GPs on Freecaster??? Track prer is so poor that the roots are deep to the point that the riders nearly come to a stop before entering the turns.

I did like GH a lot, though...
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3/25/2010 9:30 PM

Pala is a peewee track compared to Glen Helen.

Give them 4 years for god sakes... Losers!

Screw my renewal of RacerX. I bet the indians offered a ton of cash, what a joke.

I respect Jody, even though they are out of touch with their magazine alot, they always tell it like it is. Notice how vague DC's comments were. Seemed afraid to tell the details...
This sucks..

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3/25/2010 9:36 PM

I'm surprised to read something written by Jody with this type of demeanor. Sometimes his writing can be downright ignorant. In fact, I would have expected a much less objective approach for something like this...a situation where he obviously has a ton invested.

I mean its a welcomed style, and should serve to shed a little more light on the reasons why this is happening. Obviously, not for some (69.)

Any why this is sliced up, its a shitty situation. It seems to have been pretty much unavoidable, though. Anyways, thanks for the heads up Jody. I was certainly scratching my head...at least here is a glimpse into the situation.

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xbox one: th3mup
steamid: hea†hen

3/25/2010 9:40 PM

Shougal is next... been expecting it for years...sux

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3/25/2010 9:40 PM
Edited Date/Time: 4/17/2016 9:40 PM

FreshTopEnd wrote:

Where's this two story sign up building used for the national? It's been a trailer down the road the last two years. Due respect to Jody for trying to keep it respectful, but that's one side of a deal advocating it's position, and DC should feel equally free to specify the facts of the negotiations.

It is right next to the track at the end of the Walk of Fame.


Legal question FTE-Is it possible to write a contract with a clause specifying if one (or both) of the parties doesn't live up to the contract then the contract is null and void?

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"My philosophy is to have a really good time and never to let anything stop me from doing what I want to do.

Michel Petrucciani

3/25/2010 9:54 PM

So did I read right that Mt Morris will also be dropped in 2011 ?????

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3/25/2010 9:55 PM

Matthes wrote:

Augusta has been holding golf tournaments since the 1920's. GH has been holding nationals for, what, 20 years?

Red Bud, Hangtown and many others have them covered by a long way. They would be the "Augusta" of mx not Glen Helen.

RACERX69 wrote:

Age has very little to with it, Steve. You of all people, I thought would understand. Wow!

Well I went with the age thing because I figured someone would have to be high as a kite to compare the beauty of Augusta and try to say that GH is the same caliber.

If anyone has ever been to any other nationals you would know that Glen Helen is far from the top rung in terms of presentation, views, facilities or pretty much anything else you'd like to compare it to.

So I went with the fact you had to have been talking about history, length of holding an event, etc, etc.

My bad.

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Mathis is getting weeded out of the pro pits one team at a time he and his almighty will be outsiders soon.

3/25/2010 9:58 PM

isnt Pala all flat? so it will become a supercross track.......lame!

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3/25/2010 10:20 PM

RACERX69 wrote:

Un-fu$#ing believable. My opinion of DC and MX Sports has just been confirmed!!!
Sounds to me as if MX Sports was intentionally trying to piss off Feldcamp with that 1 year contract, slap in the face. MX Sports knew Feldcamp would have no other choice than to pull out, which is ultimatley what DC and his henchmen hoped he would do. It would then allow them to get what they ultimately wanted.....a new, more TV friendly venue.

I tell you what Davey Coombs, I hope your decision along with your quest to dumb down the sport of MX, bites you squarely in the ass. Not having Glen FUCKING Helen on the outdoor schedule is equatable to the PGA dropping Augusta from the tour.

This whole thing is a travesty.
.

The irony of someone with the user name RACERX69 hating on the man who runs RacerX is too much to not cause me to LOL.

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3/25/2010 10:38 PM

Kudo's to Davey and MX SPORTS.

Everybody relax. You could hold the SoCal national in a graveyard and they would still pull 30k+ rabid MX fans. Its the safest place on planet earth to experiment with some new ideas.

Davey is the "YES WE CAN" of motocross. Go fo it Mr Coombs!!!

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-------------------------------------------------------------------------
Rules liberals live by:
1. Facts that make me feel uncomfortable, cannot be facts.

3/25/2010 10:38 PM

RACERX69 wrote:

Un-fu$#ing believable. My opinion of DC and MX Sports has just been confirmed!!!
Sounds to me as if MX Sports was intentionally trying to piss off Feldcamp with that 1 year contract, slap in the face. MX Sports knew Feldcamp would have no other choice than to pull out, which is ultimatley what DC and his henchmen hoped he would do. It would then allow them to get what they ultimately wanted.....a new, more TV friendly venue.

I tell you what Davey Coombs, I hope your decision along with your quest to dumb down the sport of MX, bites you squarely in the ass. Not having Glen FUCKING Helen on the outdoor schedule is equatable to the PGA dropping Augusta from the tour.

This whole thing is a travesty.
.

Not as eloquent as I would have written it wink , but I have to agree with you. I may not know both sides, but this "travesty" coulda and shoulda but avoided. For all of you MX only fans, looks like in a few years we are just going to have one really long Supercross season. sick

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3/25/2010 11:23 PM

Matthes wrote:

Augusta has been holding golf tournaments since the 1920's. GH has been holding nationals for, what, 20 years?

Red Bud, Hangtown and many others have them covered by a long way. They would be the "Augusta" of mx not Glen Helen.

RACERX69 wrote:

Age has very little to with it, Steve. You of all people, I thought would understand. Wow!

Matthes wrote:

Well I went with the age thing because I figured someone would have to be high as a kite to compare the beauty of Augusta and try to say that GH is the same caliber.

If anyone has ever been to any other nationals you would know that Glen Helen is far from the top rung in terms of presentation, views, facilities or pretty much anything else you'd like to compare it to.

So I went with the fact you had to have been talking about history, length of holding an event, etc, etc.

My bad.

Correct me if I'm wrong but I believe that Glen Helen (Then called Arroyo) held the first ever 125 National back in the 70's.

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