In two weeks the final Southwick National will be held…or will it? The Southwick AMA National promoters, Diane Peebles-Pittello and Ralph Pittello, cited an inability to come to an agreement with American Legion Post 338, which owns the property, as the reason for the cancellation of next year’s event (making the June 29 race the final one in a long and illustrious history).
However, the American Legion said, in a statement provided to “The Republican” and “MassLive.com,” that “As far as running the Nationals in Southwick next year, we will do everything we can to maintain it at our track. After we hire someone to manage the track, we will find out who has control over where the event will take place, be that MX Sports or Motocross 338, and see what can be done to hold the event in Southwick.”
John Dowd ? the unofficial mayor of Southwick.
On the face of it that sounds like Southwick could be saved. On the other hand it sounds like the American Legion would be willing to squeeze the Pitello’s out and make their own deal with MX Sports (which the Pitello’s claim can’t be done because MX Sports has told them that if there was a New England National they would get it). On the other hand, the Pitello’s also have said that they have failed to find another track that meets MX Sport’s standards.
Additionally, the American Legion statement said that they were dismayed to see that the Pitello’s publicly stated that negotiations had come to a stalemate.
“In our last contact with Motocross 338 they said they were going to get back to us either after the Nationals event or by the end of their racing season. We believed that they were negotiating with the town of Southwick for the necessary permits and with MX Sports for a contract renewal. So to find out that we were at an impasse was a surprise to say the least. We had heard rumors, but we were never contacted.” The American Legion Executive Board said it will try to find new management for the facility, which opened in 1973.