TWMX All Access: Competitive Edge MX Park

When MX tracks make headlines it’s usually in the result of something negative. Track closures, battles with neighbors over noise, struggles with insurance, and zoning problems are all common themes. That’s why we’re always psyched to hear about a new, yet-to-be-opened track.

Around the middle of the ’04 Supercross season, three-time National Champ Marty Smith began telling us about a track that he and a group of others were working on in Hesperia, CA. At the time, we filed that tidbit in the wait-and-see column, but we’re happy to report that not only was the news true, but the construction of the facility is well underway, and once completed, it should be impressive.

The area where the Competitive Edge MX Park is located will be familiar to anyone who’s merged onto Highway 395 just north of the Cajon Pass. Shortly after changing highways, the road drops into a canyon, and the area to the left has always been a favorite place for off-roaders to pull over, unload a bike or quad, and blast around. The maze of trails that covers the area continue to be evidence of its history, though Hesperia recently passed an ordinance that bans free range off-road riding within its boundaries.

We got to take a look (and a few laps) for ourselves at the new track, meet the crew behind it, and to find out more about the facility. The track that’s currently complete is dubbed the National Track, and it covers a large portion of the 77 acres. The racing surface is a sandy clay mix, and the train is gently rolling hills. The emphasis is on natural terrain, and the biggest jumps are large tabletops that are equally safe for pros and beginners. There’s also a rhythm section, and several off-camber corners to keep things interesting. Looking over the layout with Marty, he said, “I’ve laid out a track that’s bits and pieces of all the places I’ve been all over the world in the last 25-30 years.”

Also slated for construction inside the park are a kids track, an adult mini track, a vet/quad combination track, and a private Supercross track that’s only going to be used by licensed AMA pros. There’s already an area set up for safety training courses for the families who buy quads.

We sat down with Marty, Jeff Nordstrom (Competitive Edge’s President), Jeff’s brother Greg, and Jeff Harrison (Director of Operations) to find out more. The first question was how it all started, and Marty had the answer. “Jeff’s brother Greg has known that Jeff has always wanted to have a motocross track, or make a track. Jeff has known that I’ve been trying for the last three or four years to put a riding park together. The combination of the wants and needs, and we have somebody that’s financially available and wants to do it, too. It just kind of all came together. It’s the perfect combination, really.”

What kind of obstacles did they have to overcome to get this started? Jeff Nordstrom had the answer for that one. “It actually was a lengthy process, but it wasn’t bad. The city was very cooperative. They’re excited about it, and they are excited about bringing this kind of facility up to this area. They know it’s in demand, and with the ordinance they recently passed there are no longer any legal places to ride, so it’s a blessing to them to have this. Plus, they’re ready to have a top-notch facility here. They know what Glen Helen has down there with the Nationals and everything else, and just like Marty said, we’ve gone across the country and looked at everything. Being a rider myself with a passion for the sport, knowing what we like. So we’re just trying to build this to be the best facility there is. That’s what our goal is.”

Jeff continued, “We want to make it a family fun safe place. Like some of our facilities—they’re real bathrooms. They’re not porta-potties. We have showers in ’em. It’s going to be really nice. We have a 3,100 square foot building that’s going in with a full restaurant style kitchen. 30 x 60 eating ar with picnic tables that’s covered. An obeservation deck on top that’s covered. It’ll overlook the whole National track.”

“We’re also going to have 1000 square foot of retail space for parts and accessories. It’s going to be clean and immaculate. We’re just trying to take motocross to the next level. That’s what we want to do.”

Greg chimed in, “”Motocross is a very up-and-coming sport, just like NASCAR was many years ago, and you see where NASCAR is now. So when we began this project, my brother and I and Marty and the people that are involved with us, we sat an talked and said, ‘Do we want to just build a basic motocross park, i.e. the small parks that exist right now, or do we want to take this to the next level?'”

“My brother, Jeff Harrison, and Marty, they located the land. We said, ‘What’s the first problem with land?’ It’s that you always get pushed away. You notice that the growing need for houses in the Southern California market have taken motocross and pushed it to the side because of mass development. When we located this land, we notice it was in a wash bed, and unbuildable. You cannot build residential residences here. So we went after it, purchased the land, and basically this is our cookie cutter operation. Mary and my brother are building this to a pristine motocross track that will allow the best in the world to ride, along with the beginners. So dad and mom can come out and watch their son, or hopefully, you can come out and watch a National race here. What we’re going to do then, is take this and build it in other states, and hopefully take motocross to the next level. We plan to do it, and we hope that everyone that’s in the industry around us, the other parks, want to compete with us and bring their facilities to the next level. It only makes motocross better.”

Marty agreed, saying, “Our facility is going to be the way that it should be. There’ll be nothing better. When a guy leaves here and is pulling out in his truck, he’s going to look at his buddy and go, ‘Dude, that’s the way that it should be.’ That’s the way it’s going to be.”

“I’ve already been talking to Steve Whitelock at the AMA, and of course he used to be my mechanic back when I rode for Honda in Europe. Steve’s going to do whatever he can do to get us a National up here. We don’t know how soon it will be…if and when, but if anyone can do it, Steve can.”

Currently, the track’s only open for selected riders to help break in the facility. As Marty said, “It’s not going to be open to the public until we’re 100% done. We don’t need to open up to keep our doors open. We’re going to make sure that we do it right, and when it’s all finished and done right, then we open the doors.”

As it stands now, the track is tentatively scheduled to be open for practice in January, with the first events scheduled for some time in February. But while the first track isn’t quite yet open, that hasn’t stopped the group from planning the next stages of developing a Competitive Edge MX “Brand.” Greg explained, “From a corporate standpoint, with my brother and Marty, we sat down and we think that realistically that in a seven-year window we’d like to have four or five tracks open. It would be Competitive Edge MX Park Hesperia, Competitive Edge MX Park…wherever we’re going to be. It betters the sport. I always hear, ‘You guys are going to be a monstrosity, you’re going to put people out of business.’ That’s not our intention. Our intention is to find the best of the best, bring it to another level, and we want everybody to come to that level with us.”

“As you enter into the park there’s a five-acre parcel. Hopefully in the next two years it will be a multi-retail motocross center. When we went into the city, we tried to move ahead a couple years. We’ll sit down with the right types of entities in the industry to put some people in there that want to be close to a motocross park, which will only help the industry and awareness of the businesses.”

“We didn’t realize the popularity we’d created, and we’re not even open. My brother and Marty probably field hundreds of questions daily from people asking, when are you opening?”

“Three hundred people showed up our City Council meeting in a City Hall that supports minimal people. The community was behind us. The city was behind us. The city really kept on top of us and were very cooperative. We’re thankful for the guidelines they set. They’re making into a pristine operation by the expectation levels. Marty and my brother went beyond the realm with noise tests and dust tests. As you can see there are three water trucks out here. There’ll probably be four. We’re also putting in a whole underground water system. We’re putting up sound walls to protect everything to make sure this facility is one that remains in the community. I think with Marty and my brother guiding it, I think we’ve got a no-miss situation.”

Contact:

(909) 461-7721
www.competitiveedgemxpark.com (coming soon)

areness of the businesses.”

“We didn’t realize the popularity we’d created, and we’re not even open. My brother and Marty probably field hundreds of questions daily from people asking, when are you opening?”

“Three hundred people showed up our City Council meeting in a City Hall that supports minimal people. The community was behind us. The city was behind us. The city really kept on top of us and were very cooperative. We’re thankful for the guidelines they set. They’re making into a pristine operation by the expectation levels. Marty and my brother went beyond the realm with noise tests and dust tests. As you can see there are three water trucks out here. There’ll probably be four. We’re also putting in a whole underground water system. We’re putting up sound walls to protect everything to make sure this facility is one that remains in the community. I think with Marty and my brother guiding it, I think we’ve got a no-miss situation.”

Contact:

(909) 461-7721
www.competitiveedgemxpark.com (coming soon)