ROCKSTAR ENERGY HUSQVARNA'S CRAIG DELONG RIDES
TO FIFTH AS GNCC SERIES OPENS AT BIG BUCK
XC1 PRO TEAMMATE TREVOR BOLLINGER A NON-FINISHER IN ROUND ONE
Delong was seventh on the opening lap and set his sights forward from there, climbing the leaderboard to fifth position by the conclusion of lap three aboard the FX 350. The 26-year-old managed to slot into fourth with one lap remaining, but lost out on the position to defending champion Jordan Ashburn as the checkered flag flew.
Craig Delong: "It was an alright day. I kind of struggled to make moves on the first lap, was a little bit behind, but got moving into my groove from the second through the fifth lap or so. I made a pass into fourth going into the last lap and held it for about halfway through it, but I struggled with some lapped riders and some different lines, so I went back to fifth and that's where I finished. I'm frustrated with that, what happened at the end of the race, but we will look ahead to round two now and see what we can do there."
It was an unfortunate way to start the 2023 GNCC Series for Rockstar Energy Husqvarna Factory Racing teammate Trevor Bollinger. He fell on lap two and wasn't able to continue and complete the Big Buck event, due to undergo further medical evaluation post-race.
After clinching the XC1 Pro championship last season, Husqvarna Motorcycles-backed Ashburn edged Delong for position to finish just outside the podium at round one, himself earning valuable points to open his campaign with a fourth-place result.
Next Round (2): Palatka, Florida – March 5, 2023
Big Buck GNCC Results
XC1 Open Pro Class
1. Steward Baylor Jr. (KTM)
2. Ben Kelley (KTM)
3. Ricky Russell (YAM)
4. Jordan Ashburn – Husqvarna
5. Craig Delong – Rockstar Energy Husqvarna Factory Racing
Overall Championship Standings
1. Steward Baylor Jr, 30 points
2. Ben Kelley, 25 points
3. Ricky Russell, 21 points
4. Jordan Ashburn, Husqvarna, 18 points
5. Craig Delong – Rockstar Energy Husqvarna Factory Racing, 16 points