FOURTH KEEPS CRAIG DELONG IN CONTENTION FOLLOWING TIGER RUN GNCC
ANOTHER CONVINCING XC1 OPEN PRO RESULT FOR ROCKSTAR ENERGY HUSQVARNA RIDER
Fresh from winning round three, DeLong was once again among the front-runners, despite a crash dropping him down the order in the opening stages. He was ninth at the end of lap one and made it into third by lap four, but would eventually take the checkered flag in a deserved fourth position. He sits third in the title race, only 13 points outside of the lead.
"I got a decent start and made a couple of passes early on to get into around fifth or so," commented DeLong. "And then I had a crash, went all the way to the back, and had to claw myself back up. In two laps I came from last to fourth, then just went back and forth between third and fourth through the rest of the race. Fourth was a good result in the end and the consistency is getting there, so we will keep pushing in these coming rounds."
Sixth position following the opening lap marked a solid start for Rockstar Energy Husqvarna Factory Racing teammate Trevor Bollinger, however, he unfortunately fell soon afterward and injured his shoulder. Despite remounting and running as high as fourth position, the effects of his crash ended Bollinger's day on lap two. He is currently 12th in the XC1 Open Pro standings.
"I finally felt like myself coming into the weekend – I was feeling racey," recalled Bollinger. "Got a bad start, but made some good moves in the first few miles. Unfortunately, around the four-mile mark, I crashed and landed on my shoulder. I got back up and was riding good, eventually making it up to fourth again, but my shoulder just wouldn’t allow me to go anymore. I'm super disappointed about this one."
Husqvarna Motorcycles-backed Jordan Ashburn raced to his first podium of the season, the reigning XC1 Open Pro champion claiming third position in South Carolina and is currently ranked fifth in the series.
Next Round (5): Society Hill, SC – April 16, 2023
Tiger Run GNCC Results
XC1 Open Pro Class
1. Ricky Russell (YAM)
2. Steward Baylor Jr. (KTM)
3. Jordan Ashburn (HQV)
4. Craig DeLong – Rockstar Energy Husqvarna Factory Racing
12. Trevor Bollinger – Rockstar Energy Husqvarna Factory Racing
Overall Championship Standings
1. Steward Baylor Jr, 98 points
2. Ben Kelley, 92 points
3. Craig DeLong – Rockstar Energy Husqvarna Factory Racing, 85 points
5. Jordan Ashburn, 64 points
12. Trevor Bollinger – Rockstar Energy Husqvarna Factory Racing, 4 points