Rockstar Energy Husqvarna Factory Racing’s Craig DeLong battled adverse course conditions at Sunday’s John Penton GNCC, salvaging sixth-place in the XC1 Open Pro class in Millfield, Ohio. Round 7 of the Grand National Cross Country (GNCC) Series brought challenges for teammate Trevor Bollinger, too, as he fought through a clutch issue in the second half of racing to ultimately finish just behind DeLong in seventh.
DeLong didn’t get the most favorable jump off the start and he found himself facing a lot of roost while charging toward the front. Heavily motivated to gain positions, DeLong had propelled himself into sixth by the second lap. Halfway into the three-hour race, DeLong went to battle with Josh Toth for sixth, eventually settling into the seventh-place spot for the remainder of the race.
“I got a bad start and I was in last right off the bat,” DeLong said. “I got roosted a lot and just kind of hung out in the back. I got stuck on a couple hillclimbs on the second lap and XC2 caught up and passed me – I was just in the back playing catch-up. It was just an off day for me, uncharacteristic, with too many mistakes.”
Teammate Trevor Bollinger was running in fourth aboard his FX 350 early on, progressing to third by the second lap of racing. Around the halfway point, Bollinger experienced a mechanical issue that he wrestled with until the end of the three-hour race. He lost a few positions while navigating the deeply rutted course without a clutch, Bollinger ultimately got scored seventh in class.
“I went into the woods third and had myself in a good position early on,” Bollinger said. “I had an issue with the clutch and ended up riding the last three laps with no clutch, and it was pretty gnarly on a rutty track. I could barely get around, so we ended up seventh.”
Husqvarna Motorcycles-mounted rider Jordan Ashburn earned his fourth podium finish of the season with a solid third at Round 7.
Scoring her second overall win of the season and third in WXC, Husqvarna Motorcycles-mounted rider Tyla Jones put herself in a good position at the start of the 10 a.m race. She climbed from third to the lead halfway through and she held steady all the way to the checkers.
Next Round: Mount Morris, Pennsylvania – June 5, 2022
The John Penton GNCC Results
XC1 Open Pro Class
1. Josh Strang (KAW)
2. Ricky Russell (GAS)
3. Jordan Ashburn (HQV)
6. Craig DeLong – Rockstar Energy Husqvarna Factory Racing Team
7. Trevor Bollinger – Rockstar Energy Husqvarna Factory Racing Team
Overall Championship Standings
1. Ben Kelley, 180 points
2. Jordan Ashburn, 136 points
3. Trevor Bollinger – Rockstar Energy Husqvarna Factory Racing Team, 118 points
4. Craig DeLong – Rockstar Energy Husqvarna Factory Racing Team, 108 points