Second Place Finish at Limestone 100 GNCC Makes it Four-in-a-Row
SPRINGVILLE, Ind. (May 16, 2016) - Husqvarna-backed Coastal Racing's Craig DeLong extended his podium streak to four-in-a-row on Sunday with a 2nd place finish in the XC2 Pro Lites Class for round six of the 2016 Grand National Cross Country (GNCC) Series. DeLong's impressive performance at the Limestone 100 also serves as his sixth consecutive top-five finish, where he remains the only XC2 Pro Lites rider to finish inside the top five at every round thus far.
DeLong once again grabbed the XC2 Pro Lites holeshot as he led the 19-rider group into the woods for lap one. DeLong settled into the 2nd place position early on, where he hooked up with Trevor Bollinger to initiate an exciting battle to the front. The duo swapped the 2nd and 3rd place positions for a majority of the three-hour race where they eventually broke into the top two positions during the final hour.
On lap six, DeLong checked in with the lead over Bollinger but that soon changed as the two continued to battle closely into the white flag lap. DeLong ended up getting stuck late in the race, losing about 15 seconds to the leader of Bollinger, who was then able to make a clean break for the finish. DeLong ultimately finished 33 seconds back in the 2nd place position, where he continues to fight for a race win in 2016.
"It was a lot of fun battling with Trevor like we were," DeLong said. I ended up getting stuck a little at the end and that was enough for him to be out of sight and for me not to catch back up. I'm happy to keep the podium streak alive and battle for the win."
DeLong's XC2 Pro Lites teammate, Layne Michael, got off to a good start where he entered the opening lap inside the top five. The West Virginia native continued to work his way toward the lead pack but soon came to a halt when another rider made contact with his rear fender, causing both of them to go down. Michael quickly remounted and charged ahead but would find himself on the ground several more times throughout the three-hour race.
"I lost a few spots with the first crash and just as I started to make some passes I got tangled up again with Jesse Groemm and wrecked for a second time," Michael said. "I would have a few good laps going and then either get tangled with lappers or just plain wrecking by myself. It's a super frustrating weekend that I'm putting behind me and I'm looking forward to gaining my consistency back and to start clicking off some wins."
After six rounds of racing, Michael sits only six points behind 3rd place in the XC2 Pro Lites Championship Standings with one win behind him in 2016.
Next Event: Millfield, Ohio - May 29, 2016
Results from the Limestone 100 GNCC - Sunday, May 15
XC2 Pro Lites Results
1. Trevor Bollinger
2. Craig DeLong (HSQ)
3. Benjamin Kelley
4. Josh Toth
5. Jesse Groemm
6. Michael Witkowski
7. Austin Lee
8. Layne Michael (HSQ)
XC2 Pro Lites Championship Standings
1. Trevor Bollinger (153)
2. Craig Delong (129)
3. Jesse Groemm (101)
4. Layne Michael (95)
Overall Championship Standings
1.Kailub Russell (166)
2.Josh Strang (142)
3.Chris Bach (105)
4.Jordan Ashburn (84)
5.Daniel Milner (80)
6.Trevor Bollinger (77)
7.Ryan Sipes (66)
8. Craig DeLong (65)