ANDREW DELONG BACK ON TOP AGAIN
Andrew DeLong put his FAR Husqvarna back on top of the podium in the XC2 class and finished 4th overall!!!
The weather was in the low 100's (over 38°C) at the start of the race. This made for a very dry and dusty conditions in the extreme heat.
The woods where so thick with leaves on the tree's that the dust would raise up only to hit the leaves and come back down again.
When the flag was thrown for the start Andrew and teammate Nick Davis got off to a good start and headed into the woods in 6th and 7th place. Andrew and Nick passed a few riders in the first few miles. Nick was following Andrew when a vine that Andrew ducked for caught Nick around the neck and pulled him off the bike before Nick new what happened. Taking the wind out of Nick and costing him over 3 minutes.
Coming into the pit area at the end of lap 1, Andrew was in 4th place and Nick in 13th. Both Nick and Andrew had some work ahead of them...
With reports coming in from the GNCC spotters Andrew had passed his way into 2nd place and was closing in on the leader. Andrew was having to deal with a lot of dust when he caught the leader by the end of lap 2. Andrew had closed the gap to 11 seconds and Nick had passed up to 9th place.
Andrew was in a heated battle for the lead. Reports of the lead switching positions all the way around the track. This was a exciting race and everyone was listening for updates. The 3rd lap was going to be the gas stop for both FAR Husqvarna riders.
Andrew came into the pits for gas in 2nd place, but with a quick pit by Joe and Fred, Andrew left the pits in the lead. Nick was in and out in record time in his charge to get to the front.
Andrew made a small mistake on lap 4 and was passed for the lead. When Andrew got to the moto track he was all over the leader wanting to get the first place position back. Andrew was not letting up eating dust from the rider in front of him not letting him get out of his sight.
Nick pushed up to 5th place.
Nick was pushing hard trying to make up as much ground as he could with 2 laps left to go.
Andrew made the pass on the end of lap 4 coming by the pit area. He was ready to put the hammer down on the last last. As the 2 riders left the moto track Andrew was only 2 seconds ahead of 2nd. Nick was in 5th but made up one minute on 4th place. Nick was 15 seconds out of 4th.
Reports where coming in that Andrew was putting time on 2nd place. FAR spotter Phil confirmed that Andrew was putting time on 2nd place with a 20 second lead heading to the pit area. Andrew came by the pits and on to the moto track and across the finish line for his 3rd win of the season.
Nick made the pass for 4th only to make a mistake and lose some time and finish in 5th for the day.Andrew DeLong:
"Thats how I like to race!! I was just following waiting for a mistake to be made. It was HOT out and I was just waiting till the last lap to see if he had anything let. My TC worked great, My pit was so fast today. I just need to keep winning races, i missed the first to races so we need to keep winning and see where we end up in points!!"
"I got a vine around my neck just after the start. With the dust I could not see it. Andrew also hit the vine but did not get his neck like it did mine. I pushed had to get to 4th only to get sick the last lap and fall back to 5th. I need to make it through the first lap with no mistakes and I will do better."