Husqvarna’s Andrew DeLong starts out GNCC season with top-five finish at Florida opener

Premier class rookie rides strong to fifth place finish at Moose Racing Mud Mucker GNCC.

The Moose Racing Mud Mucker GNCC certainly lived up to its name for the 2014 season opener of the Grand National Cross Country (GNCC) series. Beautiful skies and thick mud welcomed racers to Bunnell, Florida, where factory Husqvarna’s Andrew DeLong lined up for his career-first race in the XC1 division. It was by no means a flawless race, but the premier-class rookie was proud to end the day fifth overall on his FE 350. 

Andrew started the race at a disadvantage after getting caught up in a first-turn tangle, but re-mounted his Husqvarna FE 350 and quickly got himself into the top-ten in the opening laps of the race. ‘I didn’t push too hard in the first hour or so,’ DeLong explained. ‘But then I started to pick it up and I rode really strong toward the end.’ 

Another tangle left Andrew with some damaged bodywork, but an efficient pit stop quickly got him back into the running. True to form, DeLong relied on his conditioning to save the best for last, and he was able to close in on the top riders late in the race, moving from sixth into fifth on the last lap. 

‘Andrew put forth a solid effort today and we’re very happy to start the season off with a top-five,’ said Factory Husqvarna Race Team Manager Andy Jefferson. ‘We’re confident he’s going to grow stronger throughout the season and we’re already looking forward to GNCC round two next weekend in Georgia.’ 

Andrew wasn’t the only DeLong on the podium. Younger brother Craig DeLong not only topped his 250 A division aboard his Husqvarna, but was the first overall A rider, and carded with 16th overall! 

DeLong will be joined by his Factory Husqvarna teammate Mike Brown next weekend for round two of the GNCC season. Brownie will be contesting The Maxxis General in Washington, Georgia where he and Andrew will both be gunning for the podium.

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