DeLong built a commanding lead in the XC2 class before a serious crash saw a cushion of nearly 90 seconds evaporate.
“Thank goodness I’m with Motorcycle Superstore because my helmet needs a new visor. I smashed mine up on the get-off I had today,” DeLong said. “I was rolling good, being smooth and everything. I took a different line one lap and there must have been a stump buried by leaves or something and when I hit it I went flying over the bars.”
The visor on his Bell helmet wasn’t the only damage DeLong took in the fall. The rear fender was torn off and his muffler was crushed like an empty can.
“Everyone had a chance to close that gap on me, but I was able to finish the race and still build the lead back up a little before the end,” DeLong said. “It was a tough day for me for sure.”
DeLong completed the seven laps of the 16-mile course in 2 hours, 48 minutes and 44 seconds. Second-place rider Grant Baylor finished in 2:49:01.
“It turned out to be a good day,” DeLong said. “There were some moments there when I wasn’t sure if I’d get the bike back out on the track but I did.”
DeLong padded his season lead in the XC2 standings to 21 points ahead of Baylor with a familiar stretch of the schedule coming his way.
“The first few rounds of the year have always been tough one me,” DeLong said. “The first stops are softer with a lot of mud and I kind of like it where it’s rocky and a lot more technical.
“I was happy to make it through this race and I’m excited to get to Kentucky because it’s rocky there.”
Next for DeLong is the May 4-5 Mammoth GNCC in Mammoth, Ky.