It was a bittersweet day for Rockstar Energy Husqvarna Factory Racing as Josh Strang claimed 2nd place at the first GNCC of 2015, while teammate Andrew Delong was less fortunate. A new location for GNCC, the “Hog Waller Flats,” in sunny Palatka, Florida made for lots of excitement and drama as the racers charged through mud and sand and combatted humidity.
Off of the start for the afternoon race, Josh Strang came out 2nd with teammate Andrew DeLong not far behind. Battling for lines through a pair of diabolical mud holes and tight trees, riders lost bikes to the liquid earth. Strang navigated the swampland and maintained a 2nd place position for most of the race. In his first GNCC on the Husqvarna FC 450, Strang took home the silver medal.
“Today was great. I love riding in Florida, and although it was hot and there were some challenging areas, I felt really good on the bike. I look forward to the next round,” said Strang.
Andrew DeLong started out in the front of the pack but experienced an early race crash resulting in an injury that forced him out of the remainder of the race. He will seek medical evaluation on what appears to be a collar bone injury.
“Round 1 didn’t start the way I wanted to for the GNCC season. I will wait to see the extent of my injury but hope to be back at it soon thanks to the support of my team and sponsors,” explained DeLong.
Despite the day’s misfortune for Andrew, Husqvarna made a statement, claiming 5 of the top ten overall finishes. Behind Strang’s podium finish, Husqvarna rider, Thad Duvall, made an impressive charge to 4th place in the XC1 Pro class and 4th overall. Right on his heels was Husqvarna Canada Factory Racer, Tyler Medaglia, who visited Florida a tourist and took home a 5th place finish in XC1 Pro and 5th overall. Rockstar Energy athlete and Husqvarna Factory supported Ryan Sipes also stayed ahead of the pack finishing out 6th in XC1 Pro and 7th overall. Nick Davis also aboard a Husqvarna took home the XC2 Pro Lites win and finished 5th overall!