Layne Michael and Craig DeLong Finish 3rd and 4th at Tomahawk GNCC

Coastal Racing team captured two top-five finishes in XC2 Pro Lites Class

The Husqvarna-backed Coastal Racing team captured two top-five finishes in the highly competitive XC2 Pro Lites Class on Sunday for the second running of the Tomahawk GNCC in Odessa, New York. Layne Michael prevailed through three-hours of rough, rocky and very dusty conditions to capture 3rd place while his teammate Craig DeLong finished in 4th.

Craig Delong, Layne Michael, Tomahawk GNCC, Coastal Racing, Husqvarna
DeLong (#11) and Michael (#523) are consistently good off the start.Photo Courtesy of Coastal Racing and Ken Hill

The Coastal Racing duo got off to a great start as DeLong powered his Husqvarna TC250 into the holeshot, with Michael close in tow aboard his Husqvarna FC250. Michael took over the lead on the opening lap with his teammate DeLong applying pressure from the 2nd place position. However, Michael encountered an issue on lap two when a rock caught his foot peg and nearly disjointed it from the bike. Michael was able to get himself to the pits where the Coastal Racing crew remounted the foot peg and sent him back out.

Meanwhile, DeLong engaged in a lead battle with Jesse Groemm and Trevor Bollinger, where he settled into the 2nd place position behind Bollinger. After stopping in the pits, Michael remained in the 4th place position for a majority of the race where he worked on reeling in the lead pack.

Layne Michael, Tomahawk GNCC, Coastal Racing, Husqvarna
Michael overcame a big deficit to ultimately finish 3rd for the day.Photo Courtesy of Coastal Racing and Ken Hill

As the two-lap card fell, both riders pushed hard to fight for a podium position. DeLong experienced a big crash on the final lap, which allowed Groemm to get by for 2nd while Michael moved into the 3rd and final podium position.

Jesse Groemm, Trevor Bollinger, Layne Michael, Tomahawk GNCC, Coastal Racing, Husqvarna
XC2 Podium: (left) Jesse Groemm, (center) Trevor Bollinger, (right) Layne MichaelPhoto Courtesy of Coastal Racing and Ken Hill

"Once I got going I was starting to feel good and fell into a pace to catch the front-runners, but then I lost my rear brakes for the last lap and a half," Michael said. "It's a bummer because I feel like I could have battled for the lead all day but to still end up on the podium is pretty good considering."

Following his get-off on the final lap, DeLong had trouble pushing hard in the final moments of the three-hour race, where he ultimately finished 4th for the day.

Craig DeLong, Tomahawk GNCC, Coastal Racing, Husqvarna
DeLong rode a solid three-hours to capture 4th place at the Tomahawk.Photo Courtesy of Coastal Racing and Ken Hill

"I felt like I rode well all race going back-and-forth for the lead," DeLong said. "But things started to go downhill with two laps to go - I had a big crash and lost about a minute and then started to have stomach issues with a lot of pain. I'm not happy with my finish but it's still a good ride, looking to rebound at Snowshoe in a couple weeks."

With eight races behind in the 2016 season, DeLong sits 2nd in the XC2 Pro Lites Championship Standings, while Michael sits just one point away from the 3rd place position.

Next event: Snowshoe, West Virginia - June 26, 2016

Results from the Tomahawk GNCC - Sunday, June 12
XC2 Pro Lites Results:
1. Trevor Bollinger
2. Jesse Groemm
3. Layne Michael
4. Craig DeLong

XC2 Pro Lites Championship Standings:
1. Trevor Bollinger (201)
2. Craig DeLong (177)
3. Jesse Groemm (142)
4. Layne Michael (141)