Corona, CA - May 07, 2012 - From Las Vegas to Louisiana, it was a great weekend for Husqvarna off-road racers! Cory Graffunder and Kyle Redmond got the AMA EnduroCross series off to a healthy start while Andrew DeLong and Fred Andrews Racing (FAR) gave Husqvarna a historic return to the podium in the AMA National Enduro Series.
With temperatures in the 90's, Forest Hill, Louisiana played host to the Cajon Classic National Enduro, round five of the series. Recording times of fourth or better on each of the six tests, DeLong put his TXC310 into third overall, giving Husqvarna its first National Enduro podium in decades. "We made a few changes to my TXC310 this week," DeLong commented. "Obviously they paid off!"
Andrew pushed his TXC310 through the trees of Louisiana's Cajon Classic finishing as high as second in test number three. "It was really slippery; there were pine tree roots everywhere," DeLong described. "I just held on and tried not to crash, I was close a few times, but didn't hit the ground until about 15 feet before the finish."
Third overall marked a career-best for DeLong in the National Enduro Series. Andrew was also the only four-stroke in the top-ten at the Louisiana round. "I am just so proud of these guys," team manager Fred Andrews said. "Andrew and Nick both rode so well today. It was really a great day in the FAR pits!"
Nick Davis put in a solid effort aboard his TC250, but a crash on test five ended his day prematurely. The 17-year-old chose to pull out of the race after injuring his knee.
Cory Graffunder and Kyle Redmond got their AMA EnduroCross season started on the right foot. Both factory Husqvarna riders got their TXC310s into the main event, and recorded respectable finishes at the 2012 series opener.
The FMF/Stillwell Performance-backed Husqvarna TXC310s proved to be holeshotting machines in Las Vegas, as evidenced by the "Red Thunder" duo pulling several holeshots throughout the evening.
"I knew that the bikes were good," Graffunder explained. "In our heat race, I came into the first corner in the lead and thought it was pretty cool, then I looked over and Kyle was right next to me and pulling. The 310 is the bike for this series, and I know that we are going to continue to get great starts."
Unfortunately, both riders were promptly taken out in the second turn, relegating them both to the semi rounds. Redmond won his semi, and Graffunder qualified by the skin of his teeth with a second-place finish in the LCQ.
"It really felt good to get out and win the Semi," Redmond commented. "The bike worked great, and getting the win in the Semi was a big confidence builder."
Graffunder had a second-row start in the main event, which actually worked out decently for him. "My mentality was to just make it through the first lap without crashing!" Graffunder said with a laugh.
At the end of 12 laps, Cory crossed the line in seventh after battling with Mike Brown to the end. Redmond finished right behind him in eighth overall. "Last year I didn't make the main at the first round, so it's a better start," Redmond said. "We just started this team and a lot of things came together last minute. But we worked out some bugs today and from here on out it's going to be easier. The race bikes are dialed in, we have everything in place and we're looking forward to the rest of the season, for sure."
Seventh in the main event was good enough to qualify Cory for the Summer X Games. He will now join Kyle in the July event, which will happen at the Staples Center in Los Angeles.
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Grand National Cross Country: May 13, 2012 - Springville, IN
AMA EnduroCross Series: June 9, 2012 - Sacramento, CA
For more information on the entire 2012 Husqvarna line-up, please go to www.husqvarna-motorcyclesna.com. Head to your nearest dealership to pick up a copy of the 2012 RiDE MORE Catalog, available now!