Fern, Schildhouse, Sexton Top Week Five Monday Night Racing Power Rankings
The drivers of the Monday Night Racing Pro Series presented by Rowdy Energy hit the dirt in Knoxville Monday night for the running of the Keller Williams Dirt Derby. After 65 laps, Ryan Vargas was able to secure the victory though Gary Sexton dominated most of the night.
There was chaos, per usual when you throw the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series on dirt. But, the cream still rose to the top as the usual suspects found themselves up front. Here is your Week Five Power Rankings:
- Collin Fern/ +1
There’s a new name atop the Monday Night Racing Pro Series Power Rankings this week and it’s no surprise. Fern has an average finish of 6.8 this season; highest among any of the MNR Pro Series drivers. The battle between Fern and David Schildhouse will be fun to watch moving forward.
- David Schildhouse/ -1
Both Schildhouse and Fern have set themselves apart from the competition so far in season four. As of right now, I think Fern is running better than Schildhouse, but they go back and forth. Both drivers are locked into the playoffs so the battles will continue as they fight for the championship.
- Gary Sexton/ –
If you’ve never dealt with heartbreak, ask Gary Sexton how it feels. After qualifying fastest, winning his heat race, and leading the first 40 laps of the main event, Sexton was involved in a wreck when lapped traffic was stopped in front of him. He was the fastest truck by a mile; well by four seconds over second place at the time of the incident. Sexton ended the night in 29th but the whole field knows who was best on Monday night.
- Will Rodgers/ +2
SpaceStation Gaming’s Will Rodgers leads the championship standings even though he is winless thus far in season four. Rodgers narrowly made the main event on Monday after having to race his way in through the last chance qualifier. Keep your eyes out for No. 65 the rest of the season because he is a championship favorite.
- Kyle Busch/ +3
Kyle Busch’s second place finish on Monday night propels him up three spots in the week’s Power Rankings. Busch has three top-two finishes this season but when he doesn’t win or finish in the runner-up spot, he has an average finish of 28th. Busch’s inconsistency is scary moving forward. But, the two-time Cup Series champion has always been known to do what it takes to win, and I don’t think that is any different on the sim.
- Rajah Caruth/ +1
Caruth had a good finish brewing on Monday until he wrecked coming out of turn four on the final lap. He ended up crossing the start-finish line in 19th at Knoxville. Caruth, who is not the most experienced on dirt, said before the race, “I’m a dirt guy now.” His passion for dirt racing on the sim showed as he ran in the top-ten for most of the event. Going back to asphalt ovals for the remainder of the regular season falls right into Caruth’s hands as he looks to make a playoff push.
- Preston Pardus/ -2
Preston Pardus struggled at Knoxville, finishing 26th in the event. Although, he was running towards the front of the field when he was involved in an incident with just five laps to go. Pardus currently sits comfortably in fourth place in points with two races to go in the MNR regular season.
- DJ Cummings/ -4
Taking advantage of one allowed drop race, DJ Cummings decided to sit out of the event at Knoxville. With the drop, Cummings sit just five points below the cutline and will need to be cautious but aggressive over the next two weeks.
- Ryan Vargas/ +3
Ryan Vargas is on pace to have his best career MNR season this time out. The JD Motorsports driver was finally able to score the victory, on dirt of all places. Vargas put himself in contention after running inside the top-ten most of the race and he was able to capitalize on the Sexton incident. He is locked-in to the postseason, I can imagine winning is all that’s on Vargas’ mind the next two weeks.
- Adam Cabot/ -1
Thankfully for Adam Cabot, his strong runs earlier in the year have allowed for his recent string of bad finishes to not destroy his playoff aspirations. Cabot has not finished in the top-ten since the second race of the season at Las Vegas Motor Speedway. With two asphalt ovals to close out the regular season, Cabot needs to capitalize if he hopes to chase the championship
- Gabe Wood/ –
Towards the end of last year, Gabe Wood was finally able to get his first win as he gained lots of momentum. Though Wood was eliminated from the playoffs at the time, his true skills showed. He was involved in two wrecks inside the last 16 laps on Monday night en route to his uncharacteristic 27th place finish.
- Garrett Smithley/ -2
From the top of the Power Rankings to the bottom, Garrett Smithley’s season four has been disappointing. Smithley is 17th in the championship standings currently and is slowly losing sight of a playoff berth.
- Steven Ellis/ +2
Slowly but surely, Steven Ellis is climbing up the Power Rankings as well as the championship standings. He is positioned 14 points above the cut-off line with just two races remaining before the playoffs and has a strong chance of advancing if he can stay out of trouble.
- Max Kennon/ N/A
Inconsistency has been the killer for Kennon this season. He has been up and down all season, but he still maintains a top-fifteen position in points currently. If Kennon wants to advance and make a run for the championship, he needs to put his machine towards the front of the field in the remaining regular season races.
- Robby Lyons/ -1
Lyons started the season hot but has cooled off recently, failing to finish inside the top-15 in the last three races. He currently sits on the cut-line, just five points ahead of 11th-place DJ Cummings.
Dropped Out: Ford Martin