Cabot Wins, But Schildhouse Tops Monday Night Racing Playoff Power Rankings
The Monday Night Racing Pro Series presented by Rowdy Energy regular season finale took place on Monday night and Adam Cabot reigned victorious. The Big Green Egg 120 at Chicagoland Speedway consisted of long green-flag runs, carnage, and even a little bit of drama.
With the regular season in the books, here is how the playoff Power Rankings look before we kick the postseason off at Talladega:
- David Schildhouse
A third-place run for Schildhouse was all he needed in order to clinch the regular season championship on Monday. Schildhouse closed the regular season with two wins, four top-fives, and five top-tens. He said after the race on Twitter, “Time to show ‘em it ain’t a fluke.” Driver No. 20 starts the Round of Ten just 7 points above the cutline but he is easily the championship favorite.
- Rajah Caruth
Remember what I said last week about Caruth being one of the best 1.5-mile racers on iRacing? He proved it on Monday. Caruth led some laps but ultimately came up one spot short. But, his second-place finish in the race was enough for him to squeeze into the playoffs by one point over Justin Mellilo. While the first two races of the playoffs might be a struggle for Caruth, if he can make it to the Round of Seven, he will be a lock for the Championship Four.
- Collin Fern
Fern’s performance on Monday was his worst of the season. His 19th-place result came after pit strategy went south early in the Big Green Egg 120. Fern ran in the back most of the event and was never able to rebound. He has failed to finish inside the top-ten in the past two races. The Brandonbilt eSports driver needs to reverse the tide as the Playoffs start in two weeks.
- Will Rodgers
Rodgers finished second in regular season points after a relatively quiet, but effective, campaign. He finished within the top-ten four times this season but was never able to capture a checkered flag. The Season Two Monday Night Racing Pro Series champion has had no problem with consistency this season, if he can continue in the postseason, Rodgers will be dangerous.
- Kyle Busch
Kyle Busch struggled Monday night in the NASCAR Xfinity Series cars at Chicagoland. Typically, you would consider Busch a race favorite no matter the track when these cars are used; that was not the case this week. Busch started towards the rear and was never able to make his way up front. The path to a MNR Pro Series championship will be tough for “Rowdy.”
- Ryan Vargas
Vargas peaked in the middle of the season and was arguably one of the best through the middle portion. But, the NASCAR Xfinity Series regular didn’t exceed his expectations on Monday. Vargas finished 26th after pitting with Fern early in the race and getting hit with a caution during the pit stop sequence. I think that Vargas is a sleeper and could make a deep playoff run.
- Adam Cabot
After starting the season hot, Cabot returned to his winning ways with his maiden victory of Season Four. Inconsistency has been the weak spot for Cabot all season, but the win on Monday night was all he needed to turn the momentum around. I believe that this playoff schedule suits Cabot’s skillset and he will be a force to be reckoned with this postseason.
- Max Kennon
The first driver below the cut-line to begin the MNR Pro Series playoffs is Max Kennon. After finishing fifth in the regular season championship, Kennon hopes to make some noise as he chases his first championship. Kennon, who has finished in the top-ten in three of the last four races, has proven himself as a championship caliber driver and could be an underdog moving forward.
- Preston Pardus
Tied with Kennon as the first driver below the cutline as we begin the playoffs is Preston Pardus. With three top-three finishes on the year, Pardus has shown he has what it takes. The only question is if he can run in the front of the field on a weekly basis. He finished 14th at Chicagoland Speedway; his best finish in the past four weeks. While he looked like a championship contender early in the season, that is not the case now as the regular season concludes.
- Josh Bilicki
Out of all the playoff drivers, Josh Bilicki was the worst in points. Bilicki ended the season 33rd in regular season standings, but his win at the Daytona International Speedway road course was all he needed to solidify his spot in the postseason. Other than his victory, Bilicki has yet to finish inside the top-ten in any race this season. The playoffs for Bilicki could easily be one round and out unless he finds some good finishes in the Round of Ten.