Race Weekend Central

Adam Cabot Grabs Win at Auto Club in Monday Night Racing

After three overtime periods, Adam Cabot came out on top in the Interstate Batteries Monday Night Racing Pro Series’ Next Level Racing Throwback 200 at Auto Club Speedway Dec. 19.

Cabot, season four champ, was deemed the leader over defending season five champion Presley Sorah after the caution came out for The Big One in the second attempt of overtime. On the final restart, Cabot shot out ahead of the field as other cars battled for positions behind him.

Nick Olsen took second away from Sorah, while Leighton Sibille and Will Rodgers claimed fourth and fifth place, respectively.

Collin Fern, Justin Melillo, Robby Lyons, Joey Padgett and Ronnie Osmer completed the top 10 finishers.

Cabot joins Garrett Smithley, Chase Cabre, Corey Heim, David Schildhouse and Sorah in the playoffs. Fern also locked himself in on points after tonight’s event.

Tonight’s Action

The 1987 NASCAR Cup Series cars were in play Monday night, and boy, was it exciting. Cars battled for the lead all throughout the race, even spanning three and four wide across the 2-mile oval.

These cars were hard to drive, too, with multiple drivers missing shifts on restarts. Oftentimes, these missed shifts led to cautions for those behind unable to avoid a slower car.

See also
MNR Review: Sage Karam Steals the Show, Avoids Chaos at Mosport

There were quite a few cautions in the first half of the race that involved George Balfanz Jr., Preston Pardus and Ford Martin, to name a few. All these cautions allowed for several different pit strategies, and in turn, different leaders. Collin Fern battled Sorah, Cabot, Schildhouse and Blake McCandless for the lead from about lap 40 to until lap 50 when he made his green flag pit stop.

McCandless, who made his series debut, fought for first place with Schildhouse until the next caution came out for another multi-car incident involving Belfanz.

Since Fern and Cabot pitted before, they stayed out during that caution and restarted up front with about 37 laps left. But Schildhouse was strong and went to the bottom to take the lead.

After another caution, James Bickford found himself up front and dueled with Schildhouse for the top position until a yellow with about 20 to go. 

For the rest of the race, various drivers, like Cabre, Padgett and DJ Cummings, made their way to the lead as some of the field made their final pit stops. But fresher tires seemed to be better, at least until the final 10 laps. Fern had spun on his own with 10 to go and appeared to be out of contention for the win.

However, Cabre himself got loose while racing three-wide with Gary Sexton and crashed, setting up another restart with less than five to go.

Then an additional large incident occurred, with DJ Cummings, Osmer, Kase Kallenbach and McCandless all involved. Last week’s winner Sage Karam was parked for  having a second cause of incident against him.

Then, The Big One happened in the second overtime attempt. Bickford missed a shift and Schildhouse got turned, causing so many cars to get caught up in the carnage.

Sorah was thought at first to be the leader, but after further review, race control set Cabot to take the lead for overtime No. 3. Cabot hung on to win his first race of the season.

Matt Stallknecht and Ryan Vargas are tied for the last two playoff spots, while Justin Melillo is seven points below the cut line.

The series takes a week off and resumes Jan. 2, 2023. The Next Gen cars take on Talladega Superspeedway in the final race of the regular season, and the last chance to lock in a playoff spot. You can catch the race on Podium eSports’ Twitch or Frontstretch’s YouTube channel at around 8 p.m. ET.

About the author

Joy Tomlinson

Joy joined Frontstretch in 2019 as a NASCAR DraftKings writer, expanding to news and iRacing coverage in 2020. She's currently an assistant editor and involved with photos, social media and news editing. A California native, Joy was raised watching motorsports and started watching NASCAR extensively in 2001. She earned her B.A. degree in Liberal Studies at California State University Bakersfield in 2010.

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