Race Weekend Central

Leighton Sibille Comes in Clutch at Chicagoland, Secures Spot in MNR Championship

Leighton Sibille won the Interstate Batteries Monday Night Racing Pro Series’ Next Level Racing 120 at Chicagoland Speedway Feb. 6 and will race for a championship at Homestead-Miami Speedway next week.

After starting mid pack, Sibille pitted a lap before most of the field and came out ahead of the pit cycle. The strategy worked through the rest of the race, as he retook first place with 12 to go after Collin Fern and Nick Olsen pitted.

Though there were multiple spins and crashes, the race stayed green and Sibille punched in his ticket to the Championship 4. It was quite similar to Christopher Bell’s clutch wins in the NASCAR Cup Series playoffs last year, as Bell also won two races before the next round.

Sibille joins Corey Heim, Adam Cabot and Chase Cabre in the battle for the MNR title.

Ryan Vargas finished seventh but it wasn’t enough to make it through. Matt Stallknecht, Joey Padgett and Presley Sorah were also knocked out.

In the race, Sibille won over David Schildhouse, who was upset with Heim’s actions near the end. Heim raced Schildhouse hard while 20 laps down, allowing Sibille to get a larger lead. Schildhouse said after the race that he’s “going to make Corey’s life a living hell” at Homestead next week.

See also
MNR Review: Pocono Welcoming to Some, Harsh to Others

Tonight’s Action

Adam Cabot began on the pole, but last week’s Pocono Raceway winner Heim had a fast car and got to the lead after about 24 laps.

Sibille started further back in about 22nd and decided to pit before most of his competitors around lap 31. Cabot, Heim, Schildhouse and Sorah all pitted the following lap. However, Sorah couldn’t make it onto pit road quite right; he missed the cone and remained in his pit box, going a lap down.

After the pit cycle, Sibille retook the lead over Cabot, Heim and Cabre. But like earlier, Heim moved back into first place around lap 43.

As the race went on, another set of green flag pit stops came about halfway through. Cabre spun entering pit lane and went around the cone but was able to make his stop without a penalty.

A few laps later, Heim had connectivity issues and had to drop out of the race for about 20 laps. That allowed Sibille to take advantage and move back into first place.

Sibille made his final pit stop with about 32 laps to go, about the same time that Heim raced Schildhouse hard, causing him to lose ground.

Sibille got back into the lead after Fern and Olsen pitted late. Then multiple trucks started having trouble, turning and spinning off of other vehicles. Many of them were able to save it with minimal damage, keeping the race green. As a result, Sibille came in clutch once again to make the Championship 4.

The championship race airs next Monday, Feb. 13 at 8 p.m. ET on Podium eSports Twitch or Frontstretch’s YouTube channel.

About the author

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 as a motorsports fan 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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