The Sprint Cup boys spent the whole day running from the top to the bottom of Michigan International Speedway… and everywhere in between. That led to several fantastic battles up front, but when they threw the black and white flag, Kevin Harvick was the first one across the line for his first victory on a track that didn’t require restrictor plates since 2006. Denny Hamlin spent the entire day complaining about his Toyota yet still wound up second, while Carl Edwards was the fastest car again at the end of the race but ran out of laps to seal the deal.
With Harvick taking the win, the voters took a real shine to the soon-to-be Budweiser Chevrolet. Check out the Power Rankings this week to see just how well Harvick made out, as well as the real battle that unfolded further down the list. At the center of it all is Jack Roush, who put three cars inside the top five at Michigan; was that enough for all of them to make moves toward the top of the Power Rankings? And while Kurt Busch done blowed up, was that lack of horsepower enough to send him tumbling out of the poll? This week’s NASCAR Power Rankings reveals all the movers and shakers after the year’s final trip to the Irish Hills.
|FRONTSTRETCH TOP-15 POWER RANKINGS: AUGUST 18th|
|Rank||Driver (First-Place Votes)||Votes||Last Week|
|1||Kevin Harvick (10)||219||1|
|We’ve been waiting three months to say this: Kevin, This Bud’s For You.|
|2||Tony Stewart (1)||200||4|
|He told us two months ago he was going to start making some highlight reels; turns out he meant through his finishes on the racetrack. And we just thought he was talking about turning somebody! Well, someone other than Boris Said…|
|Sunday Race Review: Took off like he was shot out of a cannon, then finished up like he was shot by one.|
|Two of the last five races, he’s ended them the fastest car on the racetrack. With that type of track record, victory lane isn’t far away…|
|It took two months, a handful of wrecks, a Twitter fine and some awkward moments, but on August 15th at Michigan, Denny finally Got His Groove Back. Whoopi Goldberg guest stars in the movie version, out in Chase theaters this fall…|
|Now that Richard Childress’s future is secure with Harvick, why does it feel like the next announcement coming out of his stables is Burton’s retirement to run for public office?|
|If not for plain old dumb luck, he’d have won three of the last four races. Really…|
|“Whatcha doing, Jimmie?” “Just waiting for the Chase, Chad.”|
|All of a sudden, barely 200 points ahead of 13th place. He cannot afford any more blown engines or contact with “Pretty Boys…” or ugly ones, for that matter.|
|Woke up just in time to save his spot in the Chase. But is just making the list of 12 a success when you know there’s no chance you’ll win the title?|
|Seen slipping David Reutimann a $100 bill before Michigan… Coincidence?|
|Kyle’s crew should get to scream at HIM on the radio after silly driving mistakes cause their lightning fast pit stops to mean absolutely nothing. Then, and only then, may the New Kyle finally come out every week…|
|13||Juan Pablo Montoya||83||12|
|Juan Pablo angry. Juan Pablo want wins. Juan Pablo have clearance rack $15 sunglasses with crazy colors. You get outta Juan Pablo’s way at Bristol, or else!|
|Red Bull better give him wings, ‘cause Bud has him 130 out of the Chase.|
|After winning Brickyard, said he didn’t care if he made the Chase. Thank God he won’t be upset, because subsequent finishes of 22nd, 6th, and 20th will ensure that happens.|
|Dropped Out: Mark Martin (15)|
|Also Receiving Votes: Martin Truex Jr. (53), Mark Martin (46), AJ Allmendinger (28), Joey Logano (28), Ryan Newman (27), Marcos Ambrose (18), Elliott Sadler (13), David Reutimann (12), David Ragan (11), Dale Earnhardt Jr. (8), Paul Menard (8), Regan Smith (5), Tony Raines (1)|
|Writer Voting Panel: Phillip Allaway, Brock Beard, Thomas Bowles, Bryan Davis Keith, Tony Lumbis, Mike Neff, Vito Pugliese, Mike Ravesi, Kurt Smith, Garrett Horton and Matt Taliaferro.|
About the author
What is it that Mike Neff doesn’t do? The writer, radio contributor and racetrack announcer coordinates the site’s local short track coverage, hitting up Saturday Night Specials across the country while tracking the sport’s future racing stars. The writer for our signature Cup post-race column, Thinkin’ Out Loud (Mondays) also sits down with Cup crew chiefs to talk shop every Friday with Tech Talk. Mike announces several shows each year for the Good Guys Rod and Custom Association. He also pops up everywhere from PRN Pit Reporters and the Press Box with Alan Smothers to SIRIUS XM Radio. He has announced at tracks all over the Southeast, starting at Millbridge Speedway. He's also announced at East Lincoln Speedway, Concord Speedway, Tri-County Speedway, Caraway Speedway, and Charlotte Motor Speedway.
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