Another week of rain showers, but this time Mother Nature got the best of NASCAR. After four rain delays and hours of starting and stopping the race to dry the track, NASCAR officials called it with 62 laps to go when the skies opened up and took final control of the day. Kurt Busch was declared the winner giving him two victories so far this season.
The ‘Heartbreak Award’ surely goes to Kyle Larson who was playing the fuel-mileage game knowing that weather was in the area. He had no choice but to pit for fuel just three laps before the rain came and halted the race for the final time. Meanwhile, for the first time in what seems forever, Kevin Harvick had a bad race. Although he was one of the dominant cars and led a total of 63 laps, Harvick lost a valve stem on a tire, had to pit and was never able to recover. He would finish 29th. Martin Truex Jr. continued his stellar season with another top-10 finish. That’s 14 top-10 finishes in the first 15 races which ties Richard Petty who managed that same feat in 1969.
Teams are off this coming weekend as they prepare for the West Coast trip to Sonoma and the first road course of the season. See if your favorite driver made the top 15 after Michigan.
How The Rankings Are Calculated: Frontstretch does our power rankings similar to how the Associated Press does them for basketball or football. Our expert stable of NASCAR writers, both on staff and from other major publications will vote for the top 20 on a 20-19-18-17… 3-2-1 basis, giving 20 points to their first-place driver, 19 for second, and so on. In the end, Mike Mehedin calculates the points, adds some funny one-liners, and… here you go!
Still three-tenths faster than anyone in the field. But the number of small mistakes are beginning to add up; Harvick should have six wins at this point, not two. Tom Bowles, Frontstretch
First Place Votes: 2
I bet this time last year Truex would have never thought his name would be mentioned in the same sentence as Petty just 365 days later. Tony Lumbis, Frontstretch
First Place Votes: 4
Always good to see that rivalry strike up again with Harvick. Don’t be surprised to see those fans flamed again during the Chase. Tom Bowles, Frontstretch
Earnhardt Jr. had a quiet day on Sunday, but thanks to pit strategy was in position to pounce at the end of the race. That’s a good sign for the team. Phil Allaway, Frontstretch
Johnson had a poor finish at Michigan, but then he can afford that a few more times or even more before the Chase begins. Dwight Drum, RaceTake.com
After winning the rain delayed Richmond event and the rain shortened Michigan race, Busch may have officially taken the “Rain Man” title away from Matt Kenseth. Tony Lumbis, Frontstretch
One of only two Fords inside the Frontstretch Power Rankings. That’s telling. Tom Bowles, Frontstretch
Kenseth finally finished better than Harvick without winning. That’s been tough to do. Dwight Drum, RaceTake.com
McMurray has to be wondering if he will be the next driver high in points to get an all-important win. Truex did. Dwight Drum, RaceTake.com
Slipped back a bit after winning the Michigan pole. But Hendrick equipment plus raw speed will be the right combination to earn Kahne a victory at some point. Tom Bowles, Frontstretch
Three top-11 finishes, one pole in the last four races. But he also hasn’t contended for victory since Martinsville in March. Tom Bowles, Frontstretch
Menard continues to show up strong even though media radar ignores him. He may not win, but the No. 27 is likely to make the gauntlet known as the Chase. Dwight Drum, RaceTake.com
Gordon’s team is having a bit of a meltdown recently. For someone in his final Cup season, he sure isn’t enjoying it much. Phil Allaway, Frontstretch
The only one in Michigan wishing that blob of green on the radar was just a little bit bigger. Tony Lumbis, Frontstretch
Thank goodness Quicken Loans was also the title sponsor of the race because you wouldn’t have known they were the primary sponsor of Newman this weekend. Lack of speed and a disappointing 18th-place finish. Michael Mehedin, Frontstretch