Love it or hate it, Bristol was a day of many storylines.
From drivers like Kyle Busch and Matt Kenseth struggling through tire issues to underdogs like Matt DiBenedetto and Trevor Bayne seizing the moment for surprising finishes, Sunday’s Food City 500 had more twists and turns than the Tennessee mountains.
With so many comers and goers, choosing the top drivers for this week’s power rankings was a tall task, but the voters did what needed to be done. Some drivers rose, others fell, and a few yet somehow managed to maintain their position.
Let’s see how each of the top 10 faired.
POWER RANKINGS: Food City 500
1. CARL EDWARDS (140 POINTS, +4)
“After a slow start to his tenure with JGR, Cousin Carl is showing the flashiness that teammate Kenseth did a few years back” – Sean Fesko, Frontstretch
“Given the way Edwards is running so far this season, Coach Gibbs may want to look into a fitness sponsor for those backflips.” – Aaron Bearden, Frontstretch
“Highly unlikely that this will be a one-win season for Edwards. In fact, it’s surprising that last Sunday was his first victory of the season.” – Summer Bedgood, Frontstretch
2. KEVIN HARVICK (122 POINTS, +1)
3. DALE EARNHARDT, JR. (101 POINTS, +3)
4. KYLE BUSCH (100 POINTS, -3)
5. JIMMIE JOHNSON (96 POINTS, -3)
6. JOEY LOGANO (69 POINTS, -2)
“Logano is putting together a quiet season so far. No wins but fourth in the points” – Fesko
“Wasted a fast car with mistakes, and the recovery was too little, too late.” Gable
7. KURT BUSCH (62 POINTS, +1)
10. DENNY HAMLIN (30 POINTS, Prev. Unranked)
“The only other Joe Gibbs driver to finish in the top 20 on Sunday – salvaging a respectable finish to keep him in the top 10 in points.” – McCole
“All of the JGR tire trouble with little of the early success. Largely a forgettable weekend for the Daytona 500 champ.” – Bearden
CLOSE, BUT NO CIGAR
One was predicted by a few to win, while the other wasn’t even predicted to finish in the top 20. Still, these two drivers both came up just short of the top 10 after Bristol.
Brad Keselowski (17 Points, Finished 18th) – “Tough luck in Bristol. ” – Albino
Matt DiBenedetto (12 Points, Finished 6th) – “When was the last time the little guy finished this great? When was the last time the little guy got a post-race, televised interview? Congrats, DiBurrito!” – Fesko
|AnnoyingRaceFan||@AnnoyingRaceFan||I’M @annoyingracefan ON TWITTER (AND INSTAGRAM). PEOPLE CALL ME ARF. I’M A RELATIVE NOBODY.|
|Brian Eberly||@beberly18||Writer, Rubbings Racing, Motor Racing Digest|
|Mike Hembree||@MikeHembree||Writer, USA Today|
|Ben Hinc||@lemonlovr||Owner, The Apex|
|Jerry Jordan||@kicknthetires||Owner, Kicknthetires.Net|
|Pete McCole||@PeteMcCole||NASCAR Writer, AutoRacing1.com|
|The Orange Cone||@TheOrangeCone||I am an orange traffic cone.|
|Kyle Pokrefky||@KPokrefky||Writer, The Fourth Turn|
|Reid Spencer||@Reid_Spencer||Lead Writer, NASCAR Wire Service|
|Doug Turnbull||@DougTurnbull||Announcer, PRN Live, Atlanta Motor Speedway|
|Jim Utter||@jim_utter||NASCAR Editor, Motorsport.com|
How they’re made: Following the conclusion of each NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race, members of a voting panel including Frontstretch writers, other members of accredited media including Motorsport, NASCAR and USA Today, as well as writers from other sites and social media favorites, submit their top 10 drivers for the Power Rankings. The drivers are then given points based off their position, with first place getting 10 points, and each subsequent driver getting one fewer point until the 10th-place driver, who gets a lone point. Points are then tallied, and the rankings are created.
Do you agree with our rankings? Think someone got snubbed, or that one of the top drivers is overrated? Let us know in the comments, and tell us who raced their way into your top 10.
About the author
A graduate of Ball State, Aaron rejoins Frontstretch for his second season in 2016 following a successful year that included covering seven races and starting the popular "Two-Headed Monster" column in 2015. Now in his third year of covering motorsports, Aaron serves as an Assistant Editor for Frontstretch while also contributing to other popular sites including Speed51 and The Apex. He encourages you to come say hi when you see him at the track.
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