After steady rain, brief confusion as to whether Jeff Gordon was back in the No. 24 and a few thousand “sick” days at work, NASCAR and its fans finally got to enjoy 400 miles of NASCAR Sprint Cup Series action at Pocono Raceway.
In the end, the trick to the Tricky Triangle proved to be fuel mileage, as the entire field – minus a couple drivers mid-pack – stretched their tanks for as many as 41 laps around the 2.5-mile superspeedway.
From wrecks-a-plenty to a dominant rookie, there was a lot to keep track of in the ordinarily mundane event. But our group still managed to come up with their top 10s after a long weekend in Pennsylvania, and even got them in for the usual deadline.
But enough about them, let’s get to the rankings.
POWER RANKINGS: Axalta ‘We Paint Winners’ 400 Edition
1. KURT BUSCH (126 POINTS, +2)
2. KEVIN HARVICK (107 POINTS, -1)
3. BRAD KESELOWSKI (101 POINTS, +1)
6. KYLE BUSCH (61 POINTS, -1)
“Not sure what bizarro world we were exactly in on Monday with the Toyotas not being the frontrunners.” – Kyle Pokrefky, The Fourth Turn
“He had a bad day at Pocono but that just means he’ll bounce back with vengeance.” – ‘ Jordan
7. MARTIN TRUEX, JR. (49 POINTS, -5)
8. MATT KENSETH (46 POINTS, +2)
9. DALE EARNHARDT, JR. (45 POINTS, Prev. Unranked)
10. JOEY LOGANO (42 POINTS, -1)
CLOSE, BUT NO CIGAR
Less than a decade ago these two drivers were dueling down the stretch for a championship. Now they find themselves fighting to claw their way back into our Power Rankings. Better luck in Michigan, gentlemen…
Jimmie Johnson (29 Points) – “Looked to be a strong contender until that crash on the restart and then he parked it. Been seeing a lot of that lately from the guys already locked in The Chase (see Kyle Busch) – if they’re not in contention late in the race…park it.” – McCole
Denny Hamlin (12 Points) – “Not the typical Pocono showing for Hamlin. Ahh well, as Milli Vanilli said – but may not have sung – ‘Blame it on the rain.’” – Bearden
|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, 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 others what your top 10 would be.
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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