Less downforce or not, a lot of the same faces shined bright at Michigan International Speedway.
Amid the hype of the rules package changes, Joey Logano and Chase Elliott dominated much of Sunday’s Firekeepers Casino 400 in the Irish Hills of Michigan. Behind them, familiar mainstays from recent weeks filled the top 10, including Kevin Harvick, Carl Edwards and Kyle Larson.
Still, there we surprises to be had. Tony Stewart looked every bit the Smoke of old in a consistent seventh-place performance. Kyle Busch continued an uncharacteristic streak with his fourth-straight finish outside of the top 30, and Dale Earnhardt, Jr. again crashed at a track where he was expected to excel.
Were the few surprises enough to switch up the rankings, or did the consistent showings from some of the sport’s best keep them similar?
Let’s find out what our contributors decided.
POWER RANKINGS: Firekeepers Casino 400 Edition
1. KEVIN HARVICK (116 POINTS, +1)
6. CARL EDWARDS (76 POINTS, -2)
“Got a victory at Sonoma nearly two years ago, and Roush Fenway Racing has not had a points-paying win in the Cup Series since then.” – Gable
“HIS CAR WAS GREEN IN HONOR OF THE IRISH HILLS. OH, NEVERMIND, IT WAS SPONSORED BY SUBWAY.” – @AnnoyingRaceFan
7. MARTIN TRUEX, JR. (41 POINTS, No Change)
8. JIMMIE JOHNSON (36 POINTS, Prev. Unranked))
9. KYLE BUSCH (31 POINTS, -3)
10. KYLE LARSON (26 POINTS, Prev. Unranked)
CLOSE, BUT NO CIGAR
Two of NASCAR’s most popular drivers find themselves just outside of the top 10 following a trip to the Irish Hills after vastly different days. If either of them can put together a strong run at Sonoma, they just might find themselves back in the rankings.
Dale Earnhardt, Jr. (20 Points) – “HIX AXALTA PAINT SCHEME PAINTED THE WALL IN TURN TWO.” – @AnnoyingRaceFan
Tony Stewart (16 Points) – “He had his best weekend from start to finish since his return.” – Utter
|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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