NASCAR Race Weekend Central

The 10: Prospects Going to Victory Lane, Perhaps Sooner Than You Think

Off weekends are a time to reflect, grow and speculate for the future in the NASCAR industry, both for the teams on the track, and those of us that right about them.

While race teams analyze their data from the previous months, looking for incremental gains to use going forward, we here at Frontstretch have taken the time to ponder the future stars of the sport.

With a breadth of young talent on display at Iowa Speedway and elsewhere, the off weekend provided plenty of great racing, and a glimpse at the race winners and champions to come. Going off that theme, we here at Frontstretch have come up with what we believe are 10 drivers coming to Victory Lane in the Sprint Cup Series sooner than you may think.

Without further adieu, here are this week’s special power rankings. We’ll be back next week to give you the 10 best drivers after left – and right – turns in Sonoma Raceway

POWER RANKINGS: Upcoming Stars Edition

1. CHASE ELLIOTT

(Photo: NASCAR)
(Photo: NASCAR)

“Like father, like son.” – Reid Spencer, NASCAR Wire Service

2. KYLE LARSON

(Photo: NASCAR)
(Photo: NASCAR)
“IT’S HARD TO BELIEVE HE’S STILL ON THIS LIST.” – @AnnoyingRaceFan

3.  ERIK JONES

(Photo: NASCAR)
(Photo: NASCAR)

“We have not seen anyone this strong in years. Name the last driver to dominate the NCWTS and NXS at such a young age like he has.” – Joseph Wolkin, Frontstretch

4.   AUSTIN DILLON

(Photo: NASCAR)
(Photo: NASCAR)
“Richard Childress Racing’s slow rebuild will get Austin Dillon to Victory Lane soon.” – Kyle Pokrefky, The Fourth Turn

5.  RYAN BLANEY

(Photo: NASCAR)
(Photo: NASCAR)

“Penske’s third NSCS champion.” – Spencer

6.   WILLIAM BYRON

(Photo: NASCAR)
(Photo: NASCAR)

“With three wins in nine Camping World Truck Series starts and a dominant K&N Pro Series East championship already under his belt, this kid’s hard not to sell as a future champion.” – Aaron Bearden, Frontstretch

7.   DANIEL SUAREZ

(Photo: NASCAR)
(Photo: NASCAR)
“If you can beat Kyle Busch out on the racetrack as he did at Michigan one week ago, you’ve got a future in this sport.” – Pokrefky

8.   RICKY STENHOUSE, JR. 

(Photo: NASCAR)
(Photo: NASCAR)
“Why not? One of the bright spots of the year over at Roush as it makes strides to get its program back to the top.” – Matthew Dillner, NASCAR

9.   BRENNAN POOLE

(Photo: NASCAR)
(Photo: NASCAR)
“This kid is the most grateful person in the XFINITY Series garage, and he is locked in with Ganassi for the long term.” – Wolkin

10. JOHN HUNTER NEMECHEK

(Photo: NASCAR)
(Photo: NASCAR)

“Multiple wins for his father’s team prove Nemechek has the talent. He just needs a route advance and show how great he can be.” – Bearden

 

A Special List

It’s rare that a person’s contributions cause audible laughter, but such was the case this week with Annoying Race Fan’s contributions. Get a load of this top 10.

“KEELAN HARVICK – I LOOK FORWARD TO WATCHING HIM WHEN I’M 50.

CHASE ELLIOTT – IT’LL PROBABLY HAPPEN THIS YEAR.

KYLE LARSON – IT’S HARD TO BELIEVE HE’S STILL ON THIS LIST.

KYLE LARSON’S KID – HE PROBABLY WINS BEFORE KYLE.

CASH BOWYER – I LOOK FORWARD TO THEM INTERVIEWING HIS DAD, CLINT, AFTER HIS FIRST WIN.

DALLAS STENHOUSE – THE FIRST DOG TO WIN IN THE CUP SERIES, SETTING A PRECEDENT FOR ALL DOGS LOOKING TO MAKE THE JUMP TO NASCAR.

DALE EARNHARDT III – IT’LL HAPPEN AT DALEADEGA SPEEDWAY (DALE JR BUYS TALLADEGA AND RENAMES IT)

MIKE HARMON – I STILL HOLD ON TO THAT SLIVER OF HOPE.

TREVOR BAYNE – NEVER MIND, HE WON THE DAYTONA 500.

DANICA STENHOUSE – SHE WINS AFTER SHE GETS MARRIED TO RICKY.”

Contributors

NameTwitter
Dustin Albino@DustinAlbino
Phil Allaway@Critic84
Aaron Bearden@AaronBearden93
Summer Bedgood@SummerBedgood
Tom Bowles@NASCARBowles
Greg Davis@GregMDavis
Sean Fesko@TheWriterSean
Michael Finley@FinleyFactor
Bryan GableN/A
Tony Lumbis@TonyLumbis
Toni Montgomery@ToniLMontgomery
Kevin Rutherford@surfwax83
Jason Schultz@NASCARJason
Joseph Wolkin@JosephNASCAR
NameTwitterPosition/Description
AnnoyingRaceFan @AnnoyingRaceFan I’M @annoyingracefan ON TWITTER (AND INSTAGRAM). PEOPLE CALL ME ARF. I’M A RELATIVE NOBODY.
MatthewDillner@MatthewDillnerNASCAR
Brian Eberly@beberly18Writer, Rubbings Racing, Motor Racing Digest
Mike Hembree@MikeHembreeWriter, USA Today
Ben Hinc@lemonlovrOwner, The Apex
Jerry Jordan@kicknthetiresOwner, Kicknthetires.Net
Pete McCole@PeteMcColeNASCAR Writer, AutoRacing1.com
The Orange Cone@TheOrangeConeI am an orange traffic cone.
Kyle Pokrefky@KPokrefkyWriter, The Fourth Turn
Reid Spencer@Reid_SpencerLead Writer, NASCAR Wire Service
Doug Turnbull@DougTurnbullAnnouncer, PRN Live, Atlanta Motor Speedway
Jim Utter@jim_utterNASCAR 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 few 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. 

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