How about that. He actually did it.
Tony Stewart held off Martin Truex, Jr., and used a well-time body slam to get the best of Denny Hamlin, capturing a win for the third time in his 17-year career at Sonoma Raceway.
Things got interesting behind Smoke, too. Hamlin, typically an afterthought on road courses, came one turn short of his first win. Joey Logano earned yet another top five and suddenly looks like a road course ace. Truex rode aggression and a good car to a top five. Drivers like A.J. Allmendinger and Dale Earnhardt, Jr., showed speed early before issues marred their days late.
That all said, picking a top 10 for this week’s power rankings was no small task. But that’s what our contributors have to do, so they gave it their best shot.
Here’s what they came up with:
POWER RANKINGS: Toyota/Save Mart 350 Edition
1. KEVIN HARVICK (116 POINTS, +1)
6. BRAD KESELOWSKI (44 POINTS, -4)
“Quietly racking up the consistency to be a contender. Perhaps the quietest two-win season we’ve seen, in fact from a guy who likes to speak his mind.” – Bowles
“Don’t lie – you forgot Kez was even in this race, didn’t you?” – Bearden
7. TONY STEWART (41 POINTS, Prev. Unranked))
8. MARTIN TRUEX, JR. (33 POINTS, -1)
9. DENNY HAMLIN (29 POINTS, Prev. Unranked)
10. CHASE ELLIOTT (28 POINTS, -6)
CLOSE, BUT NO CIGAR
Two of Hendrick Motorsports‘ best will have to search for success in Daytona after having separate mediocre weeks in Sonoma.
Jimmie Johnson (27 Points) – “Johnson said they had planned to pit when Stewart did but they didn’t, but the debris that brought out the caution was from their car, so it wouldn’t have mattered when they pitted – they were still going to get screwed.” – McCole
Dale Earnhardt, Jr. (16 Points) – “Four runner-up finishes. Four wrecks. We saw a little bit of both potentially unfold at Sonoma. Will the real Dale Earnhardt, Jr. of 2016 please stand up?” – Bowles
|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.