Anyone who thinks a restrictor plate race can’t be dominated need look no further than Brad Keselowski’s drubbing of the field in Saturday’s Coke Zero 400 to be proven wrong.
Driving a strong No. 2 Ford, Keselowski fended off a wealth of challengers, including brothers Kurt and Kyle Busch, to claim his first victory at Daytona International Speedway, and his second-straight restrictor plate win.
With a series-best three victories to his name, Keselowski caught the eye of our contributors and saw a substantial leap up. However, ranking the rest of the field following Saturday’s 22-car melee proved to be as difficult for us as dodging it was for the drivers.
Thankfully, Frontstretch’s experts were up for the challenge.
POWER RANKINGS: Coke Zero 400 Edition
1. BRAD KESELOWSKI (122 POINTS, +5)
6. CARL EDWARDS (48 POINTS, -3)
“Survived the big wreck. Clobbered by a small one.” – Spencer
“Cousin Carl’s still looking to shake his summer slump after getting acquainted with the outside wall for the second-straight plate race.” – Bearden
7. CHASE ELLIOTT (41 POINTS, +3)
8. MARTIN TRUEX, JR. (31 POINTS, No Change)
9. AUSTIN DILLON (30 POINTS, Prev. Unranked)
10. TONY STEWART (23 POINTS, -3)
CLOSE, BUT NO CIGAR
Two Chevrolet drivers in their 40s – both by number, one by age – came close to making their way into the top 10 on Saturday, both both fell just short. Perhaps a trip to Sparta, Kentucky, will be enough to vault them back into the rankings.
Jimmie Johnson (21 Points) – “JJ hasn’t found Victory Lane since the West Coast Swing, but until he’s knocked out of the Chase, you just can’t rule him out.” – Bearden
Kyle Larson (20 Points) – “Within 19 points of the Chase after missing Daytona’s big one; teammate Jamie McMurray was the one that got turned to start it. Two men headed in very opposite directions these days over at Chip Ganassi Racing.” – 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.