NASCAR Race Weekend Central

The 10: The Best of New Hampshire

New Hampshire Motor Speedway was, as always, interesting.

For much of the race, it appeared that Kyle Busch and Martin Truex, Jr. were going to be the ones to beat, but everything changed over the race’s last 100 laps.

Suddenly, a flurry of cautions began to fall, and with them, the race began to see a shakeup. Busch and others fell back, while drivers like Tony Stewart and Greg Biffle surged into the top five.

With his victory, Matt Kenseth naturally saw a jump back into the top 10. The rest of the field, however, proved a bit more difficult to predict. Here’s what our experts decided.

POWER RANKINGS: New Hampshire 301 Edition

1. KEVIN HARVICK (106 POINTS, +1)

(Photo: NASCAR)
(Photo: NASCAR)
“Anyone would get mad driving to the front only to lose ground nearly every time you hit pit road in a race.” – Jim Utter, Motorsport
 “HE FINISHED 15TH AFTER TWO CONSECUTIVE WEEKS. HE’S LOST HIS EDGE, YOU GUYS.” – @AnnoyingRaceFan

2.  BRAD KESELOWSKI (96 POINTS, -1)

(Photo: NASCAR)
(Photo: NASCAR)
“Deserved a better finish, but it’s best for him if the late-race craziness happens now rather than in the Chase.” – Bryan Gable, Frontstretch
“Last week, he won the race. This week? He led a lap… while Joe Gibbs Racing chassis led 299. Team Penske has made major strides but clearly there’s some catching up to do.” – Tom Bowles, Frontstretch

3.  KYLE BUSCH (80 POINTS, +2)

(Photo: NASCAR)
(Photo: NASCAR)
“Led the most laps with only an eighth-place finish to show for it. If the race had stayed green in the final laps he might have pulled it off. He sure seems a lot happier kicking all the kid’s butts in the XFINITY Series, though.” – Pete McCole, AutoRacing1

“Fun fact: Want to know if Rowdy’s going to win in the XFINITY Series? Watch qualifying. All but one of his wins this year have come from the pole.” – Bearden

4.   JOEY LOGANO (71 POINTS, +2)

(Photo: NASCAR)
(Photo: NASCAR)
“Was one of several surprises in the top 10 after spending most of the New Hampshire race in mid-pack.” – Utter

“Six top-10 finishes in the last seven races, including a Michigan victory. So why does it seem like teammate Keselowski is in the stronger position to win a title this year?” – Bowles

5.  MATT KENSETH (62 POINTS, PREV. Unranked)

(Photo: NASCAR)
(Photo: NASCAR)
“Finally got a second victory, though how much he’ll celebrate failing post-race laser inspection depends on whether he has lost points or sore wrists.” – Bearden

“Back up front, penalty not withstanding.” – Utter

6.   TONY STEWART (48 POINTS, +3)

(Photo: NASCAR)
(Photo: NASCAR)

“Seventh or better in three of his last four races. That’s not Smoke, it’s fire!” – Utter

“That win at Sonoma was to Stewart what spinach was to Popeye. Smoke might have finally found his mojo with two straight top-5 finishes. He’s now safety 28th in point and just needs to finish out strong to make the Chase.” – McCole

7.   KURT BUSCH (39 POINTS, -4)

(Photo: NASCAR)
(Photo: NASCAR)
“APPARENTLY HE’S COMPLETED EVERY LAP SO FAR THIS SEASON. THAT’S LIKE PERFECT ATTENDANCE. I GOT PERFECT ATTENDANCE IN BIBLE SCHOOL ONCE.” – @AnnoyingRaceFan
“Supremely consistent, but needs to make it to Victory Lane more often.” – Bearden

8.   MARTIN TRUEX, JR. (28 POINTS, -1)

(Photo: NASCAR)
(Photo: NASCAR)
“TWO WORDS: PADDLE SHIFTERS” – @AnnoyingRaceFan

“Unbelievable.  Or perhaps very believable, considering how his season has gone.” – Gable

9.   CARL EDWARDS (27 POINTS, -5)

(Photo: NASCAR)
(Photo: NASCAR)
“Another driver with a strong car that was the victim of tire issues.” – McCole
“Ninth best on the list but only third best on the JGR totem pole (maybe fourth if you count Truex). Edwards has had such a strong season but he doesn’t want strong at this point in his career; he wants a title.” – Edwards

10. DENNY HAMLIN (23 POINTS, Prev. Unranked)

(Photo: NASCAR)
(Photo: NASCAR)
“Another top 10 keeps Hamlin’s momentum moving in the right direction at New Hampshire, but there’s still work to do if he wants to catch his JGR teammates.” – Bearden

CLOSE, BUT NO CIGAR

Two stars of the mid-2000s have made their presence known in recent weeks. However, they aren’t quite top 10 material just yet. A lip-locking session at the Brickyard could change that in a hurry, though.

Ryan Newman (16 Points) – “Can he put another top 10 on the board at his home track?” – Gable

Greg Biffle (12 Points) – Three-straight top 10s? Maybe it’s time to start sticking with the Biff again.” – Bearden

Others receiving votes: Ryan Blaney (4), Chase Elliott (2), Alex Bowman, Jeff Gordon (1)

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 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. 

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