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)
6. TONY STEWART (48 POINTS, +3)
“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)
8. MARTIN TRUEX, JR. (28 POINTS, -1)
9. CARL EDWARDS (27 POINTS, -5)
10. DENNY HAMLIN (23 POINTS, Prev. Unranked)
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
|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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