NASCAR Race Weekend Central

The 10: Battles at the Brickyard

For the first 350 miles on Sunday, it seemed like the Power Rankings were going to be easy to compile. Track position was everything. Few drivers were making their way up through the field, and the laps were quickly ticking down.

Then, suddenly, bedlam.

The final 20 laps at Indianapolis Motor Speedway saw a myriad of cautions, with Chase hopefuls including Carl Edwards, Ryan Newman and others included in the carnage.

While none of the crashes or subsequent restarts had any effect on the winner of the race – Kyle Busch made sure of that – they did alter the outcome of this week’s rankings.

That said, let’s take a look at them.

POWER RANKINGS: Combat Wounded Coalition 400 at the Brickyard Edition

1. KYLE BUSCH (114 POINTS, +2)

(Photo: NASCAR)
(Photo: NASCAR)
“HE WON IN CARS SPONSORED BY NOS ENERGY DRINK AND SKITTLES, AKA “BREAKFAST FOR VIDEO GAMERS.” – AnnoyingRaceFan
 “After the Indy weekend, how could you vote for anyone else?” – Reid Spencer, NASCAR Wire Service

2.  BRAD KESELOWSKI (97 POINTS, No Change)

(Photo: NASCAR)
(Photo: NASCAR)
“Two straight races where a restart costed him a shot at a top-5 finish. Team Penske is trending upward.” – Dustin Albino, Frontstretch
“Even after getting caught up in that wreck, Keselowski still managed to soldier on to the finish instead of packing it in like Jimmie Johnson and Kyle Busch have done in the past.” – Pete McCole, AutoRacing1

3.  KEVIN HARVICK (95 POINTS, -2)

(Photo: NASCAR)
(Photo: NASCAR)
“Your butt can tell you a number of things.  Whether you’re feeling swampy, for instance. The feelings in Harvick’s butt indicated a potential flat tire.  Turned out to be nothing after he pitted. He was lucky to get back to sixth.” – Phil Allaway, Frontstretch

“Consistently the best Chevy on the track, but the Toyotas are better.” – Spencer

4.   MATT KENSETH (69 POINTS, +1)

(Photo: NASCAR)
(Photo: NASCAR)
“I NEEDED MORE STUFF FROM DOLLAR GENERAL, MATT. SECOND PLACE DOESN’T CUT IT.” – @AnnoyingRaceFan

“The No. 20 team finally has some momentum.  Is another late-summer run in the works?” – Bryan Gable, Frontstretch

5.  JOEY LOGANO (61 POINTS, -1)

(Photo: NASCAR)
(Photo: NASCAR)
“Drove with a livery filled with Team Penske moments. Nearly added another one.” – Aaron Bearden, Frontstretch

“Another weekend where Logano didn’t have speed, but somehow worked his way through the field late in the going.” – Joseph Wolkin, Frontstretch

6.   KURT BUSCH (51 POINTS, +1)

(Photo: NASCAR)
(Photo: NASCAR)

“Didn’t have the car at Indy, but Pocono’s less than a week away.” – Spencer

“Wasn’t the top 10 he was looking for, but KuBu extends his streak of finishes of running on the lead lap this season, which he’s done in every single race this year.” – Kyle Pokrefky, The Fourth Turn

7.   MARTIN TRUEX, JR. (46 POINTS, +1)

(Photo: NASCAR)
(Photo: NASCAR)
“The gap is much narrower now, but he has still led the most laps this season.” – Gable
“One thing after another continues to bite this team. This week it was a late race restart. ” – Albino

8.   TONY STEWART (39 POINTS, -2)

(Photo: NASCAR)
(Photo: NASCAR)
“HE PUT EVERYONE A LAP DOWN BY RUNNING AN EXTRA LAP, RIGHT?” – @AnnoyingRaceFan

“It’s no longer a question if he will compete for the championship, but can he win it?” – Jim Utter, Motorsport.com

9.   CARL EDWARDS (29 POINTS, No Change)

(Photo: NASCAR)
(Photo: NASCAR)
“Had my “Backflip Over the Bricks” headline all queued up going into the weekend. Instead, Edwards ended up with a crushed car, and the bricks ended up with crushed Skittles.” – Bearden
“If it wasn’t for a poor restart by Truex, we might have had a JGR sweep of the first four positions. Good thing they dodged THAT bullet – wouldn’t want people to think JGR is blowing everyone’s doors off.” – McCole

10. DENNY HAMLIN (22 POINTS, No Change)

(Photo: NASCAR)
(Photo: NASCAR)
“He’s a four-time winner at Pocono, but the last one was in 2010.” – Gable

“Probably the quietest of the four Joe Gibbs Racing Toyotas on Sunday.  He still finished fourth. Yeah, the Gibbs cars are good.” – Allaway

CLOSE, BUT NO CIGAR

Two sneaky top 5s elevated these drivers into Power Rankings contention, but it’s going to take another good run at Pocono Raceway to make the leap.

Jimmie Johnson (17 Points) – “Finished third at Indy. How he got there? I have no idea.” – Utter

Kyle Larson (14 Points) – “HE FORGOT HIS TOOTHBRUSH AT HOME. Y’KNOW, THE GIANT ONE HE WON AT ELDORA.” – @AnnoyingRaceFan

Others receiving votes: Chase Elliott (4), Austin Dillon (2), Jeff Gordon, Clean Air (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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