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)
6. KURT BUSCH (51 POINTS, +1)
“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)
8. TONY STEWART (39 POINTS, -2)
9. CARL EDWARDS (29 POINTS, No Change)
10. DENNY HAMLIN (22 POINTS, No Change)
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
|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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