With no new race to base driver rankings off of, we’ve instead shifted the focus to the races themselves. NASCAR is past the halfway point of the season with the newly-implemented low downforce rules package. While there have been both highs and lows throughout the year, the package has largely been deemed a success.
Because of the improved on-track product, picking favorite races from the year proved much more challenging than expected, but our panel of experts proved up to the task, selecting their 10 favorite Cup races of the season to date.
Here’s what they decided on, complete with creative race names and haikus in the case of one writer.
Note: Each race can be viewed on NASCAR’s YouTube channel. Simply click the link attached to the race’s name to enjoy each of the year’s top 10 events.
POWER RANKINGS: 2016 NSCS Race Edition
(Richmond International Raceway, April 24)
(Sonoma Raceway, June 26)
3. Daytona 500
(Daytona International Speedway, Feb. 21)
“People are always saying how restrictor-plate races are the worst thing to happen in NASCAR, and in the case of a few races, they’re kind of right. THIS race was an exception. I don’t think there’s been a 500 since 2011 that had me so much on the edge of my seat.” – Pete McCole, AutoRacing1.com
(Watkins Glen International, Aug. 7)
(Pocono Raceway, Aug. 1)
(Dover International Speedway, May 15)
“A.K.A. THE “CLOSEST KYLE LARSON HAS COME TO WINNING A SPRINT CUP RACE” 400″ – @AnnoyingRaceFan
7. GEICO 500
(Talladega Superspeedway, May 1)
(Auto Club Speedway, March 20)
(Charlotte Motor Speedway, May 29)
10. Food City 500
(Bristol Motor Speedway, April 17)
|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|
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.