After weeks – no, years – spent waiting for a new young driver to score a legitimate breakthrough in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series, fans of the series saw not one, but two future stars shine in the Irish Hills of Michigan.
In the end, it was Kyle Larson that got the best of Chase Elliott on a late restart to take a long-awaited first victory in the Pure Michigan 400 and stamp his name into the Chase field. With Larson’s win, he joins a group of young stars including Elliott, Austin Dillon and Chris Buescher on the preliminary Chase grid.
However, while the youth shone bright in Michigan, the veterans still have a stronghold over the sport.
Was Larson’s win enough to elevate him into the top 10? Did good runs from Elliott or Ryan Blaney help elevate them back into the field?
Let’s find out.
POWER RANKINGS: Pure Michigan 400 Edition
1. KEVIN HARVICK (95 POINTS, No Change)
2. BRAD KESELOWSKI (87 POINTS, +1)
3. CARL EDWARDS (72 POINTS, +2)
“Great run to 10th at MIS after the air hose snafu.” – Spencer
“Couldn’t back up past Michigan dominance with an ill-handling car most of the race.” – Turnbull
7. KYLE LARSON (34 POINTS, Prev. Unranked)
8. JIMMIE JOHNSON (30 POINTS, Prev. Unranked)
9. KURT BUSCH (27 POINTS, -3)
10. CHASE ELLIOTT (20 POINTS, Prev. Unranked)
CLOSE, BUT NO CIGAR
These two drivers each earned their way into the Chase with emotional wins over the summer, but they’ll need to pick things back up and find some luck if they hope to make it back into the top 10.
Martin Truex, Jr. (13 Points) – “What does this dude need to do to have a clean day? Car falls off the jack and its like he’s Fall-Apart Rabbit from Bonkers.” – Allaway
Tony Stewart (12 Points) – “Back-to-back tough races for Smoke. However, his won goal prior to the 2016 season was winning Darlington, a track he’s never been victorious at. Here’s your shot, Smoke. ” – Albino
|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.