Smokey Yunick’s machine struggled. Bobby Allison lost a motor. David Pearson crashed and Dale Earnhardt battled for position with… Dale Earnhardt?
If taken only in fleeting glimpses, Sunday’s throwback-filled Bojangles’ Southern 500 at Darlington Raceway may well have looked like the days of old. Liveries of stars retired or otherwise long gone filled the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series field and the only non-throwback scheme —Brian Scott‘s No. 44– met an early end after a collision with Allison… err.. Tony Stewart’s No. 14 Chevrolet.
Through all of the throwbacks and fun, however, a real race with championship implications played out. In the end, it was Martin Truex, Jr. taking his second victory of the year in one of the season’s four big races.
Truex’s win gave Toyota a sweep of the season’s grandest events and helped once again to remind people that the veteran’s near-win in the Daytona 500 was more than just a lucky fluke.
Did Truex finally rise to the top of our rankings with his first multi-win season? Let’s take a look and see.
POWER RANKINGS: Bojangles’ Southern 500 Edition
1. KEVIN HARVICK (99 POINTS, No Change)
2. BRAD KESELOWSKI (79 POINTS, No Change)
3. MARTIN TRUEX, JR. (75 POINTS, Prev. Unranked)
“Busch and his team could never seem to get a handle on the racecar all night. Managed to get up to fourth place but faded pretty quick.” – McCole
“Had a disappointing Southern 500, but still contends every week. His collapse-under-pressure days seem behind him.” – Turnbull
7. CARL EDWARDS (42 POINTS, -4)
10. MATT KENSETH (20 POINTS, Prev. Unranked)
CLOSE, BUT NO CIGAR
These two drivers both went in to Darlington looking for a win to build some momentum with the Chase approaching, but their hopes of winning were left in the past with their liveries. Better luck at Richmond, gentlemen.
Kurt Busch (15 Points) – “A FLAT TIRE TOOK HIM OUT OF THE RACE. PAUL MENARD’S FLAT TIRE.” – @AnnoyingRaceFan
Jimmie Johnson (11 Points) – “A promising start to the Darlington weekend turned sour in a hurry.” – Spencer
|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 just one. 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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