Race Weekend Central

The 10: NASCAR Cup Series Power Rankings After Michigan

The Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series made its first stop in the Motor City this weekend. Well, close to it anyways. You could consider it Detroit’s backyard, sideyard, neighbor, etc. Geography lesson aside, we’ll just call it the track where all the manufacturers go to see their brand in Victory Lane.

This time, Chevrolet walked off with the trophy and associated bragging rights, courtesy of Kyle Larson. Larson and his Chip Ganassi Racing team did their best Lightning McQueen impression with their Cars 3 paint scheme. In a late plot twist, Larson came from behind to score the win, albeit with some help from a gift wrapped debris caution.

So, shall we see what this did to the Power Rankings? Well, our contributors have motors of their own. Like NASCAR engines, they run for miles on end and drown out everything around them. But did we hit on all eight cylinders this week? Or are we headed for the garage trailing a cloud of smoke?

How the Rankings Are Calculated: Frontstretch does our power rankings similar to how the Associated Press does them for basketball or football. Our expert stable of NASCAR writers, both on staff and from other major publications will vote for the Top 10 on a 10-9-8-7… 3-2-1 basis, giving 10 points to their first-place driver, 9 for second, and so on. In the end, Frank Velat calculates the points, adds some funny one-liners, and… here you go!

Total Votes


(Photo: NASCAR)

Kyle Larson

At this rate, I’d almost expect the No. 42 team to lobby to have all of the races moved to two-mile ovals. He could actually go undefeated. – Frank Velat, Frontstretch

First Place Votes: 5



(Photo: NASCAR)

Martin Truex Jr.

The No. 78 team is rolling in playoff points from all of those stage wins. I’ll bet Truex can’t wait for the postseason. – Bryan Gable, Frontstretch



(Photo: NASCAR)

Kyle Busch

The loneliest person at the racetrack for the last four weeks has been Kyle Busch’s PR guy. Even Sean Spicer has had better material to work with. – Pete McCole, Auto Racing 1




Jimmie Johnson

Clearly, Johnson must’ve listened to Taylor Swift’s advice in the face adversity. At Michigan, he “just shook it off” with a decent top-10 result. – Rob Tiongson, The Podium Finish



(Photo: NASCAR)

Chase Elliott

If you can’t have any wins at Michigan International Speedway, you might as well have three second-place finishes. – Bryan Gable





(Photo: NASCAR)

Brad Keselowski

Keselowski has only had a single top five in his last four starts and now has to try and make it work at Sonoma, where his average finish is 19th. – Pete McCole



(Photo: NASCAR)

Jamie McMurray

So quiet, smooth and reliable. McMurray’s just a notch or two away from truly contending for wins regularly like teammate Larson. – Rob Tiongson



(Photo: NASCAR)

Denny Hamlin

What a good teammate. Kyle Busch goes down early in the XFINITY Series race and Hamlin tags in to steal the candy from the babies. – Michael Massie, Frontstretch




(Photo: NASCAR)

Kevin Harvick

The Jimmy John’s driver got sandwiched at Michigan. I wonder if he thought that it happened freaky fast.  – Frank Velat




(Photo: NASCAR)

Joey Logano

Did anyone actually use the headline “Sliced Bread has a bun in the oven” for a story about Logano’s wife expecting? If anyone did, they deserve a promotion. I hear USA Today needs a new NASCAR writer – Michael Massie



Others Receiving Votes: Ricky Stenhouse Jr (6); Ryan Blaney (6); Erik Jones (1)

Who Voted: Bryan Gable, Frontstretch; Pete McCole, Auto Racing 1; Michael Massie, Frontstretch; Frank Velat, Frontstretch; Rob Tiongson, The Podium Finish.

About the author

Frank Velat has been an avid follower of NASCAR and other motorsports for over 20 years. He brings a blend of passionate fan and objective author to his work. Frank offers unique perspectives that everyone can relate to, remembering the sport's past all the while embracing its future. Follow along with @FrankVelat on Twitter.

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