Race Weekend Central

The 10: NASCAR Cup Series Power Rankings After Bristol

The Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series went under the lights in Thunder Valley Saturday night for some high banked short track action. The racing there has been pretty clean of late, especially considering how um… unclean Bristol Motor Speedway once was. The Bristol trophy supply was clean too. Cleaned out that is, courtesy of Kyle Busch sweeping the weekend for the second time.

Busch scored wins in the Camping World Truck, XFINITY and Monster Energy Cup races, replicating his feat from 2010 during the same weekend. Busch remains the only driver to accomplish the unique trifecta.

So when it comes to the Power Rankings, was it enough to sweep Busch to the top of the pile? Well, most of our contributors would go to great lengths to avoid having to use anything remotely similar to a broom. Although Busch would have probably looked somewhat silly holding up a Roomba after his win. Regardless, it’s time to see who cleaned house and who got swept aside.

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, nine 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)

Martin Truex Jr.

A rare off-night for the Furniture Row team. Never could recover from the penalty.Phil Allaway, Frontstretch
First-Place Votes: 4



(Photo: NASCAR)

Kyle Busch

It was going to be Victory Lane or bust for Kyle Busch. You could see from the way he raced Kyle Larson at the end of the first stage, he was either going to win it or wreck it. – Pete McCole, Auto Racing 1

 First Place Votes: 2




(Photo: NASCAR)

Kyle Larson

Harry Gant’s 21st century counterpart remains Chevy’s best hope for this year’s title following a respectable ninth at Bristol. – Rob Tiongson, The Podium Finish




(Photo: NASCAR)

Kevin Harvick

As usual, the No. 4 team keeps piling up top 10s. Harvick has 15, only one behind Truex for the series lead. – Bryan Gable, Frontstretch



(Photo: NASCAR)

Denny Hamlin

His braking at the end of pit road only hurt him. On the bright side, at least it kept him from speeding in the pits. – Michael Massie, Frontstretch





(Photo: NASCAR)

Erik Jones

He’ll get that first win soon. I mean, if he watches his teammate enough, he could figure out how to win a race on a tricycle. – Frank Velat, Frontstretch



(Photo: NASCAR)

Matt Kenseth

He’s not out of the woods yet, but a 61-point cushion above the playoff cut line has to feel better than being only three points up if Jones had won. – Gable



(Photo: NASCAR)

Brad Keselowski

First, his Truck team announces its closing. Then, he has a flat tire at Bristol. What a week to forget. There was never a better time for Keselowski to have a beer sponsorship. – Massie





(Photo: NASCAR)

Jimmie Johnson

Does it really matter what Johnson does the next two races? We all know what’s going to happen once we get to those final 10 weeks. – Velat




(Photo: NASCAR)

Ryan Blaney

The jack of all trades finally scores his first short track top-10 finish, backing up a solid race on a hot August night. – Tiongson



Others Receiving Votes: Kurt Busch (10); Chase Elliott (9); Clint Bowyer (7); Ryan Newman (7); Jamie McMurray (4); Joey Logano (2); Trevor Bayne (2)

Who Voted: Bryan Gable, Frontstretch; Pete McCole, Auto Racing 1; Phil AllawayFrontstretch; 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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