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The 10: NASCAR Cup Series Power Rankings After Homestead

Entering Homestead, the Championship 4 was labeled as one of the best fields of four we have ever seen. Sunday’s race was proof that the label wasn’t false as all four championship contenders had a chance. The feud between Joey Logano and Martin Truex Jr. was rekindled at the end and ended the same way it did at Martinsville in October with Logano in Victory Lane.

Logano earned Roger Penske his second Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series championship and helped give Ford its first since 2004 with Kurt Busch. With the championship victory, Logano earns the top spot in our Power Rankings but how did the rest pan out?

1. Joey Logano (+2)

Logano finally earned his first career NASCAR championship Sunday by defeating Truex late in the race. Logano had a powerful Shell/Pennzoil Ford Fusion on Sunday, leading a race-high 80 laps. If he hadn’t led the final 12 laps of the race, Logano would’ve watched the champion celebrate from pit road. The powerful move on Truex late was what landed Logano the championship.

2. Martin Truex Jr. (+2)

Truex was one position away from hitting that walk-off home run to send Furniture Row Racing into the sunset with a championship. It was a strong season for the driver of the No. 78 and it was capped off with his best finish since Watkins Glen in August. Truex is headed to Joe Gibbs Racing in 2019 and it could result in a good combination.

3. Kevin Harvick (-2)

The dominant season Harvick had was enough to earn him a spot at Homestead, but there weren’t many positives at Homestead. The No. 4 team landed a third-place finish and ending the season third in the championship points. It’ll be interesting to see if he can pull the same amount of dominance he had last season.

4. Kyle Busch (-2)

Busch’s own pit crew put him in a bind twice in Sunday’s race. The final stop was when the organization landed him the lead, but he couldn’t hold off the other three playoff drivers and finished fourth. It’s his worst finish in the points standings since 2014 where he finished 10th. Who knows what the No. 18 team can do in 2019 with Cole Pearn and Truex on the same team instead of on separate teams?

5. Chase Elliott (+1)

Three career victories all coming in 2018. The year was nowhere near a failure but Elliott was able to represent Chevrolet in a time when they really needed a leader. The Hendrick organization had a lot of change in 2018 which could make things very interesting in 2019 when the organization is making even more changes.

It could be amazing to watch Elliott enter the season with the momentum he had toward the end of this season.

6. Kurt Busch (-1)

It’s very sad to see Kurt Busch leave Stewart-Haas Racing. He’s been a staple member of the organization since 2014 and recently has been pulling a good amount of success behind the No. 41. It would’ve been very interesting to see what would have happened if he would’ve entered Sunday’s race with a chance at winning the title.

7. Aric Almirola

Aric Almirola put the No. 10 car in places we haven’t seen in a very long time. Scott Riggs and Johnny Benson were the last two drivers to really put that car in competitive places.

Almirola earned his career-best points finish of fifth and added on to his career-best amount of top 10s on Sunday with his 17th top-10 finish of the season.

8. Brad Keselowski

It was an interesting season for Keselowski who didn’t earn his first victory until September at Darlington. Keselowski landed Penske two crown jewel victories that team owner Roger Penske had yet to earn but didn’t compete for the championship like in years past. Keselowski will have a new spotter in 2019 as Joey Meier will not be on the stand for the No. 2 car.

9. Kyle Larson

Larson was about to prove to everyone that he wasn’t going to just let anyone win the race at Homestead. He rode the wall most of the race until that wall came too close. He ultimately lost a tire as a result of the contact, putting the No. 42 out of contention for the victory. Larson will have a new teammate in 2019 and it’ll be interesting to see what’ll happen with that organization next year.

10. Matt Kenseth (NR)

Kenseth didn’t earn a win in what could be his final two career races but he did earn two straight top-10 finishes in the No. 6 car, extending his streak of top 10s to 21 years, every year of his career. It is good to see some good things headed in the right direction for that team in a year that was otherwise forgettable.

Ryan Newman moves into this car next season and it will be interesting to see what will come of the new driver.

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About Christian Koelle

Christian Koelle
Christian Koelle returns to Fronstretch in 2019 in a little different form. After a year and a half of being a news writer, Koelle will contribute ARCA Racing Series presented by Menards content and photography in multiple different series over the course of the season. His favorite tracks include Barber Motorsports Park, Iowa Speedway, Martinsville Speedway, Talladega Superspeedway, and Fairgrounds Speedway Nashville.

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2 comments

  1. Avatar

    Logono deserves the #1 ranking because he’s the champion. If Logano were a traditional Southern boy and/or not driving a Ford, he would not be on the receiving end of the hate.

    Instead, he’s a nice kid (if a married, 28-year-old father with ten seasons of Cup experience is a “kid”) from Yankee-land that too many “traditional” fans conclude is “silver-spoon” entitled. And he won in a season when the Deep-Southern “favorites” (Chevy, HMS) all faltered badly.

    An “Earnhardt” making exactly the same on-track moves in a Chevy would be roundly celebrated.

    So what! Logano will easily make the HOF, will likely win 50+ races over his career and FORD IS FINALLY BACK!

  2. Avatar

    Logano wouldn’t be in my top 5.