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The 12: NASCAR Power Rankings Coca-Cola 600 Edition

The greatest day in motorsports has come and gone as the Monaco GP, Indy 500 and Coca-Cola 600 were all completed this past Sunday. The longest race of the season for the NASCAR Monster Energy Cup Series was, unlike the last two years, a caution-filled race that featured multiple drivers battling for the lead. When it was all said and done, Martin Truex Jr. won his third race of the season. How far did he move up in the point standings?

Kyle Busch and Brad Keselowski both looked like they had strong cars at certain times in the race but had to settle for third (Busch) and 19th (Keselowski). Did these two former champions go up or down in this week’s rankings?

Fantastic runs by Ricky Stenhouse Jr and JTG Daugherty driver Chris Buescher scored top 10s as they rallied from problems earlier in the race. Stenhouse spun from contact from the No. 18 of Busch and Buescher slammed the wall from cutting a tire in turns 3 and 4 in stage one. Did they do enough to get into the top 12 of Power Rankings?

How the power rankings are calculated: Following the conclusion of each Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series race, members of a voting panel, including Frontstretch writers and members of accredited media outlets as well as writers from other sites and social media personalities, submit their top 12 drivers for the Power Rankings.

The drivers are then given points based on their ranking by our panelists, with first place getting 12 points, and each subsequent driver getting one fewer point until the 12th-place driver, who gets a single point. Points are then added together, and the rankings are subsequently produced.

Power Rankings: Coca Cola 600 Edition

1. Kyle Busch 208 Points

First place votes: 10

Last week’s ranking: 1st (-)

While all of the Toyotas (most specifically Joe Gibbs Racing cars) were having tire issues, Kyle Busch must have had Jimmie Johnson’s golden horseshoe. The only trouble his white M&M’s Camry’s got into was with Ricky Stenhouse Jr., and a near miss with older brother Kurt.

He wasn’t as strong as teammate and eventual race winner Truex and had to settle for third.

He even was featured on Radio Sweetheart the following day on NASCAR RaceHub.

Probably the most idiotic rivalry is on the forefront with Kyle Busch and Ricky Stenhouse Jr. Why is this a thing? I don’t know. – Jake Baskinger, Jake Baskinger on YouTube

“When Ricky Stenhouse Jr. swung and missed, Rowdy survived. For his terrible car, as he once referred to it, he finished the Coca-Cola 600 in third place.– Mark Kristl, Frontstretch

2. Martin Truex Jr. 194 Points

First place votes: 6

Last week’s ranking: 6th (+4)

Many people counted Truex out after he hit the wall and cut a tire in stage one in Sunday’s race. They won’t do that again. He may have not led as many laps as he did in 2016 when he won, but he did lead the final one when it counted the most.

” Three wins in  five starts is more stout than a Guinness.” Godwin Kelly, Daytona Beach News-Journal 

3 Joey Logano 178 Points

First place votes: 0

Last week’s ranking: 2nd (-1)

For Logano, it was a very sorrowful weekend as his pet dog, Luigi, went missing on Thursday and unfortunately he had passed away and was found the next day. He drove to a solid second-place finish after running up front for most of the event.

“A well-deserved second-place finish, following the passing of his dog Luigi. Perfect way to honor the little guy.” -Kobe Lambeth, KobeLambeth.com

4. Brad Keselowski 150 Points

First place votes: 0

Last week’s ranking: 4th (-)

This was a much better weekend that could have ended a lot better for Keselowski. The Team Penske driver was trying to get Roger Penske his first ever Indy 500/Coca Cola 600 wins in the same day. It looked like it might become a reality until Keselowski had a late-race spin and Logano had to settle for second.

All in all, two stage wins and playoff points is not a bad day for Bad Brad.

” If Keselowski has a sexy paint scheme like he did this past weekend, then he sucks all day. If he has an ugly one like he did at Kansas, then he wins.” – Michael Massie, Frontstretch

5. Chase Elliott 144 Points

First place votes: 0

Last week’s ranking: 5th (-)

Once again, It was a fairly quiet night for the young man from Dawsonville, but week after week, it is showing that Hendrick Motorsports has found the speed it has been looking for. Byron won the pole and all four Hendrick drivers finished inside the top 10.

“No one has seemed to notice that Mr. William Clyde has moved up into a tie 3rd in the points standings. ” – Zach Gillispie, Frontstretch

Another top 10 and that means more fried pickles for those who are into that sort of thing.” –Rob Tiongson, ThePodiumFinisj.net

6. Kevin Harvick  122 Points

Last week’s ranking: 3rd (-3)

What a weird season it has been for Harvick. After a trio of wins to start out last year, he is currently winless through 1/3rd of the entire 2019 campaign. He has shown speed but he needs to get that speed into victory lane before he can move up the power rankings sheet.

” He hasn’t won yet in 2019 despite being 4th in points, so clearly it’s time for Harvick to be replaced by some 20-year-old who isn’t half as good as him.” – Massie

7. Denny Hamlin 83 Points

First place votes: 0

Last week’s ranking: 10th (+3)

Like his JGR teammates (minus Kyle Busch) Hamlin found the wall not once but twice on Sunday, including one on the last lap, relegating the driver of the No.. 11 to a 17th-place finish. Got to give him credit though as he limped his damaged race car to the finish line.

 Hopefully, FedEx doesn’t deliver packages as roughly as Hamlin’s car with the wall on the last lap.” – Tiongson

8. Alex Bowman 59 Points

Last week’s ranking: 8th (-)

Well, good news and bad news Alex Bowman fans…

Good news? He didn’t finish second for the fourth week in a row!

The bad news? He finished seventh.

Still, after the struggle Hendrick Motorsports at the beginning of the season, the once dominant race team continues to improve, with Bowman the second of the four cars to finish in the top 10. That win is coming if he continues to perform like this.

“You know you’re on a good streak when a seventh-place finish feels bitterly disappointing. ” – Aaron Bearden, MotosportsBeat

9. Kurt Busch 44 Points

Last week’s ranking: 11th (+2)

Kurt Busch’s day seemed to be going better than last week’s results until lap 310 when he collided with his younger brother, Kyle Busch, essentially with the elder brother taking most of the damage. He finished four laps down, but this time around, these two families will not be spending Thanksgiving separately.

“That incredible start with Chip Ganassi Racing has regressed to the mean a bit for the 2004 champ, but he’s still eighth in the standings with the fourth-best average finish.” – Bearden

10. Kyle Larson 33 Points

Last week’s ranking: 10th (-)

After winning a million dollars, a sprint car race and a kart race before the longest NASCAR race of the season, Larson’s luck was on the rise, right?

Once again, we were wrong. Larson and his No. 42 crew were bitten once again with a DNF as he got involved with Clint Bowyer, Austin Dillon, Ty Dillon and Ryan Preece.

Here is hoping the bad luck stays away and the momentum continues from the All-Star victory two weeks ago.

“Yung Money has won races in a Cup car, Outlaw Kart and Winged Sprint Car in the past two weeks. That has to count for something, right? ” – Bearden

Yung Money had to win the All-Star Race to pay off the million dollar buying price of that magic bag…which expired after Stage 2.” – Tiongson

11. Jimmie Johnson 30 Points

Last week’s ranking: 8th (UR)

Like his other teammates, Johnson and the No. 48 crew were slinging it from sunup to sundown as a new paint scheme kept the good vibes flowing as Johnson scored a top 10 and was the third out of the four Hendrick cars in the Top 10.

Maybe they should use the Camo paint scheme more this year?

” Maybe Ally should consider running the camouflage car more often as I didn’t see him get that top-10 in the 600.”-Tiongson

-It is a bit odd to think that it is a big deal for Johnson to consistently run in the top 10 for most of a race, but he did and he finished 8th.” –Ryan Holman, Ryan Holman on YouTube

12. William Byron 29 Points

Last week’s ranking: 12th (No Change)

After a solid effort in the All-Star race, Byron and Chad Knaus continued the momentum by having Byron become the youngest pole winner in history for the Coca Cola 600. He had a solid effort, leading some laps and finishing in the 9th position.

“A young, inexperienced driver is performing better as he gets more experience. Who would’ve thought?” – Massie

OTHER DRIVERS WHO RECEIVED VOTES

THIS WEEK’S VOTING PANEL

 

NameTwitterOrganization
Jake Baskinger@jbaskinger41Jake Baskinger on YouTube
Aaron Bearden@aaronbearden93Motorsports Beat
Ed Coombs@combsedSpeedway Media
Bryan Davis Keith@bryandaviskeithFrontstretch
Rob Dutzar Jr@rob_dutzarRob’s NASCAR Blog
Darian Gilliam@blackflagmatterBlack Flags Matter
Zach Gillispie@gillispie_zachFrontstretch
Dan Greene@librarymonkFrontstretch
Leon Hammack@captainblowdriWorking on My Rednck
Ryan Holman@realryanholmanRyan Holman on YouTube
Dakota Honaker@2codered4u2CodeRed4U
Godwin Kelly@godwinkellyThe Daytona Beach News Journal
Mark Kristl@markkristlFrontstretch
Kobe Lambeth@kobelambethKobelambeth.com
Michael Massie@m_massie22Frontstretch
Trey Normile
Rob TiongsonrobtiongsonThe Podium Finish
Joy Tomlinson@jt_giantsfanFrontstretch

Do you agree with our rankings? Think someone was left out, or that one of the top drivers is overrated? Let us know in the comments, and tell others what your top 12 would be. 

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About Bryan Nolen

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Bryan Nolen currently goes to the Dan Patrick School of Sportscasting at Full Sail. He would like to be involved in some aspect of Motor Sports after he completes school. He hosts a podcast that is on Apple Podcasts and Google Play called Sports Talk with Bryan and TB and lives in Boise, Idaho. Follow him on Twitter @TheBryanNolen

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