Can anyone explain the logic of holding a doubleheader at the Monster Mile with the second race going head-to-head with the Greatest Spectacle in Auto Racing, the Indianapolis 500? Anyone? Anyone? Buehler? Buehler?
The good news is that NASCAR saw fit to give the NASCAR Cup Series guys more power and less downforce at Dover International Speedway, but the bad news is that concern over damage to the cars led to drivers not wanting to mix it up much at a track that is known for Cup guys mixing it up.
Meanwhile, back at the race results, the guys we knew were the top dogs showed once again how far ahead of the rest of the pack they are, which is impressive in this common template, tight-rules so-everyone-is-equal time in NASCAR history. Let’s take a look at the Power Rankings after the Dover Double.
- Kevin Harvick – In race one of the weekend, Happy led ZERO laps and made it seem he was vulnerable to leaving the top spot. In race two, he led 223 of the 311 laps and removed all doubt he should remain top dog this week.
- Denny Hamlin – It was getting very close to looking at Hamlin and Harvick as 1 and 1A instead of 1 and 2. Hamlin did his part also to maintain his position as the greatest driver in NASCAR history never to win a championship whose name isn’t Mark Martin.
- Martin Truex Jr. – Two runner-up finishes last weekend at Dover solidifies Truex’s position as the next best guy in the Cup ranks this year. But the distance between seconnd and third is much larger than first and second.
- Brad Keselowski – Hard to reason with dropping Bad Brad for two top-10 finishes, but that is how good Truex has been doing lately. The gap between third and fourth isn’t quite as great as second and third, but it is growing.
- Kyle Busch – The year 2020 has brought us many weird occurrences, and it’s only August. We have seen a global pandemic change the way we all interact and bring sports as we knew them to a standstill. Racial unrest has rocked the nation. And Busch has gone winless in the first 25 races of a Cup season!
- Chase Elliott – A win the week before and a strong finish in the first Dover race were enough to break up the Brothers Busch this week in the Power Rankings. Bill’s and Cindy’s kid also is number one in the Chevrolet camp by a large margin.
- Joey Logano – The best thing since sliced bread has now pulled off an amazing six top-10 finishes in a row! Who needs new glasses? What does this hack writing Power Rankings know about eyewear anyway?
- Aric Almirola – It was a mixed bag results-wise for Almirola at Dover. There is no doubt with the rumors of a possible return of Kyle Larson to NASCAR that someone at Stewart Haas Racing might be without a ride next year. Aric’s top 10 in race two helps.
- Ryan Blaney – Blaney always seems to be in the hunt for a win every week but often finds a way to fall out of the top 10 in the end. A pair of finishes in the back end of the top 15 was a typical outcome for this team and driver this year.
- Kurt Busch – A tough crash in the opening 10 laps on Saturday was a bad way to start a doubleheader weekend for the elder Busch. Rallying to 13th in the second half of the weekend’s races saved his drop from being any worse this week.
- Clint Bowyer -The other driver at Stewart-Haas that needs a strong finish to the season to stay in his ride managed to have a strong finish in the first race. But in true Bowyer style this year, he faded at the end of race two.
- Alex Bowman – Bowman the Showman is somehow holding on to 12th-place in the Cup point standings.After 25 races into the season, he still has failed to post consecutive top-10 finishes all season! That’s almost as puzzling at Rowdy not winning a race!
- William Byron – What is it with the yo-yo performances from the Hendrick Drivers this season? Other than Elliott, the rest of their drivers seem allergic to having more than one good race in a row.
- Cole Custer – After a rough patch where he looked like a rookie three races in a row, the rookie looked much stronger again at Dover. His ticket is already punched for the playoffs and he could surprise people by advancing far.
- Matt DiBendetto – The driver they call Guido because it’s easier than botching the last name is just hanging on to a spot in the playoffs and in Power Rankings. DiBenedetto didn’t wow anyone at Dover — even after starting on the pole on Sunday, but the guys below him fared even worse and were erratic, too.
- Tyler Reddick – The Monster Mile is never kind to rookies, and the most surprising rookie to come along in the Cup series this season was no exception. But as usual this season, Reddick fought back to have less awful finishes than some below him.