Race Weekend Central

The 10: NASCAR Cup Series Power Rankings After Fontana

The Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series went Hollywood this weekend for its annual visit to Fontana, CA. The stars were were out and the red carpet dazzled with NASCAR’s best. But it was California’s own Kyle Larson who stole the show. Larson stuck to his script and delivered an award-winning performance. The Chip Ganassi Racing standout won the pole for the Cup race, the Xfinity event, and capped it off with a dominant win on Sunday. After playing a supporting role for three straight weeks, the driver of the No. 42 Chevrolet finally got to enjoy his moment of glory.

Which brings us to this week’s Power Rankings. Lately, some of the stars of NASCAR have been quite the media darlings while others have become tabloid fodder. Our experts saw beyond the glitz and gave their assessment. Consider the list this week and decide whether our contributors are destined for fame and fortune or bound to fade into obscurity.

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

He and Jamie McMurray should swap numbers so Larson can be No. 1 in literally everything. Michael Massie, Frontstretch

First Place Votes: 7



(Photo: NASCAR)

Brad Keselowski

Considering all that the Blue Deuce overcame on Sunday, Brad probably could’ve lapped the field if nothing had gone wrong. Frank Velat, Frontstretch 



(Photo: NASCAR)

Martin Truex Jr

Clearly the second best driver all day at Auto Club Speedway. Possibly better than Larson in clean air, but not as good back in traffic. Phil Allaway, Frontstretch




(Photo: NASCAR)

Chase Elliott

He has had a solid start to the year but it seems like things have been getting away from the No. 24 team at the ends of these races.  Bryan Gable, Frontstretch




(Photo: NASCAR)

Joey Logano

Considering that Logano and his team failed to get the No. 22 car on track following problems during qualifying inspection, a top-five finish has to feel like a victory. Rob Tiongson, The Podium Finish





(Photo: NASCAR)

Kyle Busch

Another frustrating weekend for Busch as he watches another kid blow his doors off. At least he didn’t get beaten to a pulp this time. Pete McCole, Auto Racing 1



(Photo: NASCAR)

Ryan Blaney

Still showing no signs of stopping after cranking out another top-10 finish at Auto Club. Brent Jones, Tha Sports Junkies 101



(Photo: NASCAR)

Kevin Harvick

Remember three weeks ago when Harvick was the points leader? Yeah, I don’t either. Pete McCole




(Photo: NASCAR)

Jamie McMurray

He’s been the worst of the Ganassi cars every week this season, which is still really good. Michael Massie




(Photo: NASCAR)

Clint Bowyer

Bowyer has good reason to celebrate. He earned his first top five since the Bristol night race in 2015 and his first top five at Fontana since 2010. Bryan Gable



Others Receiving Votes: Ryan Newman (6), Kurt Busch (4), Kasey Kahne (3), Denny Hamlin (3), Erik Jones (2), Daniel Suarez (1)

Who Voted: Phil Allaway, Frontstretch; Bryan Gable, Frontstretch; Michael Massie, Frontstretch; Pete McCole, Auto Racing 1; Rob Tiongson, The Podium Finish; Brent Jones, Tha Sports Junkies 101; Frank Velat, Frontstretch.

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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