Race Weekend Central

The 10: NASCAR Cup Series Power Rankings After Bristol

The Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series hit the high banks of Bristol Motor Speedway on Sunday for the Food City 500. Or at least, that was the plan initially. But April showers brought Monday horsepower, as the race was washed out for the weekend and postponed to Monday afternoon. It was disappointing for those race fans whose work kept them from being able to enjoy all the live action. However, it’s likely many a cubicle was filled with the audio from various apps or live streams of the event.

Now, Jimmie Johnson may not be your typical nine-to-five type. But the No. 48 Lowe’s Chevrolet team put in a full work day and punched out victorious at the end of their shift. For Johnson, it was his 82nd career win and second at Bristol. He steered clear of the trouble that seemed to plague all of the top competitors. Whether it was accidents, pit road penalties, or mechanical issues, few got out of The Last Great Colosseum unscathed.

As for the Power Rankings this week, you can rest assured that productivity came to a halt wherever our media contributors were on Monday. It isn’t our fault we had to work overtime for race fans this week. After all, the Power Rankings aren’t going to compile themselves. This requires way more insight than you’ll find gathered around the water cooler. So now it’s time for our weekly performance evaluation. Do you think our work belongs on one of those inspiring motivational posters that line the hallways? Or should we have not even bothered opening the live stream window after the boss walked by?

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

Fast at the beginning, fast in the middle, too fast on pit road, not fast enough at the end. Bryan Gable, Frontstretch

First Place Votes: 4




Jimmie Johnson

Which one of you claimed that Johnson was done?  He’s not. For all I know, he’s a cyborg who will be able to put up these spurts until he’s 70. Phil Allaway, Frontstretch

 First Place Votes: 1



(Photo: NASCAR)

Joey Logano

In eight races, he has seven finishes of sixth or better. No one does that for very long without a win. Expect one by the end of May. Frank Velat, Frontstretch




(Photo: NASCAR)

Martin Truex Jr

He doesn’t always speed on pit road, but when he does, he makes sure it comes at the worst of times.  Michael Massie, Frontstretch



(Photo: NASCAR)

Chase Elliott

While teammate Jimmie Johnson is winning the hardware, Chase Elliott has been steady and solid, ready to get his first career MENCS victory. Rob Tiongson, The Podium Finish






Brad Keselowski

Keselowski will be on his retirement tour by the time Paul Wolfe finally serves his two-race suspension. Michael Massie



(Photo: NASCAR)

Clint Bowyer

My guess is that he’s excited to be going to Richmond next week.  That said, with the way the No. 14 team is running, Bowyer is probably excited for every race. Bryan Gable



(Photo: NASCAR)

Kevin Harvick

The Closer is starting to reemerge as that threat for multiple victories, scoring a solid top five in Thunder Valley. Rob Tiongson




(Photo: NASCAR)

Kyle Busch

Kyle Busch was victimized by a tire failure and spent his post race interview complaining about Goodyear. And, no, I didn’t copy and paste that summary from a previous week. Frank Velat




(Photo: NASCAR)

Jamie McMurray

Never sets the world on fire but gets the job done. Being on constant one-year contracts sets a fire under his butt cheeks. Phil Allaway



Others Receiving Votes: Matt Kenseth (2); Ryan Blaney (2); Trevor Bayne (2); Dale Earnhardt Jr (1)

Who Voted: Bryan Gable, Frontstretch; Michael Massie, Frontstretch; Frank Velat, Frontstretch; Phil Allaway, 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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