Race Weekend Central

The 10: NASCAR Cup Series Power Rankings After Pocono

The Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series climbed into the Pocono mountains of Pennsylvania for this weekend’s visit to the 2.5-mile triangle shaped Pocono Raceway. The Tricky Triangle presents a unique challenge, which leads to very few drivers getting their breakthrough win there. In fact, since the series began racing at Pocono in 1974, only three drivers had picked up their first career win at Pocono. Well, that was the case until Sunday.

Ryan Blaney demonstrated much of his potential and then some, chasing down Kyle Busch to get the lead, then holding off a charging Kevin Harvick to keep it. The victory was Blaney’s first in his 68th start and comes only a month after he picked up his first career pole. Meanwhile, Jimmie Johnson went from the winner’s circle last week to the infield care center this week after a hard accident in Turn 1. Johnson was unharmed, as was Jamie McMurray, who suffered a similar crash at the same time.

So, how did all of this affect the Power Rankings? Well, our contributors have been known to be a little tricky themselves. They analyzed all the goings-on from Pocono and compiled who they thought were the ten best once the track fell silent. But did these wily writers outfox everybody? Or should they tuck their tails and go hide behind the SAFER barrier?

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)

Martin Truex Jr

Truex had a race car that was better than his sixth-place finish, but it was another great rally from the rear of the field. – Pete McCole, Auto Racing 1

First Place Votes: 6



(Photo: NASCAR)

Kyle Larson

Ran well on Sunday but nearly wrecked someone under yellow.  I suppose you can call that up-and-down. – Phil Allaway, Frontstretch

 First Place Votes: 1



(Photo: NASCAR)

Kyle Busch

Unlike earlier in the season, the No. 18 team has the speed to win.  All Busch needs is a little luck. Stay tuned. – Bryan Gable, Frontstretch



(Photo: NASCAR)

Kevin Harvick

Kevin Harvick finishes second. It’s like he’s the new Kyle Larson. Well, if Larson already had a bunch of wins and a championship, that is. – Frank Velat, Frontstretch




Brad Keselowski

An accomplished pit road reporter for FOX this past Sunday, that Keselowski fella is a pretty decent racer too, eh? – Rob Tiongson, The Podium Finish





Jimmie Johnson

He and Jamie McMurray just created a new Olympic sport: synchronized brake failure. – Michael Massie, Frontstretch



(Photo: NASCAR)

Ryan Blaney

Finally broke through with his first career win at Pocono, and the sky’s the limit for him and the Wood Brothers with a playoff berth in hand. – Brent Jones, Tha Sports Junkies 101



(Photo: NASCAR)

Chase Elliott

Who would’ve thought the youngest driver at Hendrick Motorsports would be the only one to take care of his equipment? Score one for the millennials. – Michael Massie




(Photo: NASCAR)

Jamie McMurray

Truly a victim of circumstance. Without the crash, McMurray likely would have had another top-10 finish and kept his spot in points. – Phil Allaway




(Photo: NASCAR)

Erik Jones

It’s got to be that hair.  Seriously, Jones won’t bother visiting the nearest Sport Clips anytime soon as he and his magical mullet scored a terrific third at Pocono. – Rob Tiongson



Others Receiving Votes: Denny Hamlin (9); Clint Bowyer (5); Matt Kenseth (5); Joey Logano (5); Kurt Busch (3); Ty Dillon (1)

Who Voted: Bryan Gable, Frontstretch: Brent Jones, Tha Sports Junkies 101; Phil Allaway, Frontstretch; Pete McCole, Auto Racing 1; Michael Massie, Frontstretch; Frank Velat, 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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Who in the world have th Dillon a vote. A joke right !

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