Race Weekend Central

The 10: NASCAR Cup Series Power Rankings After New Hampshire

The Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series visited the New Hampshire Motor Speedway this weekend. The visit to the land of Patriots, chowder and words ending with the “ah” sound has been a midsummer occurrence since 1993. Of late, the track has even gone so far as to have the winner hold a massive live lobster in Victory Lane.

Denny Hamlin was fine with holding the trophy. When it came time to proudly display the lobster, Hamlin was a bit shy about posing with the crustacean. Regardless, the victory put the driver of the No. 11 FedEx Toyota Camry in the playoffs.

Additionally, it served as a bit of relief for the Joe Gibbs Racing team. The win was the first of the year for the top level organization and the latest it had gone into a season before winning since 2008.

The lobster was a clear loser this weekend, but that wasn’t much of a surprise. So who fished a little momentum out of New Hampshire, and who is feeling the pinch as playoff time approaches?

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, nine 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

He was as fast as anyone all day, until the last restart and closing laps.  The No. 78 was one of a few teams that let a potential win slip away. – Bryan Gable, Frontstretch

First-Place Votes: 5



(Photo: NASCAR)

Kyle Larson

A week full of failed inspections and penalties didn’t stop Larson and the No. 42 team from another runner-up finish at New Hampshire. – Brent Jones, Tha Sports Junkies 101

First-Place Votes: 1




(Photo: NASCAR)

Kevin Harvick

This bunch is hitting its stride at just the right time, leading the rest of the garage to collectively mutter, “Aw, crap.” – Frank Velat, Frontstretch




(Photo: NASCAR)

Kyle Busch

Coming close to scoring his first win of 2017, one has to wonder if Busch truly means it when he says that everything is fine. – Rob Tiongson, The Podium Finish



(Photo: NASCAR)

Denny Hamlin

There goes any chance Joe Gibbs Racing ever had at signing Red Lobster as a sponsor. – Michael Massie, Frontstretch





(Photo: NASCAR)

Jimmie Johnson

He jumped the start something vicious.  Getting back to 10th after that is some kind of accomplishment. – Phil Allaway, Frontstretch



(Photo: NASCAR)

Brad Keselowski

With the way the last few weeks have gone for Keselowski, he was probably just happy to still be on the track when the checkered flag waved. – Velat



(Photo: NASCAR)

Jamie McMurray

Curiously, the No. 1 car was slowest at the end of the race, which resulted in the rare sight of McMurray finishing worse than where he typically ran. – Gable





(Photo: NASCAR)

Chase Elliott

While the No. 24 team has the makings to make the playoff field without a win, it’d be a huge load off its back once it makes its way into Victory Lane.  – Tiongson




(Photo: NASCAR)

Clint Bowyer

Can’t say consistency isn’t Bowyer’s thing. A seventh at New Hampshire was eighth top 10 of 2017. – Brent Jones



Others Receiving Votes: Matt Kenseth (12); Kurt Busch (5); Ricky Stenhouse Jr (2); Daniel Suarez (1)

Who Voted: Bryan Gable, Frontstretch; Brent Jones, Tha Sports Junkies 101; Michael Massie, Frontstretch; Phil Allaway, 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.

Sign up for the Frontstretch Newsletter

A daily email update (Monday through Friday) providing racing news, commentary, features, and information from Frontstretch.com
We hate spam. Your email address will not be sold or shared with anyone else.

Share via