Race Weekend Central

The 10: NASCAR Cup Series Power Rankings After Indianapolis

The Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series returned to the hallowed ground in Speedway, Indiana this weekend for the (insert excessively long name here) Brickyard 400. We’ve already seen several drivers break long winless streaks this season. But the annual visit to Indy usually favors regular winners. In fact, only three times has the Brickyard winner failed to win another race that season.

However, Kasey Kahne weaved his way through the destruction of multiple race cars and mastered a bevy of late race restarts. Kahne earned his first Cup victory since Atlanta in the fall of 2014. In the process, he silenced many who thought his time at Hendrick Motorsports might be ending soon. Amazing what one checkered flag will do for a driver.

But what did it do for him in the Power Rankings? Our contributors evaluated not only Kahne, but the rest of the field from Sunday. Whether they were high atop the pagoda or dodging falling sandwiches in Gasoline Alley, our top notch team gave it their all. But do they deserve to kiss the bricks? Or do they simply have the IQ of one? You decide.

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

Given the sheer amount of wrecking on Sunday, it is hard to move people up and down in the rankings.  Despite that fact, Truex showed a bunch before he got wrecked. – Phil Allaway, Frontstretch

First-Place Votes: 5



(Photo: NASCAR)

Kyle Larson

Opportunity to gain ground on Truex ended late at Indy in a ball of fire. – Brent Jones, Tha Sports Junkies 101

First-Place Votes: 1




(Photo: NASCAR)

Kevin Harvick

He did not have the speed of a few others on Sunday, but he also did not have a torn-up race car. – Bryan Gable, Frontstretch

 First Place Votes: 1




(Photo: NASCAR)

Kyle Busch

Busch was very strong Sunday, every bit as good as last year.  Then, he got wrecked and it was over just like that. – Allaway



(Photo: NASCAR)

Brad Keselowski

When you’re one of the few drivers in the top 10 in points to actually finish the race, it should feel like a win. – Pete McCole, Auto Racing 1





(Photo: NASCAR)

Jimmie Johnson

I’d say that three-wide banzai move for the lead earns him a week without being called “vanilla.”. – Gable



(Photo: NASCAR)

Jamie McMurray

It wasn’t that long ago that McMurray had to have a solid day to finish 15th. Now he can crash and still get there. – Frank Velat, Frontstretch



(Photo: NASCAR)

Denny Hamlin

Officials noted after the race that the hole in Hamlin’s tire was the same size as a lobster’s claw. – Michael Massie, Frontstretch





(Photo: NASCAR)

Chase Elliott

For someone who races as hard as he does, Elliott has the fewest DNFs of any of the four Hendrick drivers.  – McCole




(Photo: NASCAR)

Matt Kenseth

He didn’t start the day with the fastest Toyota, but he definitely finished with it. Granted, that’s not saying much when all the other ones are getting pulled by a wrecker. – Massie



Others Receiving Votes: Kasey Kahne (12); Joey Logano (10); Ryan Blaney (6); Clint Bowyer (6); Daniel Suarez (4); Matt DiBenedetto (3); Ryan Newman (2)

Who Voted: Bryan Gable, Frontstretch; Brent Jones, Tha Sports Junkies 101; Pete McCole, Auto Racing 1; 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.

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The fact that Kasey Kahne gets votes for that win tells me how ridiculous this pole is.


How can Elliott be in and not Blaney? Oh,right. His name is Elliott.

Where’s Dillon? He’s won and WAS in the list.

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