Race Weekend Central

The 10: NASCAR Cup Series Power Rankings After Pocono

The Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series was back in the mountains this weekend at the Pocono Raceway. Nothing beats a good mountain retreat. Fresh air, natural wonders, peace and quiet. Just don’t get lost during some wilderness expedition because it’s not easy to find anything in the mountains (I hear they’re still looking for turn four.)

As for the Overton’s 400, Kyle Busch managed to find something he’d lost everywhere else this year: the win. In keeping with the theme of ending winless streaks in 2017, Busch finally ended a year long drought of his own. The victory not only ended his futility at Pocono, but he also has a shot at a new record. Busch just needs a triumph at Charlotte to give him a points paying Cup win at every active track.

As for our contributors, they can cross Pocono off of their lists as well. No, they don’t have any Cup wins there. Or anywhere else for that matter. But the checkered flag has fallen over their rankings. Now it’s up to you to decide if they indeed mastered the Tricky Triangle or should we organize a search party to go look for their common sense?

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

 It’s safe to say that Truex and the No. 78 team are in the catbird seat after another run of the mill podium finish at Pocono. – Rob Tiongson, The Podium Finish

First-Place Votes: 4



(Photo: NASCAR)

Kyle Busch

Wanted the Pocono victory so bad, you would think he’s about to retire. He’ll have a lot more free time next year without those pesky XFINITY races bringing him down. – Samarth Kanal, Frontstretch

First-Place Votes: 2




(Photo: NASCAR)

Kyle Larson

Another disappointing finish for Kyle Larson, but at least he wasn’t on fire this time. – Pete McCole, Auto Racing 1

 First Place Votes: 1




(Photo: NASCAR)

Kevin Harvick

He finished second on Sunday. Other shocking things that happened at the race include the green flag waving and the sun shining. – Michael Massie, Frontstretch

 First Place Votes: 1



(Photo: NASCAR)

Brad Keselowski

Hard to ignore a minted veteran fighting for seeding in the playoffs. Keselowski has three straight top-10 finishes. – Brent Jones, Tha Sports Junkies 101





(Photo: NASCAR)

Denny Hamlin

I wonder if his struggles with repaves applies to driving on regular roads as well. Like does he petition road workers to not repave a major highway because his street car doesn’t handle as well? – Massie




Matt Kenseth

Despite spinning on the first lap, Kenseth saved his car and his race.  He might have saved his playoff hopes, too. – Bryan Gable, Frontstretch



(Photo: NASCAR)

Jimmie Johnson

He would be running fairly well if he could finish the dang races.  Three DNFs in four weeks helps absolutely no one, unless Johnson’s actively trying to teach Chad Knaus new profanities. – Phil Allaway, Frontstretch





Jamie McMurray

37th and 26th in the two Pocono races this year. In unrelated news, an unknown person has offered free McDonald’s for life to anyone who convinces NASCAR to move one of Pocono’s dates.  – Frank Velat, Frontstretch




(Photo: NASCAR)

Joey Logano

Hopefully his foot is OK after he shot it with a farcical pitstop at Pocono. – Kanal



Others Receiving Votes: Kasey Kahne (17); Clint Bowyer (14); Erik Jones (11); Chase Elliott (10); Daniel Suarez (6); Danica Patrick (1)

Who Voted: Bryan Gable, Frontstretch; Brent Jones, Tha Sports Junkies 101; Pete McCole, Auto Racing 1; Michael Massie, Frontstretch; Samarth Kanal, 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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