Race Weekend Central

The 10: NASCAR Cup Series Power Rankings After Watkins Glen

The Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series hit the road again this weekend. The road course in Watkins Glen, that is. Such events tend to be a bit of a wild card, much in the same way that restrictor plate races are. Drivers who are typically mired mid-pack suddenly have an opportunity to contend. With the playoffs approaching, several drivers looked to the Glen as their best shot at getting in.

Martin Truex Jr. ended that possibility rather quickly. In keeping with his season-long tactic of gobbling up nearly every potential playoff point, Truex shut down the field of challengers once again. The No. 78 Furniture Row Racing Toyota snuck past a fuel-conserving Brad Keselowski and never relinquished the lead, picking up his fourth win of the season.

Now, our contributors have also been known to grab everything they can in order to deprive those around them. But the snacks in the media center are little easier to get a hold of than Cup trophies. Still, after stuffing their pockets, they got down to the business of compiling their rankings. But did they hoard all of the right picks? Or is their list emptier than a post race refrigerator? 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

Quite simply, Furniture Row Racing had the best strategy on Sunday.  That’s why Truex took home the “Shake Weight” trophy. – Phil Allaway, Frontstretch

First-Place Votes: 6



(Photo: NASCAR)

Kyle Busch

Most racecar drivers have the one that got away, but for Busch in 2017, it has been more like the 10 that got away. – Bryan Gable, Frontstretch




(Photo: NASCAR)

Brad Keselowski

Any driver who can recover from a spin in the Bus Stop and nearly win at Watkins Glen is worthy to be ranked high in this week’s power rankings. – Rob Tiongson, The Podium Finish




(Photo: NASCAR)

Kevin Harvick

Surprising that the biggest collision of the day was on pit road. Although it was enough to ruin Happy’s day. – Frank Velat, Frontstretch



(Photo: NASCAR)

Kyle Larson

After that dismal weekend, Michigan is coming to the rescue just in the nick of time. Almost wonder if they engrave the trophy in advance. – Velat





(Photo: NASCAR)

Denny Hamlin

That was one of the quietest top fives in recent memory.  It was also the 125th of Hamlin’s Cup Series career. – Gable




Jimmie Johnson

The playoffs are about to start. Will Johnson wake up this week or hit snooze for a few more races? – Michael Massie, Frontstretch




Matt Kenseth

He, Kasey Kahne and Kurt Busch should start their own racing series where drivers get their rides based on talent instead of daddy’s checkbook. – Massie





(Photo: NASCAR)

Daniel Suarez

If there were no stages, Suarez would be 10th in points.  He’s quietly having an excellent rookie year. – Allaway




(Photo: NASCAR)

Jamie McMurray

On the flip side, look out, Jamie Mac is back! Might be singing the tunes of a Bobby Darin tune when he secures a playoff spot. – Tiongson



Others Receiving Votes: Clint Bowyer (12); Chase Elliott (12); Joey Logano (10); Ryan Blaney (9);

Who Voted: Bryan Gable, Frontstretch; 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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