Race Weekend Central

The 10: NASCAR Cup Series Power Rankings After Michigan

The Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series made the second stop of the year at Kyle Larson International Speedway… whoops. I meant Michigan International Speedway. Although with the way that the Chip Ganassi Racing driver has owned the two-mile oval lately, would it really matter if it were renamed after him?

Either way, despite valiant efforts from both Martin Truex Jr. and local product Brad Keselowski, Larson ended his race at Michigan in Victory Lane for the third consecutive time. The No. 42 Chevrolet seems to excel on both the wide, sweeping surface in Brooklyn, Mich. as well as its sister track in Fontana.

Our contributors were back in action this weekend as well. We looked at the whole body of work, not just the finish. Of course, there was only one body holding a checkered flag after the finish. One simply cannot overlook the mastery that Larson has shown recently at MIS. With that in mind, take a look at the list and decide. Did we lock up another triumph or did we overlook the obvious this time around?

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.

His emphatic answer to a post-race team orders question shows that the No. 78 is still chasing playoff points.Bryan Gable, Frontstretch
First-Place Votes: 5



(Photo: NASCAR)

Kyle Larson

The King of Michigan broke through with an important third win in 2017. The question becomes whether or not the 42 has the makings to win on a non-two mile speedway. – Rob Tiongson, The Podium Finish




(Photo: NASCAR)

Kyle Busch

10th-place finish following a breakthrough win at Pocono wasn’t the best result but points matter for seeding and the No. 18 team needs every one. – Brent Jones, Tha Sports Junkies 101




(Photo: NASCAR)

Kevin Harvick

He finished one spot higher than Dale Earnhardt Jr. on Sunday. He should have pulled over and let Earnhardt have the spot so NASCAR wouldn’t lose fans. – Michael Massie, Frontstretch



(Photo: NASCAR)

Brad Keselowski

The long-sought home-state win eludes him once more. He’ll still be in the playoffs, which is something you don’t hear much about in the Detroit area. – Frank Velat, Frontstretch





(Photo: NASCAR)

Denny Hamlin

Led 16 laps Sunday at Michigan but, like many, the last-two-lap shuffle placed Hamlin 16th at the finish. – Jones



(Photo: NASCAR)

Erik Jones

Magical Mullet Man nearly made it happen at Michigan. At this point, it’s Hail Mary racing from here to Richmond. – Tiongson



(Photo: NASCAR)

Jimmie Johnson

The backup car-winning streak is over. It was fun while it lasted. – Massie





(Photo: NASCAR)

Matt Kenseth

It was a big surprise that Kenseth didn’t finish up front on Sunday. He did qualify up front though, which was an even bigger surprise. – Velat




(Photo: NASCAR)

Daniel Suarez

I was more impressed with Suarez’s string of 21 races without a DNF than the four consecutive top 10s. Unfortunately, both streaks ended at Michigan. – Gable



Others Receiving Votes: Clint Bowyer (6); Chase Elliott (6); Ryan Blaney (3); Ryan Newman (2)

Who Voted: Bryan Gable, FrontstretchBrent Jones, Tha Sports Junkies 101; 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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