Race Weekend Central

The 10: NASCAR Cup Series Power Rankings After New Hampshire

The Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series returned to New Hampshire Motor Speedway for the second event of the 2017 playoffs. Alas, it was likely the final time that the track will host a playoff event, as the race date moves to Las Vegas next season. Regardless of your opinion of the change, it’s always tough to see a track lose a date, especially after over 20 years of multiple visits per year.

Kyle Busch made the most of his final fall run in New Hampshire, dominating en route to the victory. With the first cutoff looming, Busch ensured he will still be in title contention after Dover next week. Others face a much taller mountain to climb. Kasey Kahne and Kurt Busch both found enough trouble on the Magic Mile to face a must-win situation next week in order to keep their title hopes alive.

Like Busch, our contributors are still in it to win it. I wouldn’t exactly call the situation they face each weekend a must-win, but they still come through in the clutch. So did these contributors compile a good enough list to advance? Or should they be out of contention after a lackluster performance? 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.

The 35 teams that finished behind Truex are now trying to damage their cars in the same spots where the No. 78 had damage this past weekend. – Michael Massie, Frontstretch
First-Place Votes: 4



(Photo: NASCAR)

Kyle Busch

Unfortunately for him, the lasting memory of this race for many fans will be of Busch referring to a lobster as an “equestrian.” – Bryan Gable, Frontstretch

 First Place Votes: 1




(Photo: NASCAR)

Kyle Larson

Larson has been at the front all year and there’s a pretty good chance he’ll be one of the Final Four when the series rolls into Homestead. – Pete McCole, Auto Racing 1




(Photo: NASCAR)

Denny Hamlin

One driver relieved that he didn’t win on Sunday. Busch ought to put the lobster on Hamlin’s porch, ring the doorbell, and run. – Frank Velat, Frontstretch



(Photo: NASCAR)

Brad Keselowski

While just a bit off in speed compared to the 78-18-42 triumvirate, don’t be surprised if BK nets himself a playoff win soon. – Rob Tiongson, The Podium Finish





(Photo: NASCAR)

Matt Kenseth

The most terrifying thing about the Kevin Harvick wreck for Kenseth was seeing a fleet of ambulances take the track after it. – Massie



(Photo: NASCAR)

Jimmie Johnson

Now, we head back to Dover. It’s a moment where everyone will be reminded that Jimmie Johnson does, in fact, remember how to win. – Velat



(Photo: NASCAR)

Kevin Harvick

Still 25 points above the cutline, Harvick probably took a bigger hit from his teammate than he did in the standings. – Gable





(Photo: NASCAR)

Ryan Blaney

Another top-10 finish, another great day for this mullet warrior. Ho hum, RB, right? – Tiongson




– 4

(Photo: NASCAR)

Chase Elliott

I guess you could describe the past week for him as the tale of the tape. – Gable



Others Receiving Votes: Erik Jones (9); Joey Logano (6); Jamie McMurray (2); Clint Bowyer (2)

Who Voted: Bryan Gable, Frontstretch; Pete McCole, Auto Racing 1; 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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