Race Weekend Central

The 10: NASCAR Cup Series Power Rankings After Charlotte

Throughout the history of the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series, there are numerous examples of a driver dominating at a certain track or type of track.

What is unique about what we’ve seen at the mile-and-a-half speedways this year is that the dominant driver seemed destined for a career as an also-ran for nearly a decade.

Martin Truex Jr. has been nothing short of phenomenal on such tracks in 2017. The driver of the No. 78 Furniture Row Racing Toyota scored his sixth win of the season this past weekend at Charlotte Motor Speedway. Of those, five have come on 1.5-mile ovals.

Everyone gets in a groove now and then, but Truex is a guy who finished his first 10 full-time years on the premier NASCAR tour with only three wins. He had that many by the end of July this year.

Personally, I believe Truex put a lot of effort into winning at Charlotte simply because he lost the top spot in the Power Rankings last week. That kind of defeat doesn’t sit well with him and he did his best to impress our contributors enough to regain the number one slot.  Who sits behind him heading into an unpredictable race at Talladega? Take a look!

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.

He won’t have to worry about Talladega this year.  Not that he was all that worried before winning Charlotte… – Bryan Gable, Frontstretch
First-Place Votes: 5



(Photo: NASCAR)

Kyle Larson

Larson looks like he’s finally getting the hang of these mile-and-a-half tracks, which is going to be bad news for the rest of the playoff contenders. – Pete McCole, Auto Racing 1




(Photo: NASCAR)

Kyle Busch

It’s only fair that Kyle’s car gave him a headache. It had given the rest of the field a major one for two straight weeks. – Frank Velat, Frontstretch




(Photo: NASCAR)

Chase Elliott

Two runner-up finishes in a row show that Elliott and his No. 24 team may be Rick Hendrick’s best shot at a title in 2017. – Rob Tiongson, The Podium Finish



(Photo: NASCAR)

Denny Hamlin

He’s been ultra consistent… consistently slower than Truex and Busch. – Michael Massie, Frontstretch





(Photo: NASCAR)

Jimmie Johnson

Somehow, I don’t think the slogan “Think outside the box” will be used as motivational material around the Hendrick shop this week. – Velat



(Photo: NASCAR)

Brad Keselowski

The only shot his team has at beating the Toyotas is for Team Penske to start bringing its open-wheel cars to the track. – Massie



(Photo: NASCAR)

Kevin Harvick

You know you had a good day when you pass the Toyotas without them having a problem. – Massie





(Photo: NASCAR)

Matt Kenseth

As long as Kenseth and his team survive Talladega, they’ll be ready to rock at Kansas. – Tiongson 




(Photo: NASCAR)

Jamie McMurray

Charlotte was McMurray’s first top five since June.  Has the No. 1 team come to life in just the nick of time? – Gable 



Others Receiving Votes: Ryan Blaney (2); Daniel Suarez (1)

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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John Matthew

Harvick 8th–what have you people been smoking?

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