Race Weekend Central

The 10: NASCAR Cup Series Power Rankings After Martinsville

The Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series made its second visit to Martinsville Speedway this weekend. Technically, Halloween was still two days away but things got plenty spooky on the half-mile ,paperclip-shaped oval in southern Virginia. There’s a good chance one could ring the doorbell at any NASCAR team’s shop this week and walk away with a bag full of sheet metal. They certainly have enough to spare.

It seemed fitting that Kyle Busch, the driver of the M&M’s sponsored Toyota, was the only one who ended up getting a treat. His victory secured his place in the Championship 4 at Homestead for the third straight year. Cruel tricks, on the other hand, were dished out all over the place. Chase Elliott was left with a tall hill to climb to join Busch as a title contender, even though he was only moments away from his first career win.

So where does that leave the Power Rankings? Our contributors weren’t spooked by all of the frightening occurrences. Nothing spooks them all that much, other than maybe an empty snack table in the media center. But did they manage to scare up a solid list? Or are the rankings just as terrifying as the people who compiled them? Take a look and let us know what you think.

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.

Unlike last year, Truex has a legitimate shot at making the Championship 4 at Homestead. All he has to do is stay out of trouble, finish and he’ll be in. – Pete McCole, Auto Racing 1
First-Place Votes: 6



(Photo: NASCAR)

Kyle Busch

Cars spun, drivers were in each other’s faces and the fans were up in arms after the race. The odd part is that Kyle Busch had nothing to do with it. – Frank Velat, Frontstretch

 First Place Votes: 1




(Photo: NASCAR)

Brad Keselowski

Suddenly, all the emphasis on Martinsville being their best and only shot for the playoffs might not be so consequential considering the speed this bunch has found. – Rob Tiongson, The Podium Finish




(Photo: NASCAR)

Chase Elliott

Who else loved the Dawsonville Pool Room’s tweet about FedEx boxes going straight to the garbage?. – Bryan Gable, Frontstretch



(Photo: NASCAR)

Jimmie Johnson

He’s taking the “old guy at Hendrick” comments too seriously. He’s already driving way slower than everyone else. – Michael Massie, Frontstretch





(Photo: NASCAR)

Denny Hamlin

He needs to research the difference between “Bump and Run” and “Dump and Run”. Oh and expect coal in his stocking at Christmas time from Santa, who spent his off weekend at Martinsville. – Christian Koelle, Frontstretch



(Photo: NASCAR)

Ryan Blaney

Blaney did what he needed to do on Sunday.  Avenge a nasty run from the spring with something good. – Phil Allaway, Frontstretch



(Photo: NASCAR)

Kevin Harvick

Not sure if Harvick actually noticed that Blaney jabbed him after their discussion or if he assumed that he was hit by Blaney’s flowing mane. – Velat





(Photo: NASCAR)

Kyle Larson

Another DNF for Larson. You have to wonder if this team has just about given up on this season. – McCole




(Photo: NASCAR)

Matt Kenseth

Whether or not this is his final hurrah in a Cup car, Matt Kenseth scored a hard fought top 10 at a track that was his nightmare in the past. – Tiongson



Others Receiving Votes: Clint Bowyer (1); Ricky Stenhouse Jr (1)

Who Voted: Bryan Gable, Frontstretch; Christian Koelle, Frontstretch; Pete McCole, Auto Racing 1; Phil Allaway, Frontstretch; 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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