Race Weekend Central

The 10: NASCAR Cup Series Power Rankings After Texas

The Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series blazed a trail into the Lone Star State this weekend for another 500-mile duel. With the playoff spots dwindling, the urgency starts to ratchet up for the drivers still vying for the title. Kyle Busch locked in his spot with his win last week and Martin Truex Jr. has a nearly insurmountable pile of playoff points paving his way in.

Of course, winning is the best way to book your place as a title contender and that’s exactly what Kevin Harvick did. He stalked Truex in the closing laps and used a rare hiccup in lapped traffic by Truex to sneak past. Harvick’s first win at Texas Motor Speedway couldn’t have come at a better time as he pursues his second Cup title.

So now we turn our attention once again to the Power Rankings. As far as our contributors are concerned, there isn’t a better time to reach peak form. What exactly that is varies greatly from one writer to the next. Perhaps it’s keen and accurate observations. Perhaps it’s good posture in the buffet line. Have we made all the right assessments? Or is there a Texas-sized hole in our logic? 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.

I heard his flight leaving Ft. Worth was delayed. Apparently Trevor Bayne’s plane was blocking the runway. – Bryan Gable, Frontstretch
First-Place Votes: 4



(Photo: NASCAR)

Kyle Busch

Remember all that chaos and misfortune Busch avoided at Martinsville? Apparently someone told it right where to find him this week. – Frank Velat, Frontstretch




(Photo: NASCAR)

Brad Keselowski

The Blue Deuce hasn’t graced Victory Lane in Phoenix since Rusty Wallace did it in ’98. Now would be the ideal time to break that desert drought. – Velat




(Photo: NASCAR)

Kevin Harvick

The man known as “The Closer” certainly did his best Craig Kimbrel impersonation by scoring a win with a late race pass at Texas. – Rob Tiongson, The Podium Finish



(Photo: NASCAR)

Denny Hamlin

Keselowski has a sizable gap over Hamlin for the final spot. But that could change very quickly if Keselowski enters a corner with his rear tires off of the ground. – Michael Massie, Frontstretch





(Photo: NASCAR)

Jimmie Johnson

Either the No. 48 team flips the switch this week, or the lights will stay off all winter. – Gable



(Photo: NASCAR)

Chase Elliott

While it’s a badge of honor to be labeled as the “people’s champion,” the one label that Elliott would like is to become this year’s Cup champion. – Tiongson



(Photo: NASCAR)

Matt Kenseth

He has the chance to go out with the bang. If that bang happens to be in the back of Elliott’s bumper, he’ll have to sit out next year just to avoid the crazy fans. – Massie





(Photo: NASCAR)

Ryan Blaney

Final round appearance or not, the Wood Brothers are going to miss having him around next year. – Gable





(Photo: NASCAR)

Kyle Larson

Any more bad luck and Larson might as well be the first driver to be eliminated from the playoffs twice in one season. – Velat



Others Receiving Votes: Erik Jones (6); Joey Logano (3); Kasey Kahne (1)

Who Voted: Bryan Gable, 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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