Race Weekend Central

The 12: NASCAR Power Rankings Geico 500 Edition

Although not quite an Earnhardt, Chase Elliott took home his fourth career victory in front of a massive Elliott-favored crowed at Talladega last weekend. Can Elliott double down at Dover and prove he should be considered a championship threat?

Often considered as the most consistent Chevrolet driver this season, Kurt Busch led a train of bowties to the front at Talladega. With Chevrolet exploiting its superspeedway prowess, can Busch lead the brigade to better consistency for the manufacturer as a whole on short circuits?

Kevin Harvick‘s quiet season continues after being taken out by in a lap 11 accident. Is it time to lower our expectations about the 2014 champion?

Meanwhile, dawning a flashy new paint scheme, Harvick’s teammate Daniel Suarez put his aggressiveness all out on the line at the Alabama superspeedway. This new side of Suarez we’ve seen in 2019 has him knocking on the door of the top 10 in points. Will we be seeing the No. 41 in Victory Lane anytime soon?

Numerous questions are left unanswered after an exciting weekend of racing at the Talladega Superspeedway. This weekend, the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup series treks to the Dover International Speedway, and after crazy superspeedway competition, many drivers will hope to put Talladega behind them for the time being. In the week leading up to Dover, our Frontstrech had the difficult task of analyzing the twelve best driver in NASCAR at this very moment. With that, here are power rankings after Talladega…

How the power rankings are calculated: Following the conclusion of each Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series race, members of a voting panel, including Frontstretch writers and members of accredited media outlets as well as writers from other sites and social media personalities, submit their top 12 drivers for the Power Rankings.

The drivers are then given points based on their ranking by our panelists, with first place getting 12 points, and each subsequent driver getting one fewer point until the 12th-place driver, who gets a single point. Points are then added together, and the rankings are subsequently produced.

Power Rankings: Geico 500 Edition

1. Kyle Busch – 211 Points

First place votes: 15

Last week’s ranking: 1st (No Change)

Although he came away with a decent finish, Busch often found himself in shark-infested waters surrounded by strong Chevrolet and Ford alliances without a fellow Toyota in sight. Once the pioneer of manufacturer alliances at superspeedways, Toyota surprisingly found itself lagging behind. Yet, in the midst of the storm, Busch proved that he doesn’t need alliances to run up front.

“The clear leader in the field. Most stage wins, a staple in the top 10 week in and week out.” -Ed Coombs, Speedway Media

2. Joey Logano – 193 Points

First place votes: 1

Last week’s ranking: 2nd (No Change)

Although he may have looked like a favorite to win in the closing stages of the Geico 500, Logano found himself preoccupied with Kurt Busch’s No. 1 machine and missed a critical block of a line of Chevrolets with only a few laps to go, ultimately costing him the race. While disappointed at the result, Mr. Logano headed to Washington.

“Looked to be the dominant car until a Hendrick freight train overtook the Penske trio.” -Adam Cheek, Fronstretch

“I kept getting his car and Ryan Blaney’s car confused. I wonder if the ladies who swarm Blaney had the same problem.” -Michael Massie, Fronstretch

3. Brad Keselowski 159 Points

Last week’s ranking: 5th (+2)

Keselowski waltzed his way into Talladega on the 10th anniversary weekend of his first career victory, an occasion that sparked controversy with cars landing on Ryan Newman again and a real-life Ricky Bobby. While Keselowski didn’t score the victory, he sure won the drifting competition.

“Someday, I hope I will be just as good at parking as Keselowski spinning perfectly in his pit stall.” -Kobe Lambeth, Kobelambeth.com

“Slid into the pits like a guy into a girl’s DM’s.” -Rob Dutzar Jr, Rob’s NASCAR Blog

4. Chase Elliott 132 Points

First place votes: 2

Last week’s ranking: Not Ranked

He came, he saw, he conquered.

Also, here’s to turning up, throwing down and cars that go real fast…


“Although Junior Johnson might be the ‘Last American Hero,’ Mr. Elliott might just be the hero of Alabama.” -Zach Gillispie, Frontstretch

“The kid from Dawsonville wins in Alabama! All is right in the world.” -Coombs

5. Martin Truex Jr. 125 Points

Last week’s ranking: 4th (-1)

Although he didn’t get quite the damage Matt DiBenedetto or Chris Buescher sustained on the lap 181 melee, Truex never made it back to the front at Talladega. However, like Keselowski last week, he heads back to the sight of his first career victory this weekend. If he can’t win, maybe he can do something incredible like sliding into a pit box backward. Also, is Dover his home track, or is it Pocono? Wait, maybe it’s New Hampshire? Watkins Glen???

“Didn’t win his first superspeedway race, but did a nice burnout on the backstretch after being caught up in a crash.” -Cheek

6. Denny Hamlin 115 Points

Last week’s ranking: 3rd (-3)

Remember when Hamlin kept getting injured playing basketball. Well, for most of the day at Talladega, it looked just like that, as Hamlin limped around the 2.66-mile circuit for over 65 laps following a crash.

“He pretty much saved Brad Keselowski from disaster and if he didn’t do that, we wouldn’t have gotten a perfect park job by Keselowski. Hamlin deserves driver of the race just for that one.” -Jake Baskinger, Jake Baskinger on YouTube

7. Kurt Busch 108 Points

Last week’s ranking: Tied 9th (+2)

As stated earlier, Kurt Busch helped lead the Chevrolet contingent to strong finishes at Talladega. To keep the momentum going, Busch needs to have a solid effort at Dover, a track that has not been too favorable to him in the past. Although he scored a win at the concrete Delaware track, it came over seven years ago driving for Team Penske. Yes, it’s been that long.

“Didn’t get enough retweets to wreck his brother and win. So he did neither at Talladega.” -Dutzar Jr

8. Kevin Harvick 83 Points

Last week’s ranking: 6th (-2)

Ok, we know Harvick wrecked after being attacked by an out of control Clint Bowyer. However, the real question is, why doesn’t Busch Beer sponsor a Busch? The would-be marketing gold.

It is also surprising to see the Busch guy in civilization and not surrounded by things like trees… and campfires… and bears.

 “I feel like he’s sucked all year, yet somehow he’s fourth in points. Did he get bonus points for roasting Bubba Wallace?” -Massie

9. Aric Almirola 68 Points

Last week’s ranking: 11th (+2)

For the first time in three weeks, we do not have to reset our counter…

Consecutive weeks with a top-10 finish: 1

“Mr. Consistent continues to be consistent.” -Cheek

10. Ryan Blaney 66 Points

Last week’s ranking: Tied 9th (-1)

Blaney prepared for Talladega’s chaos by doing this…

Smart move

“Find you a friend like Bubba Wallace, who would rather wreck the field than wreck his buddy YRB.” -Massie

11. Clint Bowyer 47 Points

Last week’s ranking: 7th (-4)

On this special two week edition of Bowyer’s social media chronicles: beer, beer and more beer,

Plus, Coach Brian has Cash on the sticks, looking down on the competition, and Darrell Waltrip is a “cat.”

“Give him a point for his shotgun-beer skills.” -Godwin Kelly, The Daytona Beach News-Journal

12. Daniel Suarez 159 Points

Last week’s ranking: Tied 9th (-3)

Orange and vanilla make a good combination. Vanilla and Coca-Cola make a good combination. But Daniel Suarez, how can orange, Coca-Cola, and vanilla be even a drinkable combination?

“Slowly but surely proving Gibbs made the wrong choice.” -Kelly



Name Twitter Organization
Jake Baskinger @jbaskinger41 Jake Baskinger on YouTube
Adam Cheek @adamncheek Frontstretch
Ed Combs @combsed Speedway Media
Bryan Davis Keith @bryandaviskeith Frontstretch
Rob Dutzar Jr @rob_dutzar Rob’s NASCAR Blog
Darian Gilliam @blackflagmatter Black Flags Matter
Zach Gillispie @gillispie_zach Frontstretch
Dan Greene @librarymonk Frontstretch
Leon Hammack @captainblowdri Working on My Rednck
Ryan Holman @realryanholman Ryan Holman on YouTube
Dakota Honaker @2codered4u 2CodeRed4U
Godwin Kelly @godwinkelly The Daytona Beach News Journal
Mark Kristl @markkristl Frontstretch
Kobe Lambeth @kobelambeth Kobelambeth.com
Michael Massie @m_massie22 Frontstretch
Tommy McCoart @nascarman_rr Racing Reference
Scott Page @slpage Jayski
Joy Tomlinson @jt_giantsfan Frontstretch

Do you agree with our rankings? Think someone was left out, or that one of the top drivers is overrated? Let us know in the comments, and tell others what your top 12 would be. 

About the author

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Never at a loss for words, Zach Gillispie is a young, talented marketing professional from North Carolina who talks and writes on the side about his first love: racing! Since joining Frontstretch in 2018, Zach has served in numerous roles where he currently pens the NASCAR 101 column, a weekly piece delving into the basic nuts and bolts of the sport. Additionally, his unabashedly bold takes meshed with that trademarked dry wit of his have made Zach a fan favorite on the weekly Friday Faceoff panel. In his free time, he can be found in the great outdoors, actively involved in his church, cheering on his beloved Atlanta Braves or ruthlessly pestering his colleagues with completely useless statistics about Delma Cowart.

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From not ranked to 4th for that win? Apparently Rick Hendrick is still paying people off.

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