Race Weekend Central

The 12: NASCAR Power Rankings Go Bowling at the Glen Edition

There were people that said it was going to be tough for Chase Elliott to have a better performance this year at Watkins Glen than last year when he held off Martin Truex Jr to win his first-ever career victory in the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series.

Elliott, once again, proved people wrong.

The Dawsonville, Georgia native led 80 of 90 laps and held Truex off to win his second win of the season and the second consecutive win in Upstate New York. How did this help Chase in this week’s power rankings?

Kyle Busch had an unusual day in which he spun out twice and left with multiple drivers mad at him. Did this help him or hurt this week?

Elliott’s win and Busch’s struggles are all featured in this week’s Power Rankings.

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: Go Bowling at The Glen Edition

1. Kyle Busch — 91 Points

First-place votes: 5

Last week’s ranking: 1st (-)

For Busch, it was an unusual day. He spun early in the race on lap three with contact from William Byron. Byron then was planning on retaliating, but Busch brake checked him and caused more damage to his car than Busch’s. Busch’s rough day continued when he got spun by Bubba Wallace when Wallace and Busch were going back and forth past the start/finish line.

Not the best day by any means for the No. 18 group.

“Pinballed through Watkins Glen.” – Godwin Kelly, Daytona Beach News-Journal

“He will not be inviting William Byron and Bubba Wallace to a KBM reunion party any time soon.” – Kobe Lambeth, KobeLambeth.com

“He both wrecked – and got wrecked by – two people, suffered a speeding penalty… And still finished 11th and took over the points lead.” – Aaron Bearden, Motorsports Beat

2. Martin Truex Jr.— 79 Points

First-place votes: 0

Last week’s ranking: 3rd (+1)

It seemed like 2018 all over again for Truex at Watkins Glen. He was chasing down the No. 9 of Elliott but as he said, he just didn’t have the speed when he was in dirty air to get a big enough jump to execute the pass for the lead.

3. Denny Hamlin — 74 Points

First-place votes: 2

Last week’s ranking: 2nd (-1)

It was obvious that Hamlin didn’t have the speed to contend for the top two cars so he was forced to capitalize on what he could for the best realistic finish. The best he could do was third and he finished third on Sunday afternoon. Not too shabby for a short track racer.

Denny just keeps delivering. He already has more top fives (11) than he had in the entirety of 2018, and we aren’t even to the playoffs yet. His career-best mark is 15.” – Bearden

4. Joey Logano — 68 Points

First-place votes: 0

Last week’s ranking: 4th (-)

It was a relatively quiet day for Logano. Much like Pocono the previous week, he just didn’t have a car running at the top of the pack and had to settle for a 23rd-place finish. Not the finish they were wanting or even expecting for Logano and the No. 22 team.

At least he completed more laps than he did last year.” Lambeth

5. Kevin Harvick 58 Points

First-place votes: 0

Last week’s ranking: 5th (-)

It was a solid weekend for Harvick as he told reporters he just didn’t have the car for the leaders this week and he thought they “overachieved” by finishing seventh.

T- 6. Brad Keselowski — 50 Points

First-place votes: 0

Last week’s ranking: 6th (-)

For Keselowski, he said they didn’t have a race-winning car but they had a car they could compete for a top 10 on Sunday. Keselowski was right and he finished ninth on Sunday. Might not be the best result for the No. 2 team but they will definitely take it.

T-6. Chase Elliott 50 Points

First-place votes: 1

Last week’s ranking: UR (UR)

If there is such a thing as the perfect weekend, Elliott had that at Watkins Glen. He won the pole, won both stages, won the race and led 80 of the 90 laps. After a struggle of wrecks, blown tires and just plain bad luck, this was a much-needed win for Elliott and the No. 9 team.

8. Erik Jones– 35 Points

First-place votes: 0

Last week’s ranking: 7th (-1)

If there is one driver that is on fire that has not won a race, that would be Jones. Jones finished top five again for the fourth consecutive race and the seventh top ten in the last eight races. The real question is whether or not he gets win before or after the playoffs begin.

Remember when this dude was on the wrong side of the playoff bubble? His 3.0 average finish over the past four races has doubled his top-five count and elevated him from playoff afterthought to a sleeper contender for a deep postseason run.” –Bearden

9. Ryan Blaney— 33 Points

First-place votes: 0

Last week’s ranking: 9th (-)

After having to start at the back of the field, it was an up and down day for Blaney as he and Jimmie Johnson got into it after the race after Blaney spun the seven-time champion out during the race. Whether his lips were quivering or not, Blaney came out of The Glen with a fifth-place finish.

Blaney should watch his back though…

10. Kurt Busch— 32 Points

First-place votes: 0

Last week’s ranking: 8th (-2)

It was a semi-quiet day for Busch as although he is not the best at Watkins Glen, he kept all four tires on the pavement for most of the day and quietly scored a top-10 finish.

Solid birthday for the 41-year-old.

11. Aric Almirola— 17 Points

First-place votes: 0

Last week’s ranking: 12th (+1)

Coming into Watkins Glen, Almirola said he is not the best at road courses and wanted to just end the day in one piece. Almirola did that and came home with a nice top-15 run. Solid day for the No. 10 team.

12. Kyle Larson— 13 Points

First-place votes: 0

Last week’s ranking: 11th (-1)

It was a great run for Larson as he and his crew chief went with a different strategy and it paid off for him. Solid effort and a nice finish in eighth place for Larson and the No. 42 team.

The really nice thing for Larson this past weekend? He didn’t have to go to a backup car like he had the prior two weeks.



Name Twitter Organization
Aaron Bearden @aaronbearden93 Motorsports Beat
Ed Coombs @combsed SpeedwayMedia.com
Rob Dutzar Jr @rob_dutzar Rob’s NASCAR Blog
Darian Gilliam @blackflagmatter Black Flags Matter
Godwin Kelly @godwinkelly The Daytona Beach News Journal
Kobe Lambeth @kobelambeth Kobelambeth.com
Trey Normile
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

Bryan Nolen currently goes to the Dan Patrick School of Sportscasting at Full Sail. He would like to be involved in some aspect of Motor Sports after he completes school. He hosts a podcast that is on Apple Podcasts and Google Play called Sports Talk with Bryan and TB and lives in Boise, Idaho.

Follow him on Twitter @TheBryanNolen

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IT is a little hard to take these rankings seriously when a driver that as directly stated as 7 top 10’s in last 8 races with a few top 5 in that span, drops a spot in the rankings.
I would put the 2 car 7th, Jones 6th and Elliott 8th. Even with the win still has not been consistently finishing like the 20 car the past two months. Also before anyone says boo about being a Toyota homer, I am a Ford Racing fan and always have been.

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