Race Weekend Central

Power Rankings: Dega Worth the Wait Edition

It was yet another long week for NASCAR, but this time it was not only weather that was the culprit. A case of mistaken identity when a knot wasn’t just a knot and was thought to be a noose led to an emotional Sunday (June 21) which was quickly doused by rain. The next day an emotional outpouring of support for Bubba Wallace and the impending FBI investigation that would quickly yield a “no call” on a hate crime against Wallace all overshadowed what was a very exciting superspeedway race at Talladega. Hopefully we all learned a lesson about jumping to conclusions, and my dad taught me at an early age what happens when you assume. 

With that said, let’s look at this week’s Power Rankings.

  1. Kevin Harvick – It was a hard fought tenth place at Talladega for Happy, and even a worse finish would not knock him off this top spot. It’s back to real racing this weekend, and we’re going to see the No. 4’s experience shining through.
  2. Kyle Busch – He could have been a contender in Talladaga had a flat tire not taken him out of contention. Again, an issue like Rowdy dealt with last week is not going to affect his position in the Power Rankings this week. 
  3. Ryan Blaney – Blaney finally got the win that’s been eluding him this season, and that’s enough to bump him up a few spots this week. Will he be able to defend his win when the real racing returns this week? 
  4. Denny Hamlin – It was a nice gesture for FedEx to donate their sponsor space to the amazing National Civil Rights Museum. Instead of daring to say they are pandering for attention, maybe we all need to pay attention to what is going in the world a little more. His fourth place finish at Talladega was the icing on the cake.
  5. Chase Elliott – It’s a good thing he crashed out on Monday. Why would I say such a mean thing? The Dawsonville Pool Hall was closed for renovations and I doubt the si-reeen would have been ready for a win. Maybe this week. 
  6. Brad Keselowski– If that lackluster race came anywhere but a superspeedway, where timing one’s move and having dancing partners is as important as having a fast car, he might have dropped a few spots this week. But even Keselowski’s 19th-place finish won’t budge him as we head into the Pocono doubleheader.
  7. Alex Bowman – Bowman the Showman made a nice charge at the end of Monday’s race, letting him hang on to seventh place in our Power Rankings for another week. How he fares in back-to-back races this weekend will determine if he can hold on to the top-10 another week. 
  8. Martin Truex Jr. – After winning the draw for the pole, it seemed like his luck was all downhill from that point last weekend. Again, it was a superspeedway so it’s hard to get too excited about Power Rankings movement this week.  
  9. Joey Logano – Is anyone else reminded of the movie Major League and what happened when the relief pitcher switched to tougher looking glasses? Hey, Joey, you might want to stream that one and pick up a few tips before this weekend. 
  10. William Byron – It took 150 laps before Mike Joy reminded us that Little William got his start in iRacing. Do I sound mad to you? Well, I am, because I picked the under of lap 75 in Vegas and lost ten bucks!  
  11. Kurt Busch – We could be witnessing another championship-contending run for Kurt Busch. I know he has made the Chase – I mean the Playoffs. The last time he was a serious contender for the Championship we were told not to call the Chase the Playoffs.  
  12. Jimmie Johnson – Is the seven-time Champion sponsored by Paul Simon this year? I know that’s a crazy question to ask, but the closer he gets to Victory Lane, the farther he seems to fall. (You young kids can Google that one or just give me a hearty “OK Boomer” and carry on.) 
  13. Tyler Reddick – Every race this guy has been in contention. Do you realize he is a rookie? Do you realize he is with a team that has not been all that good in recent years? Do you realize his team owner wants to adopt him as a grandson? 
  14. Clint Bowyer – One of the coolest paint schemes to grace a NASCAR track was undefeated like the USA in the World Wars. But when it came to the Vietnam-like segments of the race, he had to surrender. That 25th place was definitely a defeat.
  15. Matt Kenseth – Equipment failures can’t be blamed on the driver, so the ultimate results are like scoring an incomplete in your geometry class. He will have to do well in both the midterm and the final exam this weekend to earn a proper grade. 
  16. Aric Almirola – Aric is certainly one of the better pack racers on superspeedways, so a strong finish was not a surprise. If he wants to hold his spot in the Power Rankings, he will have to show some strong finishes in real races. 

Do you have any complaints about the Power Rankings? Do you think another driver is more worthy of making the cut? Include your ranking in the comments section and your comment might make the article next week.


About the author

Dennis a.k.a. DMIC has been covering NASCAR racing since 1998. After spending 23 years as a professional weather forecaster, Dennis still didn't know what he wanted to be when he grew up, so he started covering auto racing full time. He is the moderator of the Race Track Business Conference - an all-day educational seminar covering the business of speed - and is the owner of DMIC Media & Marketing where he spends his time mouthing off about all kinds of sports. He is also the play-by-play voice for the professional Ultimate Disc team the Chicago Wildfire of the American Ultimate Disc League. Dennis can be heard every Saturday on The Final Inspection on 105.7FM The Fan in Milwaukee, Wis. talking NASCAR, and you can listen on the Radio.com app.

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A joke even mentioning Kenseth.

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