Race Weekend Central

Power Rankings: Back Home Again in Rain Delay Mode Edition

The folks at NASCAR are really quick to point out that their television partners get to pick the window that the race gets broadcast in. But maybe it’s time for the “experts” on holding a race to have a little talk with the television people.

Through most of its history, NASCAR never got a race rained out at Daytona International Speedway. Why? Big Bill France understood the weather and when NOT to hold a race. Similarly, starting a race in the Midwest on July 5 at 4 p.m. without lights is begging for weather delays and a rainout. The lack of races starting on time due to weather delays is killing television ratings, which is bad for NASCAR and bad for the television partners. 

  1. Kevin Harvick – Happy is having a career year since returning from the COVID-19 pandemic break, winning one-third of the races. When you talk “career year” for a NASCAR Cup Series champion, that is pretty amazing, but he is on a 12-win pace. 
  2. Denny Hamlin – Did I mention that Hamlin is the best driver in the history of NASCAR never to win a Cup title? Just like Little Billy Byron has his usual tagline every week, I think NASCAR announcers should be pointing this out weekly too. 
  3. Kyle Busch – Sixteen races and no wins by the winningest driver in the history of NASCAR? Is he ready to join Jimmie Johnson in retirement? Or will he go on a 10-race winning streak starting this week? 
  4. Chase Elliott – Breaking News: The Dawsonville Pool Room Si-reeen is now fixed and ready for duty! Now we will see if that was why Elliott was holding back on the track. 
  5. Brad Keselowski – This has been a really uninspiring season for Bad Brad, which is amazing because he does have two wins. He is always hanging out in the top 10 but has not been a contender for wins as often as in past seasons. 
  6. Ryan Blaney – The only good thing to say about Blaney’s race last weekend was that his crew member that got caught between two wrecking cars on pit road wasn’t hurt worse. The last time I saw an accident on pit road that scared me that much was the week before pit road speeds were introduced in NASCAR racing. 
  7. Kurt Busch – The rising tide for Rowdy’s brother is more a reaction to not moving him up quick enough over the last few weeks, combined with another bad performance by drivers in front of him. While the finish wasn’t great, once again Kurt was in the hunt. 
  8. Alex Bowman – Bowman the Showman is either doing something spectacular to move up through the field and into the lead or crashing out. Last week, it was crashing. 
  9. Martin Truex Jr. – There should be “mulligans” in NASCAR racing. Truex was a victim of being in the wrong place at the wrong time. He has probably been hurt more by the lack of qualifying than any of the other top drivers in NASCAR’s Cup division. 
  10. Joey Logano – Hey Sliced Bread, when are you going to change glasses? I’m not usually a superstitious person, but those ugly glasses are cursed! Unless he plans to teach online courses at Harvard in the fall, he needs to switch to tougher-looking specs immediately. 
  11. Clint Bowyer – If NASCAR gave out points based on average race position this season, Bowyer would be higher than 13th in points. There always seems to be something going wrong late or getting shuffled out of the good lane that costs him a better finish. 
  12. Tyler Reddick – This is probably the most inspiring rookie story in the Cup division in quite a few years. Christopher Bell and Cole Custer were supposed to finish so much higher than Reddick this season, but after 16 races, there is no question who is ROTY. 
  13. Aric Almirola – Aric, I know you are reading this every week and will be excited that you moved up two spots. Ever since I threatened to drop you out of the top 16, you have been a man on a mission. Maybe if I say you will never win again in Cup you will win three in a row next!
  14. William Byron – I wonder if Byron ever had a week like this when he was starting out in iRacing? Did you know that he got his start in iRacing as a kid before deciding to try racing the real thing? It’s true — this kid was an iRacer before he was a real racer! 
  15. Matt Kenseth – Just when I thought it was safe to drop the old man from the Power Rankings, he goes out and shows that he can still get it done. Since I had to replace the guy who went on the Disabled List with a case of the ‘Rona, Kenseth even gets to move up one slot this week. 
  16. Bubba Wallace – Never in the history of this sport has a driver been thrown into such a public relations blender. Maybe you are not 100% happy with how he has handled himself, but let me remind you of a couple of things. First, he is just 26 years old. Second, he is driving for a typically underfunded team and has just finished in the top 15 in four of his last six races. Way to go, Mister Wallace!  

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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