The Racing Gods sure have a wicked sense of timing. Last week, the racing community lost a great racing promoter in Bob Bahre. This week, NASCAR heads to the track that he was responsible for making happen.
Mr. Bahre was so important to New England racing in general and to New Hampshire Motor Speedway in particular. This brilliant man used to joke that he spent four of the best years of his life in seventh grade. He built quite the financial empire, which allowed him to indulge his love of auto racing of all kinds.
Bahre gave the modifieds a one-mile track to have their equivalent of the Daytona 500 every year, though they usually raced three or four times there each year. Robert P. “Bob” Bahre might be gone from this Earth, but his legacy will live on in New England for as long as there is a thing called auto racing.
This week’s Power Rankings are dedicated to Bahre.
- Kevin Harvick – Even though the second dog won last week at Kansas Speedway, it was impossible not to keep Harvick as the Top Dog again this week.
- Denny Hamlin – Hamlin solidified his grip on the title of the best driver in Cup history to not win a Cup title. A few more wins and he might even make Harvick unhappy.
- Kurt Busch – Chalk up yet another finish ahead of his brother, which keeps Kurt ahead of his brother in the Busch Family Rankings as well as the Power Rankings for one more week.
- Kyle Busch – Rowdy is winless in 2020 after 19 races! If you had bet on this at the start of the year you could have won thousands, but you would have also been committed to Trembling Acres Rest Home by your family. At least the No. 18 team got its first playoff point of the season in Kansas.
- Chase Elliott – Shouldn’t the si-reen been set off for a Cup win more than once this season? Elliott continues to find more unique ways to lose a race which makes me doubt his DNA since his father, Bill, was always great at finding unique ways to win races.
- Ryan Blaney – The No. 12 team and Blaney should win more often, but that has been the story of his young Cup career. How has he only managed to win one race a year for the last four seasons? Maybe he gets his second of the campaign this weekend.
- Brad Keselowski – Unlike his teammate, Keselowski has found a way to get better finishes than you would think he should have been able to salvage this season, including two lucky wins and a runner-up finish last week.
- Martin Truex Jr. – Don’t look now but crew chief (James Small) and driver seem to be adjusting to this new abnormal of no practice and no qualifying. Nobody has been hurt more by this new way of racing (though you could argue the younger Busch), but things are starting to come together for the No. 19 team.
- Alex Bowman – It’s hard to believe that Bowman the Showman has not been able to put two top-10 finishes together in a row in 2020. If this trend continues, he will be dropping down the rankings really fast.
- Joey Logano – Ugly glasses and ugly finishes have kept Sliced Bread from moving up in the rankings. Even more inconsistency by the guys below Logano have kept him from falling in the power rankings.
- Tyler Reddick – The biggest rookie surprise since Andy Lally, the non-related driver to the owner at Richard Childress Racing continues to have strong races. Could RCR put both cars in the chase, I mean playoffs, this season?
- Aric Almirola – Another strong finish for Almirola at Kansas. That now makes eight top-10 finishes in a row, and he would be even higher ranked if not for the memory of a string of five finishes of 15th or worse in a row earlier this year.
- Clint Bowyer – NASCAR’s top funnyman finally had to drop in the rankings because the Power Rankings are based on results, not potential. How this guy manages to not win more races with this equipment is a mystery.
- William Byron – The highest ranking Cup driver who started out in iRacing. Byron has slipped to 14th in the official standings and the same in the unofficial rankings.
- Cole Custer – Chalk up another top-10 finish, and its clear that he is not over-matched at the Cup level. Will it take another set of special tires to get him to make a four-wide pass on the outside for another win?
- Erik Jones – Not only did Jones finish fifth last week, he also cracked the top 16 in points. Even more impressive, he started from a poor 21st-place draw for starting position on a day where track position was king.
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I doubt that Bahre is much of a hero in Wilkes County, NC.
Blaney could be ranked higher except for a few bone-headed calls by his Crew Chief.