NASCAR: Power Rankings – The Goody's Fast Relief 500 From Martinsville

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    Power Rankings

    Credit: Michael Shroyer-USA TODAY Sports

    Once again, it’s time for our weekly NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Power Rankings. Who is at the top of our list following Talladega as the series heads to Martinsville for the Goody’s Fast Relief 500 ?

    OK, so maybe Talladega didn’t give us the “big one” we usually wait for, but it still offered plenty of Chase-related drama nonetheless.  Chase contenders Martin Truex, Jr. and Brad Keselowski had uncharacteristic mechanical (engine) failures to spoil their day, and Denny Hamlin inched out Kurt Busch for 3rd place to tie him with Austin Dillon for the final transfer spot, which he earned on a tie-breaker.  Then, when everyone thought they were safe, Stewart-Haas Racing teammates Kurt Busch and Kevin Harvick had a dust-up on the cool-down lap which continued into the garage.

    With pent-up emotions and testosterone still running high, the series heads from the biggest track to the smallest track next weekend at Martinsville.  At least the hot dogs at Martinsville are only $2.00 as compared to Wrigley Field, where they are $7.50 for the post-season…. up from $6.50 during the regular season!

    Be sure to leave comments here or reach us via social media to discuss where your favorite driver is on the list, or to tell us who should be on/off the list in your opinion!

    Dropping off the list this week:  88

    New (or returning) to the list this week:  47

    Power Rankings

    Credit: John David Mercer-USA TODAY Sports

    Honorable Mentions

    Brian Scott

    No. 44, Richard-Petty Motorsports


    (Last Week: NR) – For just a minute on that last lap, it looked like Scott might have been able to pull of a surprise win – but unlike Donald Trump, he is accepting the results of the race without protest.

    Ricky Stenhouse, Jr.

    No. 17, Roush-Fenway Racing


    (Last Week: NR) – A viral message on Facebook this week stated that if you wonder how more than 40% of people could still be supporting Donald Trump, remember that we are a country that places warning labels on soap. Ironically, a soap brand sponsored Stenhouse Jr.’s ride at Talladega, where folks there could benefit from using some.

    Power Rankings

    Credit: Randy Sartin-USA TODAY Sports

    Power Rankings (No. 15 – No. 11)

    A.J. Allmendinger

    No. 47, JTG Daugherty Racing


    (Last Week: HM) – Nice honorable mention last week followed by a top-10 finish this week. That’s worth a spot on the list, for sure. AJ had an employee of sponsor Kroger who is a one-year survivor of breast cancer in his pit on Sunday. Judging from the Twitter pics, she survived quite nicely.

    Kasey Kahne

    No. 5, Hendrick Motorsports


    (Last Week: 10) – Some have theorized that you and teammate Alex Bowman in the No. 88 each spun intentionally to bring about a caution to help the No. 24 gain spots on the ensuing restart. I debunked those rumors by saying you weren’t that clever.

    Ryan Newman

    No. 31, Richard Childress Racing


    (Last Week: 11) – Most recent Tweet on your Twitter feed post-race shows the No. 31 car heading out for a practice run. Son, when the stands are full and the TV people are on, it’s go time. Guess you missed the message. Today was the RACE. Too much wine at the Childress Winery charity event this past week?

    Chase Elliott

    No. 24, Hendrick Motorsports


    (Last Week: 14) – Good game of “tag – you’re it” with the No. 2 car on side-drafting for most of the first third of the race. Sometimes, you just gotta go out and grab what you think is yours….. a lesson you learned on the Billy Bush party bus, no doubt.

    Austin Dillon

    No. 3, Richard Childress Racing


    (Last Week: 9) – Prevented from going on to the Round of 8 by losing a tie-breaker to the No. 11 by mere inches. But hey, that obnoxious cowboy hat makes you look cool about it….. about as dapper as that all-white pant suit Hillary wore at the last debate.

    Power Rankings

    Credit: John David Mercer-USA TODAY Sports

    Power Rankings (No. 10 – No. 6)

    Brad Keselowski

    No. 2, Penske Racing


    (Last Week: 8) – NBCSN said that you took last Monday off to clear your head and focus just on Talladega, rather than get too consumed by the whole Championship. Well, now you can spend the whole winter thinking about how a hot dog wrapper ruined the whole season.

    Carl Edwards

    No. 19, Joe Gibbs Racing


    (Last Week: 6) – You, Matt and Kyle need to take up a collection and refund your fans’ money that came to see you actually race…. just like LA Dodgers fans are wondering where their team was in Game 6 of the NLCS.

    Kyle Busch

    No. 18, Joe Gibbs Racing


    (Last Week: 4) – The Arizona Cardinals and the Seattle Seahawks played to a 6-6 tie on Sunday night in what is already being called the “best, worst football game ever” because each team missed chip-shot late field goal attempts. I’m sure you and your JGR teammates can relate after that show you put on earlier in the day.

    Kurt Busch

    No. 41, Stewart-Haas Racing


    (Last Week: 12) – Cubs win! Wear it proudly, my man.

    Denny Hamlin

    No. 11, Joe Gibbs Racing


    (Last Week: 13) – Woo hoo! The only JGR or JGR-affiliated car who didn’t blow up or mail it in on Sunday. You must be the only one affiliated with FedEx who actually arrives undamaged and on time.

    Power Rankings

    Credit: John David Mercer-USA TODAY Sports

    Power Rankings (No. 5 – No. 1)

    Matt Kenseth

    No. 20, Joe Gibbs Racing


    (Last Week: 2) – The F1 race was down the road a bit in Austin, TX this past weekend if you’re such a tool for following team orders. Speaking of tools, how’s that sponsor of yours feeling today? I’m headed out to buy Craftsman.

    Martin Truex, Jr.

    No. 78, Furniture Row Motorsports


    (Last Week: 5) – Modesty in victory and graciousness in defeat. You’re classy like that. Nothing says you still can’t finish 5th.

    Jimmie Johnson

    No. 48, Hendrick Motorsports


    (Last Week: 3) – You said that since you were already locked-in for the next round, you wanted to spend Sunday helping your team mates. Trouble is, they’re running from you just as fast as Republicans are running away from Donald Trump.

    Joey Logano

    No. 22, Penske Racing


    (Last Week: 7) – We know you snuck out of bed on Saturday night to watch Lady Gaga on Saturday Night Live. It’s OK. We understand.

    Kevin Harvick

    No. 4, Stewart-Haas Racing


    (Last Week: 1) – Hope you didn’t injure your teammate Kurt Busch after punching him through the window post-race. Obamacare doesn’t cover much of anything anymore, and I wouldn’t want to see Kurt pay a 71% premium increase just to find that out.

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