NASCAR Power Rankings after Michigan: The Big Drop

  1. Kyle Busch (NC)

Busch finished third on Sunday, marking his 14th top-three finish of the season. Busch has a very impressive average finish of seventh this season, a series-best. He also hasn’t finished worse than fifth at a non-restrictor plate track since Kansas, eleven races ago. Busch has also been leading in points since all the way back at Martinsville, and currently holds a 62 point lead over second place Kevin Harvick.

  1. Kevin Harvick (NC)

Harvick took the win on Sunday, his seventh of the season, a series-high. He hasn’t had quite the consistency that Busch has, and there have been instances where he’s had the fastest car and not won, but that’s certainly not to say that he’s far behind Busch. These two are bound to battle it out at Homestead in November.

  1. Martin Truex Jr. (NC)

Truex has been a little puzzling in the last few races. Since his last came at Kentucky, he finished a solid fourth at Loudon, followed a disappointing 15th at Pocono. He then nearly won at Watkins Glen, but that was tempered this week after he finished 14th. He’s started to fall back from the top two, and the big three may be no more if Truex can’t get back to form.

  1. Kurt Busch (NC)

Busch had another solid race, finishing sixth on Sunday. The finish extends his top-ten streak to five races, his longest of the season. For a driver that’s likely downgrading next season, Busch has been damn good lately.

  1. Erik Jones (+1)

After a pair of spins, it’s hard to believe that Jones is moving up in the rankings, but a remarkable recovery means he still finished 13th, and passes Kyle Larson for fifth.

  1. Clint Bowyer (+1)

Bowyer ended the race 12th, which is solid. Before Sunday, Bowyer had two consecutive 11th place finishes. Now that’s what I call consistency.

  1. Brad Keselowski (+1)

Keselowski played some strategy late in Sunday’s race, allowing him to grab a second-place finish. It’s a much needed good finish after a stretch of four out of five races outside the top 15.

  1. Kyle Larson (-3)

Larson ended up 17th, which means six of his last nine finishes have been outside the top ten, including three outside the top 20. Larson desperately needs to get out of this funk if he wants to contend for a championship later this season.

  1. Chase Elliott (NC)

Elliott finished ninth coming off his first career win at the Glen, his fourth consecutive top ten. He’s getting hot at the right time, that’s for sure. After last season, Elliott looks to make a run at Homestead.

  1. Aric Almirola (NC)

After two consecutive bad races, Almirola has stopped the skid with a seventh place finish. This inconsistency needs to end for Almirola to have any shot at a deep playoff run.

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