Lionel Racing’s Power 10 (July 11, 2016)

Brad Keselowski followed up his win in Daytona’s Coke Zero 400 Powered by Coca-Cola with one heck of an encore.

After leading 75 of 267 laps, including the final six, in Saturday night’s Quaker State 400 Presented by Advance Auto Parts, Keselowski won his fourth race of 2016 — his second in two weeks.

In a race that was slowed by 10 cautions for accidents and one competition caution, the Michigan native didn’t see the front of the pack until Lap 55.

The win propelled Keselowski to the top of the official standings, and he is currently the only driver to officially lock in his/her spot in the Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup.

Was Keselowski’s win — the 21st of his career — enough to knock Kevin Harvick from his perch atop Lionel Racing’s Power 10 rankings — a spot Harvick’s had on lockdown since May 16 (a span of eight races)?

After starting the race from the pole, Harvick finished in ninth place after leading 128 laps.

Is the ninth-place finish and otherwise strong performance in Kentucky enough to keep Harvick in the top position in the Power 10?

After winning at Sonoma two weeks prior to Kentucky, did Tony Stewart finally crack the Power 10 after a solid fifth-place performance on Saturday night?

Greg Biffle struggled at the beginning of 2016, but he’s scored top 10s in back-to-back finishes in the last two races — his only two of the season. Is the sudden resurgence enough to move Biffle into the Power 10?

These questions and more will be answered in this week’s edition of Lionel Racing’s Power 10.

The top-10 finishes in Saturday’s race were Keselowski, Carl Edwards, Ryan Newman, Kurt Busch, Stewart, Biffle, Jamie McMurray, Matt Kenseth, Harvick and Martin Truex Jr.

(Note: Only the 10 drivers receiving the highest average rankings are shown. The number of spots they’ve moved since the previous Power 10 are shown in the parentheses.)

1. Brad Keselowski (+1): When Brad grabs back-to-back wins and becomes the first driver to officially lock up a spot in the postseason, it should come as no surprise that he’s No. 1 here.

2. Kevin Harvick (-1): After seven races at the top of the rankings, Kevin was finally moved from his lofty perch, but he still managed another top-10 finish.

3. Kyle Busch (+1): With a series-high 10 top fives, Kyle should be a fixture at the top of any driver ranking. He was one of only six drivers with a driver rating above 100.0 in the race.

4. Carl Edwards (+1): Carl saw his stock rise this week after finishing second at Kentucky. The finish moved him up one spot in the official standings as well as in our Power 10 rankings.

5. Kurt Busch (-2): When you have a series-high 15 top-10 finishes in 18 races, being ranked in the Power 10 shouldn’t come as a surprise. Posting a fourth-place finish doesn’t hurt Kurt’s case either.

6. Jimmie Johnson (+2): Despite wrecking out of the last two races, Jimmie is still able to climb the rankings. The fact that he’s a threat to win every weekend may have something to do with this.

7. Martin Truex Jr. (+2): After leading 46 laps, there was a point in the race where many wondered if Martin would be able to win for the second time this season.

8. Joey Logano (-2): Joey may have finished 39th at Kentucky after wrecking on Lap 55, but he’s still good enough to find his way into our most recent Power 10.

9t. Chase Elliott (-2): Although Chase may have not had the finish he wanted at Kentucky (31st), he’s still leading a strong class of rookies in the Sunoco Rookie of the Year race.

9t. Tony Stewart (NR): Tony makes his first appearance on Lionel Racing’s Power 10 after finishing fifth at Kentucky. Don’t be surprised to see him rise over the next four races — he has multiple wins at each of the next four tracks.

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