NASCAR: Power Rankings – Final 2016 Standings

Power Rankings

Credit: Jasen Vinlove-USA TODAY Sports

On a day that NASCAR bid farewell to a Champion and crowned a part of its history at Homestead-Miami Speedway, we present our final 2016 Power Rankings following the Ford EcoBoost 400.  Where did your driver finish?

The books are now closed on what will be the final Sprint Cup season ever, as a new (yet to be named) entity will take over sponsorship of the Cup series in 2017 and beyond.  Challenges will be many, as the sport will need to address the retirements of Jeff Gordon and Tony Stewart in recent years as well as the yet unknown status of Dale Earnhardt, Jr. medically ever being allowed to drive again.  We are at a major crossroads in NASCAR’s history.

Congratulations to Jimmie Johnson and the No. 48 team on their record-tying seventh Championship and the new era in which they accomplished such an amazing feat, and thank you to Tony Stewart and the No. 14 team for a career that made us realize that the legacy of the sport’s glory days are not lost upon us, either.

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:  21, 31

New (or returning) to the list this week:  1, 47

Power Rankings

Credit: Jason Vinlove-USA TODAY Sports

Honorable Mention

Tony Stewart

No. 14, Stewart-Haas Racing


(Last Week: NR) – 18 years | 49 wins | 3 Series Championships. Thank you, Tony.

Power Rankings

Credit: Jason Vinlove-USA TODAY Sports

Power Rankings (No. 15 – No. 11)

A.J. Allmendinger

No. 47, JTG Daugherty Racing


(Last Week: NR) – Getting an Honorable Mention so often this season was getting tiresome. Your fans are really proud of your 8th place finish so that you can finish 2016 on the main list! Congratulations, and get after it again in ’17.

Jamie McMurray

No. 1, Chip Ganassi Racing


(Last Week: HM) – Probably a team that didn’t want the season to end, as some momentum seemed to be building. Solid run at Homestead and an exceptional performance by his team mate Larson in the No. 42. Need to stay motivated until February and hit the ground running in Daytona.

Kasey Kahne

No. 5, Hendrick Motorsports


(Last Week: 12) – You like clobbering someone that hard in the rear end, don’t you?

Dale Earnhardt, Jr.

No. 88, Hendrick Motorsports


(Last Week: 2) – They say that Junior is going to be medically-cleared for 2017 and will return at Daytona. I think otherwise. Many people agree that Bowman has earned a job by virtue of his admirable performance filling in, but also acknowledge that there is no room at the Inn at HMS right now. That problem is going to solve itself when Dale announces his retirement in January.

Brad Keselowski

No. 2, Penske Racing


(Last Week: 11) – Brad seemed to mail it in and get a head start on his off-season vacation plans ever since he was eliminated from the Chase. Nothing on Sunday gave us any reason to believe differently. See you in Daytona in February if it isn’t too much trouble, Brad.

Power Rankings

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Power Rankings (No. 10 – No. 6)

Chase Elliott

No. 24, Hendrick Motorsports


(Last Week: 7) – With this author’s prediction of a driver retirement on the No. 88 and the continuing lack of talent on the No. 5, you’re the heir-apparent to the HMS throne when Jimmie & Chad retire after their 8th Championship. How ’bout them apples?

Kyle Larson

No. 42, Chip Ganassi Racing


(Last Week: 13) – Sometimes they say that old age and treachery will overcome youth and skill. You’re proving otherwise. Build on the accomplishments of 2016 (Michigan win) in 2017 and there’s no reason you won’t be the mix again.

Martin Truex, Jr.

No. 78, Furniture Row Motorsports


(Last Week: 10) – Bass Pro Shops is going to have some HOT deals on black Friday this week. You found the coupons a little early, we see.

Denny Hamlin

No. 11, Joe Gibbs Racing


(Last Week: 5) – Relax. Season’s over. The new 31,000 square-foot home is done. FedEx still hasn’t found my box.

Matt Kenseth

No. 20, Joe Gibbs Racing


(Last Week: 4) – Thought maybe you would make sure the No. 22 didn’t finish at Homestead after he booted your team mate into the wall to ruin his Championship run.

Power Rankings

Credit: Jasen Vinlove-USA TODAY Sports

Power Rankings (No. 5 – No. 1)

Kyle Busch

No. 18, Joe Gibbs Racing


(Last Week: 3) – Sure, it would have been nice to earn a Championship that didn’t have the “*” after it, but it will come.

Kevin Harvick

No. 4, Stewart-Haas Racing


(Last Week: 6) – What’s the over / under on you thanking Chevrolet at some point next season before you’re reminded you’re in a Ford? I give it until the first Duel.

Joey Logano

No. 22, Penske Racing


(Last Week: 1) – Too bad you didn’t win the Championship on Sunday. We all wanted another shot of Roger Penske eating Steak-N-Shake at 2AM.

Jimmie Johnson

No. 48, Hendrick Motorsports


(Last Week: 9) – It looks like you and the No. 48 team are appropriately humble and respectful of what you’ve just accomplished, because you’ve done it on six other occasions — cheating, that is.

Carl Edwards

No. 19, Joe Gibbs Racing


(Last Week: 8) – There are no words for the exceptional display of class and sportsmanship you displayed on Sunday. I hope that youngsters took notice, because YOU are a role model and someone I’d be proud to have a kid learn those lessons from. All of that after you were clearly the class of the field earns you the final #1 spot on our Power Rankings for 2016.

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