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Sunday, July 26, 2015

BUSCH, STEVENS, GIBBS ATOP NEW 'MOST INFLUENTIAL' LIST

Personal priorities didn't allow me time to think or write this week. Fingers crossed for next week. My apologies. Thank you.


POWER PLAYERS for the week of July 26: This week's 10 most influential people in the Business and Politics of Motorsports, as selected by long-time journalist/publicist and industry insider Michael Knight. 

  1. Kyle Busch -- Unless someone can prove that NASCAR has given him "The Call" to make up for leaving that Daytona pit wall unprotected, Busch's comeback story is so compelling that even the NBA-obsessed PTI co-hosts should talk about his accomplishments. 

  2. Adam Stevens -- Now a winner in four of the last five Sprint Cup races, Kyle Busch's crew chief and his driver are on a roll that even Jimmie and Chad would envy.

  3. Joe Gibbs -- Suddenly his Toyota team has become a Hendrick-like power house. It sure is a lot different from last year or the early 2015 Cup season.

 4. Mark Miles -- IndyCar CEO puts into place rules prohibiting competitors from making overly negative comments about the series, events, sponsors, rules, officials, the "brand," et al. Are media stories about to get a lot less interesting? 

 5. Sebastian Vettel -- A great start leads to Hungary Grand Prix victory for Ferrari and stops the Lewis Hamilton-Mercedes runaway. That's career win number 41, tying Vettel with Ayrton Senna.  Victory dedicated to Jules Bianchi, who died recently from head injuries sustained in last year's Japanese GP.

 6. Peter Clifford -- New NHRA president announces big changes to troubled Pro Stock class, including fuel injection in 2016 and shorter wheelie bars for more "wheels up" launches. Plus more fan friendly policies in the pit area.

 7. Fernando Alonso -- Sets an example for his fellow multi-million dollar Formula One drivers by pushing his disabled McLaren-Honda back to pit lane -- in full-face helmet and Nomex uniform -- during Hungary Grand Prix qualifying. Fans everywhere loved it. Then he finished fifth, the best yet in Honda's return to F1. 

  8. Jeff Burton -- Brickyard 400 was his strongest and most informative TV analysis yet. Proving that smart, intelligent talk has a place in NASCAR's "Boogity" media world.

  9. Martin Truex Jr. -- Can he double-up on Pocono wins this season and put the brakes on Kyle Busch's incredible run? 

10. Christopher Bell -- Wins Eldora in only his third career Camping World Truck Series start.

more next week . . . ]