POWER PLAYERS for the week of July 19: 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.
2. Tony Stewart -- Marks 10 years as owner at Eldora Speedway with Kings Royal and NASCAR's Truck series. And will be a media and fan focus at the Brickyard as the Indiana native tries to reverse a difficult Cup season. But Stewart didn't sound very optimistic on a media teleconference last week.
3. Peter Clifford -- New NHRA president goes with Fox Sports 1 to replace ESPN next season, with majority of final eliminations presented "live" and four on Fox broadcast network. It's a big business undertaking for the sanction, which will assume production responsibilities and sell advertising and sponsorship packages.
4. Kyle Busch -- Remarkable three wins in his last four Sprint Cup starts but still needs to be in top 30 in points to qualify for the Chase. There will be a national media outcry if he doesn't after comeback from leg and foot injuries.
5. Shane Stewart -- He beats Donny Schatz twice at Eldora Speedway, taking Friday's Knight Before the Kings Royal and then Saturday's $50,000 Kings Royal World of Outlaws "major."
6. Steve Letarte -- His NBC telecast analysis of Jeff Gordon's final Indianapolis race will be a big test of how candid the former crew chief is willing to be about his former driver and team.
7. Jim Utter -- Long-time Charlotte Observer NASCAR beat writer begins his new adventure on Motorsport.com on Wednesday.
8. Doug Boles -- How many grandstand seats will the Indianapolis Motor Speedway president be able to sell for the troubled Brickyard 400?
9. Graham Rahal -- Another strong finish at Iowa Speedway for the series' best comeback story moves him into second place in points as a suspension failure puts championship favorite Juan Pablo Montoya into the wall.
10. Robert Ballou -- USAC's Indiana Sprint Car Week champion.
[ more next week . . . ]