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Sunday, October 04, 2015

STEWART -- NO SURPRISE -- TOPS NEW 'POWER PLAYERS' LIST

POWER PLAYERS for the week of  October 4: 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. Tony Stewart -- Decision to end Sprint Cup career after next season opens the No. 14 ride for Clint Bowyer and likely adds 5-Hour Energy as a Stewart-Haas Racing sponsor. The 2016 season-long storyline is thus set around Stewart, who says he will still race in 2017, but not Cup and not the Indianapolis 500. Plus his drivers Kevin Harvick and Kurt Busch advance to Chase round 2.

  2. Kevin Harvick -- Wins a "must win" race, at Dover, to advance in the Chase and re-establish himself as the championship favorite.

  3. Jimmie Johnson -- Now eliminated from title contention after just one round -- a true shocker -- with seven Cup races to go will the six-time champion be the most significant championship "spoiler" in modern sports history? 

  4. Anton Brown -- Top Fuel's Top Gun becomes the first driver to win the first three NHRA Countdown races under the present format.

  5. Jack Beckman -- Gains over 100 points in the Funny Car championship run at Maple Grove and again resets the national ET record.

  6. Marcus Smith -- What hype and showbiz does the Charlotte Motor Speedway boss have planned for this weekend? And will it work to sell tickets?

  7. Jim Utter -- Has been hitting 'em over the fence for Motorsport.com since coming over from the Charlotte Observer. Broke the Tony Stewart retiring-from-Cup story.

 8. Gene Haas -- Signs a podium-caliber driver in Romain Grosjeanx for his Formula One team.

  9. Sarah Fisher -- Re-signs two-time IndyCar race winner Josef Newgarden for 2016 season.

 10. Scott Atherton -- United SportsCar Series president reveals details of IMSA's new "Daytona Prototype International" class for 2017.

more next week . . . ]