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Sunday, July 03, 2016

POWER MAKER TOPS NEW 'POWER PLAYERS' LIST

POWER PLAYERS for the week of  July 3: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. Doug Yates -- His Ford engines and partnership with Jack Roush take the pole, win and five top-10 finishes in Daytona's Coke Zero 400. Plus Friday's Xfinity series race won by Aric Almirola. Brad Keselowski's winning team owner, Roger Penske, heaped praise on the Yates and Roush horsepower. 

   2. Toto Wolff, Lewis Hamilton and Nico Rosberg -- Mercedes-Benz' Formula One team boss faced with huge decisions after his drivers have contact on the last lap in the Austrian Grand Prix, damaging Rosberg's first-place car, and allowing Hamilton to win. Hard-and-fast team orders for this week's prestige British Grand Prix? And will the drivers obey? 

   5. Roger Penske-- NASCAR Cup series win number 100 in the 50th anniversary season for Team Penske.
   
  6. Marcus Smith -- Will the Speedway Motorsports Inc. president's repaving/reconfiguring of Kentucky Speedway make for better racing and better ticket sales? We'll find out Saturday night.

  7. Jack Roush -- Does Greg Biffle's Daytona pole and three top-10 finishers -- Trevor Bayne, 3d; Ricky Stenhouse Jr., 5th; Biffle, 8th -- signal Roush Fenway Racing is really back as a Cup series contender?
   
  8. Richard Westbrook -- With co-driver Ryan Briscoe absent for practice and qualifying due to birth of his second daughter, Westbrook puts their Ford GT on pole and captains the team's class victory at Watkins Glen. 

  9. Doug Boles -- Indianapolis Motor Speedway president shows off the infield dirt track he's had built in honor of Tony Stewart.

10. Kerry Tharp -- NASCAR publicist named new president of Darlington Speedway.

NEXT WEEK: SPECIAL 10th ANNIVERSARY BLOG.