Sunday, November 08, 2015


POWER PLAYERS for the week of  November 8: 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. 

(Sunday, Nov. 15, the winner of the 2015 Jim Chapman Award for excellence in motorsports PR will be announced here.)

  1. Kevin Harvick -- If the defending Sprint Cup champion could pick any track where he needs a win or great finish, it would be Phoenix. He's won the last four Cup races in the Valley of the Sun.

  2. Brad Keselowski and Joey Logano -- Brad K might make NASCAR's Final 4 with a good Phoenix finish, but it's an absolute "must win" situation for the Daytona 500 winner.

  4Roger Penske -- Has clinched a third consecutive Xfinity series owners' championship  with the No. 22, but Keselowski and Logano are in trouble regarding a second Cup title for America's most successful team owner.

  5. Jeff Gordon -- His No. 24 team won't learn anything at Phoenix to help them at Homestead-Miami Speedway, but he can enjoy having the track officially named in his honor for the day.

  6. Erik Jones -- NASCAR's next-big-thing gets the call as Matt Kenseth's sub in the No. 20 Toyota, finishing 12th at Texas Motor Speedway. And won the Truck series race. 

  7. Chris Buescher -- A couple of top 10 finishes should be enough to win him the Xfinity series championship.

  8. Scott Pruett -- America's most successful endurance sports car racer won't return to the Ganassi IMSA team. He'll lead a new Lexus program and go for a record Rolex 24 win with an as-yet unannounced team.
  9. Ricky Craven -- SportsCenter's man on NASCAR tells it like it is on the Matt Kenseth suspension and influences what ESPN's audience thinks about Cup racing.

 10. Bryan Sperber -- The Phoenix International Raceway president announces another grandstand sellout for the next-to-last Cup event of the year. On Sunday, PIR will officially be Jeff Gordon Raceway. 

more next week . . . ]