1. Tony Stewart -- Returns from injury to begin what he says will be his final Sprint Cup season. And gets a waiver from NASCAR to be eligible for a place in the Chase. And gets fined by NASCAR for his safety-related criticism of not enforcing via the rulebook five lug nuts on every wheel.
3. Denny Hamlin -- As spokesman for the drivers council, defends Tony Stewart's right to speak his mind about NASCAR safety. The drivers' council paid Stewart's reported $35,000 fine.
4. Carl Edwards -- Two straight Sprint Cup victories for The Backflip Man . . . even if he had to bump his teammate Kyle Busch out of the way on the last lap at Richmond.
5. Joe Gibbs -- What will The Coach have to say in this week's team meeting? Was it OK for Kyle Busch to get dumped by a teammate on the last lap with victory in sight? Gibbs and Toyota are on a powerful roll right now, so keeping the athletes calm and cooperative this week's important task.
6. Simon Pagenaud -- After performing below expectations in 2015, his first with Team Penske, Pag has gone 2-2-1-1 this IndyCar season.
7. Brittany Force -- Sister Courtney's long winless streak continues, but Brittany now has two NHRA Top Fuel wins and is in line for some "star" treatment from the media.
9. Alan Johnson -- Drag racing's nitro class genius tuner, he consults on tune-up for Brittany Force's second Top Fuel win. She was 0-for-3 seasons until father John signed-up with AJ.
[ more next week . . . ]