Race Weekend Central

NASCAR Sprint Cup Power Rankings: Top 15 After New Hampshire

Frontstretch Power Rankings
He called his shot. Then he didn't. Then he did. Denny Hamlin set himself up for success no matter how he finished on Sunday and took credit for calling his victory thereafter. However, you can't say this guy doesn't have confidence and everyone seems to agree he is now, officially, championship material. However, Jimmie Johnson–much similar to the championship battle in 2010–was right behind him when the checkered flag flew–and has the points lead. 
Do our rankings reflect that same battle for the championship? Or did another driver steal the spotlight from this duo? Continue reading to find out:  

How The Rankings Are Calculated: Frontstretch does our power rankings somewhat similar to how the Associated Press does them for basketball or football — our expert stable of NASCAR writers, both on staff and from other major publications will vote for the Top 20 on a 20-19-18-17-16-15… 3-2-1 basis, giving 20 points to their first place driver, 19 for their second, and so on. In the end, Summer Bedgood calculates the points, adds some funny one-liners, and … here you go!

Rank Driver (First Place Votes) Votes Last Week
1  Jimmie Johnson (7) 140 
 At least half of NASCAR nation has him penciled in for the championship already. Tony Lumbis, Frontstretch.com
2  Brad Keselowski 130 
 The pre-chase "dark horse" has become one of the early Chase frontrunners. Not to dig up old rivalries or anything, but Keselowski and Hamlin have had a rivalry before. Not that I'm suggesting anything. Unless something actually happens between the two, then yes, I totally did call it. Summer Bedgood, Frontstretch.com
3  Denny Hamlin 126 
 Just call him Julius Caesar: He came. He saw. He conquered. After tweeting that he would. Kelly Crandall, SpeedwayMedia.com
4  Clint Bowyer 113 
 Patiently waiting for the next finish based on fuel mileage for his team to leave their mark in this year's Chase. Tony Lumbis, Frontstretch.com
5  Kasey Kahne 110 
 Kasey Kahne really needs to quit letting insurance companies sponsor him. They always subject him to the most cruel … commercials. No, seriously, go look up the newest if you haven't already seen them! They won't help him win any races but, hey, at least the sponsor is happy! Summer Bedgood, Frontstretch.com
6  Tony Stewart 103 
 Did anyone else hear Stewart revert to his, "Here kitty, kitty, kitty" calling on Sunday? Never thought he would stoop that low as a plea for Darian Grubb to come back. Kelly Crandall, SpeedwayMedia.com
7  Dale Earnhardt, Jr. 97 
 When you hear more about this guy's football opinions than his on-track performance, there might be a problem. Summer Bedgood, Frontstretch.com
8  Jeff Gordon 90  13 
 It's a good thing Jeff Gordon made the Chase. Now he has a front row seat to watch Jimmie Johnson win the title again! Summer Bedgood, Frontstretch.com
9  Martin Truex, Jr. 78 
 As impressive as it was for Truex to make the Chase, I'm pretty sure his championship chances are on life support now. Summer Bedgood, Frontstretch.com
10  Kevin Harvick 77  14 
 Harvick and new son Keelan did a photoshoot together this week. I'm sure Keelan would take a great Victory Lane photo, too, but sadly that doesn't seem to be the way things are going for that team this year. Summer Bedgood, Frontstretch.com
11  Matt Kenseth 65  10 
 One of the most consistent drivers through the regular season is nowhere to be found now that the Chase has started. Meaning the man who many blame for the invention of the Chase is breaking out his checkbook for Brian France to take it away. Kelly Crandall, SpeedwayMedia.com
12  Greg Biffle 59 
 Looks like he came down with a bad case of Carl Edwards-itis the past 2 weeks. Tony Lumbis, Frontstretch.com
13  Ryan Newman 56  11 
 Newman made everyone happy by earning another top 10 … which meant free Bloomin' Onions at Outback Steakhouse on Monday! Can you imagine how little anyone would care about where Newman finished without that litle caveat? Summer Bedgood, Frontstretch.com
14  Kyle Busch 49  12 
 Busch did his teammate Hamlin a favor by dropping back to remove a piece of trash from Hamlin's grille. Now if only he could remove that monkey from his back. Summer Bedgood, Frontstretch.com
15  Paul Menard 45  NR 
 I'm pretty sure every single driver in the "others receiving votes" category should be ashamed of themselves right now. Summer Bedgood, Frontstretch.com
Dropped Out: Joey Logano
Others Receiving Votes:  Joey Logano (28), Carl Edwards (23), Brian Vickers (22), Jeff Burton (14), Mark Martin (13), Marcos Ambrose (9), Regan Smith (9), Sam Hornish Jr. (6), Kyle Busch (6), Jamie McMurray (2). 

Who Voted: Phil Allaway, Frontstretch.comCarolyn Brewster, NASCAR Illustrated; Kelly Crandall, SpeedwayMedia.com; Summer Bedgood, Frontstretch.com; Dustin Long, Athlon Sports; Tony Lumbis, Frontstretch.com; Matt Taliaferro, Athlon Sports.



Contact Summer Bedgood

Share this article

Sign up for the Frontstretch Newsletter

A daily email update (Monday through Friday) providing racing news, commentary, features, and information from Frontstretch.com