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NASCAR Sprint Cup Power Rankings: Top 15 After New Hampshire

Penske Racing has asserted itself as the team to beat for the Championship. Joey Logano recorded his fourth victory of the season, first in the Chase and third consecutive win for Penske Racing overall. Both Brad Keselowski and Logano have automatically advanced to the top-12 Contender round.

Survival was the name of the game Sunday as several Chase drivers received some sort of damage from on-track incidents including Brad Keselowski, Kyle Busch, Ryan Newman, Matt Kenseth, Kasey Kahne, Jeff Gordon, Kurt Busch and Denny Hamlin. Although some drivers were able to salvage decent finishes, others were not so lucky. Six of top 10 Power Ranking drivers from Chicago finished in the top 10 in New Hampshire. The other four drivers finished outside the top 20.

Because of this, the Chase standings look quite different this week heading into the final race of the Challenger round. The four drivers currently outside the top 12 are Denny Hamlin, Greg Biffle, Kurt Busch and Aric Almirola, though eighth through 16th are separated by only 12 points.

Not everyone survived New Hampshire. Before drivers take the track at the Monster Mile, see if your driver made the cut in this week’s Power Rankings.

How The Rankings Are Calculated: Frontstretch does our power rankings 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… 3-2-1 basis, giving 20 points to their first-place driver, 19 for second, and so on. In the end, Mike Mehedin calculates the points, adds some funny one-liners, and… here you go!

 
Rank
Change
Name
Total Votes

1

Brad Keselowski2014 NASCAR Media Day - Portraits

Questionable pit strategy, a spin and contact with the outside wall, and still finished top 10. Can you say “meant to be” when it comes to winning the 2014 championship? Michael Mehedin, Frontstretch.com

First Place Votes: 6

139

2

+1

Joey Logano2014 NASCAR Cup Joey  Logano headshot Credit Getty Images 430 TALL

If this season hasn’t served as evidence that Joe Gibbs Racing has no idea how to pair crew chiefs with driver talent, New Hampshire made it clear. Vito Pugliese, Frontstretch.com

131

3

+1

2014 NASCAR Media Day - Portraits

Kevin Harvick

Kevin Harvick picked up his second consecutive top 5 of the Chase with a third-place run while leading the most laps. Harvick’s biggest rival right now is on top of his shoulders. Can’t win races or championships by being consumed with everything that happens on the track. Justin Tucker, Frontstretch.com

128

4

+3

2014 NASCAR Media Day - Portraits

Jimmie Johnson

Kind of funny how there is so much pressure to win this week on a guy who has a Chase average finish of 8.5 and sits fourth in the standings. Tony Lumbis, Frontstretch.com

110

5

+7

2014 NASCAR Media Day - Portraits

Kyle Larson

Meet the driver most likely to bulldoze the hopes that the Chasers sweep all of the Chase race victories. Phil Allaway, Frontstretch.com

109

6

Dale Earnhardt, Jr.2014 NASCAR Media Day - Portraits

Junior hasn’t been great for a while, but just getting through to the next round is all that matters. Jeff Wolfe, Frontstretch.com

100

7

-5

Jeff Gordon2014 NASCAR Cup Jeff Gordon headshot Credit Getty Images 430 TALL

Was primed for another top-5 finish until a cut tire with about seven laps to go ended what was going to be another solid run. Gordon now heads to Dover 21 points ahead of the cutoff. Surely lightning can’t strike twice and knock out who many have believed to be the championship favorite all year can it? Justin Tucker, Frontstretch.com

98

8

+6

Jamie McMurray2014 NASCAR Cup Jamie McMurray headshot Credit Getty Images 430 TALL

Must be having a hard time sleeping at night thinking about the one race in the regular season that he could have done just a little better in. Tony Lumbis, Frontstretch.com

93

9

Kyle Busch2014 NASCAR Media Day - Portraits

One of the most impressive comebacks I’ve seen in quite a while. His car looked like it completed 500 laps at Bristol and still managed a top-10 finish. Michael Mehedin, Frontstretch.com

71

10

N/A

2014 NASCAR Cup Aric Almirola headshot Credit Getty Images 430 TALL

Aric Almirola

If those last few laps weren’t a Championship-caliber rally, I don’t know what is. I think he escapes Dover and moves into the Contender round. Vito Pugliese, Frontstretch.com

68

11

N/A

AJ Allmendinger2014 NASCAR Media Day - Portraits

Sure it was great for him to get that win at Watkins Glen to make the Chase, but has made no case that he really belongs after the first two races. Jeff Wolfe, Frontstretch.com

50

12

-2

2014 NASCAR Cup Matt Kenseth headshot Credit Getty Images 430 TALL

Matt Kenseth

Matt Kenseth was involved in three incidents at Loudon and still almost managed a top-20 finish. That is the good news. The bad news is that he now sits only eight points ahead of the cutoff. Justin Tucker, Frontstretch.com

46

13

N/A

Austin Dillon took the victory in last season's inaugural Mudsummer Classic at Eldora Speedway. Credit: Getty Images

Austin Dillon

Austin Dillon has simply not made the same progress in his rookie season that Kyle Larson has made. Jeff Wolfe, Frontstretch.com

40

14

N/A

Clint Bowyer2014 NASCAR Cup Clint Bowyer headshot Credit Getty Images 430 TALL

Clint Bowyer has not been a factor at all this season. 2014 can’t end soon enough. Vito Pugliese, Frontstretch.com

39

15

2014 NASCAR Media Day - Portraits

Carl Edwards

All he’s done is stay out of trouble the first two Chase races. If he does that for a third race, he just might sneak into the next round. Jeff Wolfe, Frontstretch.com

38

Others Receiving Votes: Kasey Kahne (35), Ryan Newman (33), Kurt Busch (30), Brian Vickers (28), Greg Biffle (20), Denny Hamlin (17), Danica Patrick (11), Martin Truex Jr. (11), Casey Mears (10), Paul Menard (4), Justin Allgaier (2), Cole Custer (1)

Participants: Phil Allaway, Frontstretch.com; Tom Bowles, Frontstretch.com; Tony Lumbis, Frontstretch.comMichael Mehedin, Frontstretch.com; Vito Pugliese, Frontstretch.com; Justin Tucker, Frontstretch.com; Jeff Wolfe, Frontstretch.com

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