The Sprint Cup Series hasn’t seen this kind of domination in decades. Including 2014, Kevin Harvick collected his seventh straight top-2 finish and second-straight victory of the season. Sunday’s win was also Harvick’s fourth straight at Phoenix.
The top 10 in the Power Rankings after Las Vegas kept the momentum going for the second round of the west coast swing. Five drivers collected their second straight top-10 finish. Dale Earnhardt, Jr. took the biggest drop this week falling six positions after a 43rd-place finish. Jeff Gordon makes his first appearance in the top 15 after his first top-10 finish of the season.
The third and final leg of the west coast swing takes place at Auto Club Speedway in Fontana, California this weekend. While the drivers take advantage of one more week of sun, see if your driver made the top 15 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!
Seven straight top-2 finishes? Ok, now he really is freaky fast. Tony Lumbis, Frontstretch.com
First Place Votes: 7
After dominating Saturday’s XFINITY race, ‘Sliced Bread’ was one of the few guys not named Harvick to lead on Sunday. Logano brought home another top 10, proving the 2014 season (and Daytona win) was no fluke. Aaron Bearden, Frontstretch.com
Is he for real? Consider that he finished in the top 10 in all four starts and is one top 10 shy of matching his total for the entire 2014 season. Mike Zizzo, Texas Motor Speedway
With all the star-power at Hendrick Motorsports, Kahne can operate under the radar at times. He’s quietly having a very good start to the season. Phil Allaway, Frontstretch.com
Ryan Newman is picking up where he left off last year. He may not have a win, but he’s showing that consistency once again, including back-to-back third-place finishes. Mike Zizzo, Texas Motor Speedway
Brad Keselowski has struggled this season. Yet he sits, poised, in the top 10. He can strike from there. Dwight Drum, RaceTake.com
Jimmie Johnson has been in the mix and is now headed to California where he has five wins and 12 top-5 finishes in 20 starts. Mike Zizzo, Texas Motor Speedway
Hopefully Nationwide was on his side following Sunday’s vicious crash. Tony Lumbis, Frontstretch.com
Richard Childress’ satellite teams are out-running his regulars almost every week. Amy Henderson, Frontstretch.com
Two top-10 finishes in four races this season. I don’t recall the last time I heard his name during a broadcast. Seems like the entire Gibbs team is still a step behind. Michael Mehedin, Frontstretch.com
Suddenly Chip Ganassi Racing has gone from afterthought to threat. Amy Henderson, Frontstretch.com
After a slow start, Larson has reeled off a pair of top-10 finishes and could be ready to emerge. Mike Zizzo, Texas Motor Speedway
Slice it any way you want, you had to be impressed with Busch’s run in his return to the Sprint Cup Series. Kurt had the only car capable of staying with teammate Harvick down the stretch. Aaron Bearden, Frontstretch.com
Finally got through a race without something stupid happening. That’ll give him some confidence. Phil Allaway, Frontstretch.com
It should be very tough to keep a loud, colorful Sprint Cup race car under the radar, but Paul Menard can do that. Dwight Drum, RaceTake.com
Others Receiving Votes: Denny Hamlin (38), Carl Edwards (24), Casey Mears (21), Austin Dillon (20), Ricky Stenhouse, Jr. (18), Aric Almirola (9), Clint Bowyer (9), Greg Biffle (7), Justin Allgaier (5), David Ragan (2).
Participants: Phil Allaway, Frontstretch.com; Aaron Bearden, Frontstretch.com; Dwight Drum, RaceTake.com; Amy Henderson, Frontstretch.com; Tony Lumbis, Frontstretch.com; Michael Mehedin, Frontstretch.com; Mike Zizzo, Texas Motor Speedway