Saturday night at Texas Motor Speedway might have foreshadowed the battle for the 2015 Sprint Cup championship between Jimmie Johnson and Kevin Harvick. It was a riveting battle for the win in the final 15 laps. And if Harvick didn’t push his car a bit too far and scrape the wall, it might have been an even better finish.
It was a strong showing for the top teams at Texas. Seven of the top-10 finishers, including the top 5, were ranked in the top 10 in Power Rankings after Martinsville. Kevin Harvick finished second after his streak was broken last week at Martinsville. Martin Truex, Jr. kept his streak alive and has finished in the top 10 in every 2015 race.
We go from one of the fastest 1.5-mile tracks to one of the fastest half-mile tracks, the last great Coliseum of Bristol Motor Speedway. Before the beating and banging begins, see if your driver made the top 15 after Texas.
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!
Waiting for Vegas to release what the over / under is on how many races Kevin’s next top-2 streak will last. Tony Lumbis, Frontstretch.com
First Place Votes: 4
Another consistent run and top-5 finish in the Duck Commander 500. Hard to believe that with two wins, four top 5s and top 10s in all seven starts that Logano is second in the points. Mike Zizzo, Texas Motor Speedway
Is it me or does it appear that Kez is flying under the radar right now? People better take notice because he already has a win and his fifth-place finish Saturday night was his third top-5 effort and sixth top 10 in seven starts. Mike Zizzo, Texas Motor Speedway
I think we can say it (or type it) out loud at this point. The No. 78 team is for real in 2015. Tony Lumbis, Frontstretch.com
Following his third-place finish at Texas, Junior spoke glowingly about his new crew chief Greg Ives and feels a win is very, very close (Hello Bristol). I’d speak glowingly too after the two have snared four top 5s in the first seven races. Mike Zizzo, Texas Motor Speedway
Stinks for the rest of the competition that the Chase is made up mostly of 1.5-mile tracks. Tony Lumbis, Frontstretch.com
Continues to be the most consistent of the Hendrick drivers. To this point, Kahne’s Achilles heel has always been consistency. If that’s fixed, watch out for the No. 5. Michael Mehedin, Frontstretch.com
After finishing 18th or worse in the first three races, Gordon was not itching for that AARP card just yet. He has now reeled off four consecutive top-10 finishes, including a seventh at Texas despite an ill-handling car. Mike Zizzo, Texas Motor Speedway
Was not a victim of Michael Waltrip’s attack by taco. Phil Allaway, Frontstretch.com
Another top 10 for McMurray. Trying desperately to break up the Hendrick / Penske log-jam at the top of the points. Mike Mehedin, Frontstretch.com
Did Kenseth use up all of his luck his freshman year at JGR? Just couldn’t get a hold of the handling Saturday night. When will he win a points-paying race again? Mike Mehedin, Frontstretch.com
A 75-point penalty makes winning such much more important. Mike Mehedin, Frontstretch.com
Almirola has very quietly placed himself in the top 10 in points. It’s almost like he could do anything in the No. 43 and barely move the needle. Phil Allaway, Frontstretch.com
Everything was going so well for Menard Saturday night. Outside of Harvick and Johnson , he was probably the only other driver who could have won the Duck Commander 500. Then, the water hose broke. Phil Allaway, Frontstretch.com
Edwards finally grabbed his first top 10 at JGR. This finish could be the turn for Edwards, especially heading into Bristol where he won last year. Mike Mehedin, Frontstretch.com
Others Receiving Votes: Austin Dillon (16), Kurt Busch (16), Danica Patrick (14), David Ragan (12), Clint Bowyer (10), AJ Allmendinger (6), Casey Mears (3), Ricky Stenhouse, Jr. (3), Greg Biffle (2), Kyle Larson (2).