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NASCAR Race Weekend Central

Frontstretch NASCAR Power Rankings: Top 15 After the 2015 Spongebob 400 at Kansas

Another rain delay and another late finish. This time Jimmie Johnson took advantage of a late-race caution and chose track position over tires/fuel to claim his season-leading third victory. Kevin Harvick led the second-most laps (53), but after pitting and taking two tires, was unable to catch Johnson in the few laps remaining. He managed another second-place finish, though.

Talladega might be a wild card race but, as you saw, the best drivers still came out on top. That continued at Kansas as nine of the top 10 in Power Rankings after Talladega took all top-nine positions at Kansas. The only driver to finish outside the top 10 was Jamie McMurray, who finished a respectable 13th.

Up next are possibly two of the most exciting weeks of the NASCAR season. First up is the All-Star race this Saturday, followed by the “best day in racing” which includes Formula 1 at Monaco, the Indianapolis 500 and the Coca-Cola 600 Memorial Day weekend. But before the action heats up at Charlotte, see how your favorite driver ranked after Kansas.

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

Kevin Ha2015 NASCAR headshots CUP Kevin Harvick Jimmy Johns credit NASCARrvick

Still next to invincible on intermediate tracks. There’s got to be something that they’ve discovered over there. Phil Allaway, Frontstretch

First Place Votes: 2

97

2

Jimmie Johnson2014 NASCAR Media Day - Portraits

The No. 48 is en fuego. Johnson’s win at Kansas allowed him to become the first three-time winner this season and has top-three finishes in his last five starts. This streak could easily extend since the next points stop is Charlotte, where he is the all-time victory leader with seven, and defending champion of the Coca-Cola 600. Mike Zizzo, Texas Motor Speedway

 First Place Votes: 3

95

3

Dale Earnhardt Jr.2015 NASCAR headshots CUP Dale Earnhardt Jr credit NASCAR

Junior said after his win at Talladega that he is relieved and doesn’t have to worry about the Chase now. A third-place finish at Kansas showed that he is still going for wins. Michael Mehedin, Frontstretch

85

4

+1

Joey Logano2015 NASCAR headshots CUP Joey Logano credit NASCAR

Logano’s sixth top-five finish in 11 races has him sitting pretty in points. Still, it’s hard to believe he hasn’t gotten back to Victory Lane again after that Daytona 500 triumph. Aaron Bearden, Frontstretch

84

5

 -1

Martin Truex Jr.2015 NASCAR headshots CUP Martin Truex Jr credit NASCAR

He’s now back to 2013 form, where he was leading laps and knocking on doors. It will be a matter of time before he finds his way to Victory Lane again. Tony Lumbis, Frontstretch

83

6

  +3

Jeff Gordon2015 NASCAR headshots CUP Jeff Gordon credit NASCAR

Early season trouble gone, Gordon has done all but get into victory lane in his last season. With another top five on his resumé, that win should be on the way soon. Aaron Bearden, Frontstretch

70

7

  -1

Brad Keselowski2015 NASCAR headshots CUP Brad Keselowski credit NASCAR

It took me half the weekend to figure out what Avaya was. Thankfully Kez ran up front to give me a good look at it en-route to a seventh-place finish. Aaron Bearden, Frontstretch

68

8

 +2

Matt Kenseth2015 NASCAR headshots CUP Matt Kenseth credit NASCAR

Wondering what the heck happened after he wasn’t in Victory Lane following a rain delay. Tony Lumbis, Frontstretch

65

9

 -2

Kurt Busch2015 NASCAR headshots CUP Kurt Busch credit NASCAR

He’s put himself in the top 15 in points despite missing the first three races. That has to be quite the accomplishment. He’s essentially been Harvick’s equal since his return. Phil Allaway, Frontstretch

64

10

 +3

Ryan Newman2015 NASCAR headshots CUP Ryan Newman credit NASCAR

Newman is hoping interim crew chief Todd Parrott can prepare his cars like it’s 1999, when Parrott led Dale Jarrett to a championship. Tony Lumbis, Frontstretch

56

11

 -3

Jamie McMurray2015 NASCAR headshots CUP Jamie McMurray credit NASCAR

The All-Star Race is this weekend, the site of McMurray’s last win. He needs to get better at winning points-paying races, though. Michael Mehedin, Frontstretch

49

12

  +3

Aric Almirola2015 NASCAR headshots CUP Aric Almirola credit NASCAR

I don’t know what is more surprising – Almirola being 11th in points or Almirola being 11th in points without recording a top-10 finish this season. He edged closer last week at Kansas, nearly notching one with a season-best 11th. Mike Zizzo, Texas Motor Speedway

43

13

 +1

Kasey Kahne2015 NASCAR headshots CUP Kasey Kahne credit NASCAR

Kahne’s up-and-down season continues. The past five races he has two top 10s and two finishes outside the top 30. Add to that a ‘decent’ finish of 17th at Kansas. Looks like another nail-biter come Richmond if he doesn’t get a win. Luckily he doesn’t have to worry about a contract extension. Michael Mehedin, Frontstretch

42

14

 -2

Paul Menard2015 NASCAR headshots CUP Paul Menard credit NASCAR

We’re getting to the time of year when Menard traditionally fades, and an 18th-place showing at Kansas did nothing to convince his fans that it won’t happen again this season. Aaron Bearden, Frontstretch

39

15

 -4

Denny Hamlin2015 NASCAR headshots CUP Denny Hamlin credit NASCAR

Hamlin was having a decent night until he rubbed against Sam Hornish Jr. Then, it fell apart like a ton of bricks. Phil Allaway, Frontstretch

24

Others Receiving Votes: AJ Allmendinger (18), Greg Biffle (15), Clint Bowyer (12), Danica Patrick (11), Kyle Larson (10), Sam Hornish Jr. (8), Austin Dillon (5), Carl Edwards (5)

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