NASCAR Race Weekend Central

Frontstretch NASCAR Power Rankings: Top 15 After the All-Star Race

It’s hard to believe that Joe Gibbs Racing had never been to victory lane in the All-Star Race. Well, that stat came to an end Saturday night as Denny Hamlin held off Kevin Harvick to win the million-dollar payout and gave JGR its first non-points win at Charlotte.

Many would have probably put their money on Harvick, who made a hard charge but had to settle for second. It’s not a points-paying race, but it’s another top-two finish for the No. 4 team. And don’t forget, these teams will be back at this track next Sunday, so expect to see drivers with strong runs in the All-Star Race do the same in the Coca-Cola 600.

Segment 1: Kasey Kahne
Segment 2: Brad Keselowski
Segment 3: Brad Keselowski
Segment 4: Kurt Busch

Clint Bowyer and Greg Biffle made the highlight reel for the first time this season, winning their respective qualifying races and finishing 12th and 13th, respectively in the main event. Danica Patrick won the fan vote (surprise, surprise) but suffered engine issues and finished last. The biggest story was the return of Kyle Busch to the seat of a race car for the first time since his accident in the NXS race at Daytona in February. He was strong all weekend and finished sixth.

Next Sunday marks what I believe to be the best day of racing… period. Formula 1 at Monaco, the Indianapolis 500 and the Coca-Cola 600. But before all the action begins, see how your favorite driver ranked after the All-Star Race.

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

Can’t stop worth a lick during the qualifying pit stop? No problem. Phil Allaway, Frontstretch

First Place Votes: 4

99

2

Jimmie Johnson2014 NASCAR Media Day - Portraits

The No. 48 team was surely holding its breath after NASCAR announced it was looking into the possibility of a team member modifying the side skirt during the race. Just a written warning though since Johnson supposedly made contact with another car during the race and a crew member was fixing the damage. Mike Mehedin, Frontstretch

 First Place Votes: 1

80

3

 +2

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

Illustrating just how powerful Patrick’s brand has become. Truex could not get voted into the All-Star Race even with Dale Earnhardt Jr.‘s help. Tony Lumbis, Frontstretch

79

4

+2

Jeff Gordon2015 NASCAR headshots CUP Jeff Gordon credit NASCAR

Unless he returns on a part-time basis next year, Gordon will return to the race he first won for the last time. Aaron Bearden, Frontstretch

77

5

 +4

Kurt Busch2015 NASCAR headshots CUP Kurt Busch credit NASCAR

The charge continues for Kurt Busch. Excellent form. He’ll be tough to beat this weekend. Phil Allaway, Frontstretch

76

6

  -2

Joey Logano2015 NASCAR headshots CUP Joey Logano credit NASCAR

Surprisingly quiet throughout the race, starting 11th and finishing eighth. Will be interested to see what the team learned in preparation for the 600. Michael Mehedin, Frontstretch

75

7

Brad Keselowski2015 NASCAR headshots CUP Brad Keselowski credit NASCAR

Won segments two and three but faded to finish ninth. Much like his teammate, I’ll be interested to see where these two finish next weekend. Could be a big weekend for Team Penske with the Indianapolis 500 earlier in the day. Mike Mehedin, Frontstretch

73

8

Matt Kenseth2015 NASCAR headshots CUP Matt Kenseth credit NASCAR

Kenseth continued a string of good runs with a fifth-place showing in the All-Star Race. He’s not back to his 2013 win-everything form, but Kenseth is gradually finding consistency. Aaron Bearden, Frontstretch

66

9

 +6

Denny Hamlin2015 NASCAR headshots CUP Denny Hamlin credit NASCAR

This on is hard to believe, but Hamlin’s All-Star Race triumph was the first victory in the race for Joe Gibbs Racing. Aaron Bearden, Frontstretch

54

10

 +1

Jamie McMurray2015 NASCAR headshots CUP Jamie McMurray credit NASCAR

McMurray did not look very competitive as defending champion of the All-Star Race. This one was the only race he won last year. Might be time to start counting points for Richmond. Mike Mehedin, Frontstretch

53

11

 -8

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

Did Junior run the All-Star Race this weekend? I don’t remember hearing his name mentioned very often. He will need to step it up if he wants to compete next weekend. Michael Mehedin, Frontstretch

52

12

  +1

Kasey Kahne2015 NASCAR headshots CUP Kasey Kahne credit NASCAR

One of Kahne’s best tracks. Won the first segment and showed speed finishing in the top 10. Look for him to battle for another 600 win next Sunday. Mike Mehedin, Frontstretch

43

13

 -3

Ryan Newman2015 NASCAR headshots CUP Ryan Newman credit NASCAR

It’s doubtful Newman will break his winless streak in the 600 next weekend after his lackluster performance in the All-Star Race. Michael Mehedin, Frontstretch

42

14

 -2

Aric Almirola2015 NASCAR headshots CUP Aric Almirola credit NASCAR

Even in a 20-car race, Almirola somehow found a way to finish outside of the top 10; 14th in this case. Aaron Bearden, Frontstretch

38

15

 N/A

Kyle Busch2015 NASCAR headshots CUP Kyle Busch credit NASCAR

After three months off, Busch was fastest in practice and competitive in a sixth-place showing in the race. Welcome back, Kyle. Aaron Bearden, Frontstretch

25

Others Receiving Votes: Paul Menard (24), AJ Allmendinger (19), Clint Bowyer (18), Greg Biffle (17), Kyle Larson (11), Carl Edwards (8), Sam Hornish Jr. (8), Danica Patrick (7), Austin Dillon (5)

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Chris in TX

“Won segments two and three but faded to finish ninth”

This is a questionable interpretation of Kes’s night. I’d recommend you read the transcripts on Jayski of Brad talking about the speeding penalty on pit road.

Considering the number of cars he passed for position during the final segment, i don’t know that “faded” is a good word.

kb

It’s expected with the above observation..Brad drives a Ford.

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