NASCAR Race Weekend Central

Frontstretch NASCAR Power Rankings: Top 15 After the 2015 5-hour Energy 301 at New Hampshire

Eight races into his return to competition, Kyle Busch has now claimed three victories in the Cup series. He continues his bid to make the 2015 Chase, taking his second consecutive win at New Hampshire. Busch now sits 58 points behind 30th position. I’ll start the hashtag: #BuschWatch

Loudon produced a diverse number of teams in the top 10 with Joe Gibbs Racing leading the charge with three. Other teams included Team Penske (2), Hendrick Motorsports (2), Stewart-Haas Racing (2) and Richard Childress Racing (1). Hendrick Motorsports seems to still be playing catch-up, only placing one driver in the top five and two in the top 10. JGR and Penske both continue their performance upswing. JGR won the pole and placed three drivers in the top 10, while both Penske Racing drivers finished in the top four.

Teams head to the famed Indianapolis Motor Speedway this week. But before the pomp-and-circumstance begins, see if your favorite 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!

 
Rank
Change
Name
Total Votes

1

Kevin Ha2015 NASCAR headshots CUP Kevin Harvick Jimmy Johns credit NASCARrvick

The master of the “old” rules package. Too bad it looks more likely than ever NASCAR’s playoffs will come packaged with a new one. Tom Bowles, Frontstretch

First Place Votes: 5

138

2

 +1

Joey Logano2015 NASCAR headshots CUP Joey Logano credit NASCAR

Logano continues to finish strong near the checkered flag. That’s a healthy habit in Cup territory. Dwight Drum, RaceTake.com

125

3

 +1

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

Loudon hasn’t always been Earnhardt’s best track, but he made it look like it on Sunday, carving his way through the field while others struggled to pass en route to a top five. Aaron Bearden, Frontstretch

115

4

 +8

Kyle Busch2015 NASCAR headshots CUP Kyle Busch credit NASCAR

Quite simply, this guy is on a roll right now.  His recent performances have looked similiar to his performances in the Xfinity Series… and that’s bad news for the competition. Phil Allaway, Frontstretch

First Place Votes: 2

110

5

 -3

Jimmie Johnson2014 NASCAR Media Day - Portraits

If you asked a new fan lately who is the six-time champ, would they guess Johnson or Kyle Busch? Tony Lumbis, Frontstretch

105

6

  +1

Brad Keselowski2015 NASCAR headshots CUP Brad Keselowski credit NASCAR

Keselowski seemed to be a bit surly after the race Sunday.  It’s one thing to be upset that you didn’t win, however, he was apparently short with everyone post-race because he was exhausted. Phil Allaway, Frontstretch 

104

7

 -2

Kurt Busch2015 NASCAR headshots CUP Kurt Busch credit NASCAR

Six straight top-10 finishes have Busch flashing the consistency he needs to make a serious title run. Tom Bowles, Frontstretch

103

8

 +1

Matt Kenseth2015 NASCAR headshots CUP Matt Kenseth credit NASCAR

Kenseth is quietly putting up a really good season. You don’t really notice him out there, but he’s always in contention for a decent finish. Phil Allaway, Frontstretch

99

9

 -3

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

Truex Jr. was reeling off top-10 finishes at a record pace to open the season, but he and the Furniture Row Racing team have hit a summer swoon in their outstanding campaign. His 12th-place finish was his fourth consecutive race outside of the top 10 after posting 14 in the first 15 races. Mike Zizzo, Texas Motor Speedway

84

10

 +1

Jeff Gordon2015 NASCAR headshots CUP Jeff Gordon credit NASCAR

It’s sure to be an emotional week for Gordon, who heads to the site of his most famous wins for the last time. You’ll be hard-pressed to find many in the grandstands pulling for any other driver come SundayAaron Bearden, Frontstretch

72

11

 -3

Denny Hamlin2015 NASCAR headshots CUP Denny Hamlin credit NASCAR

Hamlin doesn’t seem to have many friends, even among his teammates. Might make the Chase a lonely quest for him. Dwight Drum, RaceTake.com

71

12

  +3

Carl Edwards2015 NASCAR headshots CUP Carl Edwards credit NASCAR

Edwards may have the win at Charlotte for a berth in the Chase, but he is looking for some momentum heading into the championship format. He scored some this weekend at New Hampshire as he earned his first pole of the season, led 19 laps and finished seventh. It also gave him consecutive top-10 finishes, marking the first time he has done so this year. Mike Zizzo, Texas Motor Speedway

69

13

 -3

Jamie McMurray2015 NASCAR headshots CUP Jamie McMurray credit NASCAR

With a 74-point edge over 16th-place Clint Bowyer on the Chase cutoff, McMurray should be safe to make the playoff. That said, runs like Sunday’s 26th-place result don’t do anything to help his odds. Aaron Bearden, Frontstretch

60

14

 N/A

Ryan Newman2015 NASCAR headshots CUP Ryan Newman credit NASCAR

Points racing to get in the Chase. You could knock it, but then again, who was in position to win the title from Harvick last year? Tom Bowles, Frontstretch

50

15

 -2

Kasey Kahne2015 NASCAR headshots CUP Kasey Kahne credit NASCAR

Much like last season, the fourth Hendrick Motorsports driver is hanging on by a thread as the Chase approaches. Kahne’s lowly 19th-place result at Loudon leaves him 38 points to the good with the weeks until Chicagoland winding down. Aaron Bearden, Frontstretch

46

Others Receiving Votes: Aric Almirola (33), Austin Dillon (28), Paul Menard (23), Clint Bowyer (14), AJ Allmendinger (11), Casey Mears (6), Ricky Stenhouse Jr. (4), Greg Biffle (3), David Ragan (3), Kyle Larson (2), Trevor Bayne (1)

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7 Comments
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kb

Funny stuff, one of the most articulate and accommodating drivers to appease the press and fans, has an off day due to the effects of the heat (he spoke about it, if one cares to read) and the headlines almost read like he kicked a puppy. Jesus, one day…sad indeed…and never a word when one particular driver no matter what series he runs in runs to his trailer like a diva…but he is the “favorite” right now, so he gets a pass..and come to think of it most of the time does. Just calling it like I see it. Certain drivers held to certain standards.

LMartin

kb, did you notice that Brad K. was the only adult in the sandbox last night at Eldora, apparently there to feed his massive ego and show off his overwhelming talent? Using pit strategy and his usual bull-in-a-china-shop driving style, Brad sniffed the front of the field before crashing out and finishing in the bottom five. OTOH, Kyle Busch gave Christopher Bell his ride as he did Bubba Wallace the year before. No one has given back more to the sport than Kyle yet the haters refuse see the difference between personality and character.

kb

Actually, no I didn’t.

kb

Is this “MessFM” with another name..seems like the same stupid garbage.

Chris

How does this power ranking deal work? I’m confused as to why Kasey Kahne is ranked 15th with 26 votes yet Aric Almirola received 33 votes and Austin Dillon received 28 votes.

Aaron Bearden

Chris,
What you saw was a typo. Thank you for pointing it out! Kahne had 46 points. Our power ranking point system is simple. Each contributor ranks their top drivers, with first getting 20 points, 2nd getting 19 points, etc. until 20th, which gets 1 point. The points are then accumulated to get their total score.

Chris

Thanks Aaron. I thought I had a pretty good idea of how it worked but you guys threw with Kasey having only 26 votes.

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