NASCAR Race Weekend Central

Frontstretch NASCAR Power Rankings: Top 15 After the 2015 Brickyard 400 at Indianapolis

Third verse, same as the first. I’m running out of ways to say how dominant Kyle Busch has been. He has now won three straight races and four of the last five. Busch is on a mission to win his way into the Chase and now sits only 23 points out of 30th place. On top of that, Busch also won the Xfinity Series race, becoming the first driver to sweep a weekend at Indy. Lastly, he broke the 12-race win streak by Chevrolet drivers, giving Toyota its first at the famed track. #BuschWatch

Seven of the Power Rankings top 10 after New Hampshire finished in the top 10 at Indy, including a sweep of the top-four finishing positions. Much of the focus was around Jeff Gordon and his final return to the track where he holds the most wins (five). It surely did not end the way anyone was hoping after being caught up in an early wreck and finishing 42nd.

Another rules package was debuted this past weekend too. This time a high-drag aerodynamic package was given a try and received mixed criticism. Drivers were unhappy, claiming the inability to pass. Although the draft played a key factor, passing in the corners was at your own risk. It will be interesting to see how NASCAR reacts to the comments.

Next up is the second and final return to the tri-cornered Pocono Raceway. Only six races until the Chase is set. See if your favorite driver is trending in the right direction 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

So close. Without the late cautions (and subsequent restarts) Happy was on his way to a second Brickyard victory. It’s hard to believe after his start to the year, but Harvick may enter the Chase with only two wins. Aaron Bearden, Frontstretch

First Place Votes: 2

97

2

Joey Logano2015 NASCAR headshots CUP Joey Logano credit NASCAR

On Sunday, a Team Penske driver finished runner-up in the Brickyard 400, once again denying Roger Penske his first Brickyard triumph, and for once it wasn’t Rusty WallaceAaron Bearden, Frontstretch

92

3

 +6

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

Proving all those wrong who thought this team forgot how to race following Michigan back in June. Tony Lumbis, Frontstretch

82

4

Kyle Busch2015 NASCAR headshots CUP Kyle Busch credit NASCAR

Looks like the saying “break a leg” now means good luck in NASCAR terms as wellTony Lumbis, Frontstretch

First Place Votes: 3

80

5

 +2

Kurt Busch2014 NASCAR Cup Kurt Busch headshot Credit Getty Images 430 TALL

The most underrated driver of Sunday’s race, the elder Busch brother overcame an early flat tire to finish inside of the top 10 for the 12th time in 17 starts. Aaron Bearden, Frontstretch

73

6

  

Brad Keselowski2015 NASCAR headshots CUP Brad Keselowski credit NASCAR

Keselowski didn’t miss a win by much at Indy. It must hurt to be leading at the end, know you have the car, but not enough fuel. Pit strategy is crucial. Dwight Drum, RaceTake.com 

71

7

 -4

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

The only reason Earnhardt Jr. didn’t fall further down the standings as a result of his finish is that a number of drivers around him had off days as well. Phil Allaway, Frontstretch

70

8

Matt Kenseth2015 NASCAR headshots CUP Matt Kenseth credit NASCAR

Still lurking, lying in wait to strike. This dude is quietly getting it done right now. Phil Allaway, Frontstretch

69

9

 -4

Jimmie Johnson2014 NASCAR Media Day - Portraits

Johnson has to wonder when it’s his turn to dominate again. This Kyle guy is quickly wiping away his point buffer. Dwight Drum, RaceTake.com

67

10

 +1

Denny Hamlin2015 NASCAR headshots CUP Denny Hamlin credit NASCAR

No, Hamlin didn’t lead Sunday’s Brickyard 400, but he kept himself in contention throughout the event before finishing fifth, a much needed result after struggling at New Hampshire. Aaron Bearden, Frontstretch

62

11

 +3

Ryan Newman2015 NASCAR headshots CUP Ryan Newman credit NASCAR

Newman is duplicating the math that got him in the Chase last year. He may chase the big Chase prize without a win again. Dwight Drum, RaceTake.com

44

12

Carl Edwards2015 NASCAR headshots CUP Carl Edwards credit NASCAR

Two straight poles and laps led show potential for Edwards and his new No. 19 Joe Gibbs Racing team. However, he needs to find a way to stay at the front until the end. Aaron Bearden, Frontstretch

43

13

Jamie McMurray2015 NASCAR headshots CUP Jamie McMurray credit NASCAR

Ouch. Many eyes were on Jamie Mac as a sleeper to win Sunday five years after his first Brickyard triumph. But he went in the wrong direction from the time the rag dropped, finishing a pedestrian 16th. Aaron Bearden, Frontstretch.com

42

14

 N/A

Clint Bowyer2015 NASCAR headshots CUP Clint Bowyer credit NASCAR

Whoa, Clint finished sixth? Not bad, MWR. Bowyer silently ran inside of the top 10 throughout the race, which is as good as a win for Toyota’s second team. Aaron Bearden, Frontstretch

38

15

 -5

Jeff Gordon2015 NASCAR headshots CUP Jeff Gordon credit NASCAR

Well his last trip to the Brickyard was about as different as you can get from his first trip. Tony Lumbis, Frontstretch

33

Others Receiving Votes: Paul Menard (22), Kasey Kahne (21), Kyle Larson (17), Ryan Blaney (10), Aric Almirola (7), Austin Dillon (3), Casey Mears (3), David Ragan (2), Greg Biffle (1), Sam Hornish Jr. (1)

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