Photo Credit: CIA Stock Photography

Frontstretch NASCAR Power Rankings: Top 15 After the 2015 Pure Michigan 400 at Michigan

Another week of fuel mileage paid off again for Matt Kenseth. He dominated the race Sunday afternoon, leading a race-high 146 laps, and had enough fuel to cross the line first. This win is Kenseth’s third of the season and second in the past three weeks. He now sits solely in the third seed behind Jimmie Johnson and Kyle Busch, who both have four wins.

With only three races remaining until the Chase, the top drivers are starting to show their strength. Seven drivers from the Watkins Glen Power Rankings top 10 finished in the top 10 at Michigan, showing their versatility going from a road course to a high-speed oval. Even though he crashed his primary car, Busch still finished a respectable 11th, which helps his chances of staying in the top 30 in points.

Next up is Bristol, where no one is safe and anything can happen. See if your driver made the top-15 in this week’s Sprint Cup 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

 +1

Kevin Harvick2015 NASCAR headshots CUP Kevin Harvick credit NASCAR

Harvick may set a record for top-five results this year. At this point he has to be “Happy” with so many competitive finishes rolling into the ChaseDwight Drum, RaceTake.com

First Place Votes: 6

120

2

 +2

                                                     Matt Kenseth

2015 NASCAR headshots CUP Matt Kenseth credit NASCAR

Kenseth and Busch have been like the JGR relay team to Victory Lane, handing off the baton to each other as they have dominated in recent weeks. In the last six races, Busch has three wins and now Kenseth has won two of the last three after Sunday’s triumph at Michigan. Kyle, get ready for that baton at Bristol. Mike Zizzo, Texas Motor Speedway

108

3

 -2

                                                     Joey Logano
2015 NASCAR headshots CUP Joey Logano credit NASCAR

I imagine if Logano went a month without shaving that his beard, much like his splitter in pre-race inspection, would be found to be a bit too thin. Aaron Bearden, Frontstretch.com

105

4

 -1

                                                     Kyle Busch
2015 NASCAR headshots CUP Kyle Busch credit NASCAR

The field thanks you for wrecking your ultra-fast primary car at Michigan, forcing you to your backup ride and the rear for the field to start the race. You finished 11th, but you gave them all a chance to win for one weekend. Mike Zizzo, Texas Motor Speedway

100

5

 +3

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

It seemed like Furniture Row Racing was slumping a month or so ago, but the team has gone back to their top-five ways, finishing third in Michigan. Aaron Bearden, Frontstretch

 

96

6

 -1

                                                     Brad Keselowski
2015 NASCAR headshots CUP Brad Keselowski credit NASCAR

I’m not going to lie. That retro paint scheme was by far the best I’ve seen in a number of years. It works well when you have the same sponsor, too. Mike Mehedin, Frontstretch 

86

7

 +3

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

It’s hard to believe that Earnhardt was the only Hendrick Motorsports driver to finish inside the top 10 at Michigan, a track they swept in 2014. Aaron Bearden, Frontstretch 

83

8

 +1

                                                     Carl Edwards
2015 NASCAR headshots CUP Carl Edwards credit NASCAR

Edwards has only one backflip off a winning car this season, but he and Joe Gibbs Racing have been running well. It’s time for another backflip. Dwight Drum, RaceTake.com

74

9

 +4

                                                     Denny Hamlin
2015 NASCAR headshots CUP Denny Hamlin credit NASCAR

Hamlin hasn’t quite had the speed of JGR teammates Kenseth and Busch, but we said the same thing about him before the Chase last year, too. We all know how that turned out. Aaron Bearden, Frontstretch

71

10

 -3

                                                     Kurt Busch
2015 NASCAR headshots CUP Kurt Busch credit NASCAR

The June winner at Michigan wasn’t so lucky in his July return, facing a myriad of issues and finishing a lap down in 20th. Aaron Bearden, Frontstretch

66

11

 -5

                                                     Jimmie Johnson
2014 NASCAR Media Day - Portraits

How many of you are seriously falling for the “there’s something wrong with the No. 48” trick againTony Lumbis, Frontstretch

65

12

 +3

                                                    Ryan Newman
2015 NASCAR headshots CUP Ryan Newman credit NASCAR

Newman knows the Chase reality. Even with zero wins you can advance while others drop out. He may repeat with consistency. Dwight Drum, RaceTake.com

53

13

 -1

                                                     Paul Menard
2015 NASCAR headshots CUP Paul Menard credit NASCAR

Don’t look now, but Menard seems to have avoided his usual summer drought and is actually in good position to make the Chase. Tony Lumbis, Frontstretch

47

14

 N/A

                                                      Jeff Gordon
2015 NASCAR headshots CUP Jeff Gordon credit NASCAR

Gordon is enduring a less-than-enjoyable rollercoaster ride for a Chase berth. Currently hanging onto the 15th seed in the 16-driver field after finishing 17th at Michigan, Gordon is busting out the “Rainbow Warriors” paint scheme for some retro mojo at Bristol. Mike Zizzo, Texas Motor Speedway

40

15

 -1

                                                      Jamie McMurray
2015 NASCAR headshots CUP Jamie McMurray credit NASCAR

Jamie Mac’s recent struggles continued at Michigan, but at least a 16th-place run kept him from losing too many points in the Chase standings. Aaron Bearden, Frontstretch

37

Others Receiving Votes: Austin Dillon (36), Kyle Larson (24), Aric Almirola (13), Clint Bowyer (13), Kasey Kahne (13), Tony Stewart (7), Greg Biffle (2)

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Mike starts his second year with the Frontstretch in 2014 working on a combination of promotional and marketing assignments. Managing the NASCAR Power Rankings (Wednesdays), he works with broadcast and writing experts from throughout the world of racing to produce the biggest national weekly poll on Sprint Cup competition. Also our resident Marketing Assistant, Mike handles day-to-day client responsibilities while settling into his new digs outside of Charlotte.

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One comment

  1. Avatar

    How in the world does Tony Stewart get any consideration this season? Is this like NFL pro bowl balloting?