(Photo: CIA Stock Photo, Inc. ©2015)

Frontstretch NASCAR Power Rankings: Top 15 After the 2015 Federated Auto Parts 400 at Richmond

Matt Kenseth closed out the regular season with his fourth win of the season, tying Jimmie Johnson and Kyle Busch for most wins. With that, the 2015 Chase for the Sprint Cup is set. 16 drivers representing eight different teams will compete. Below is a breakdown of the 2015 Chase grid:

Five drivers made the Chase based on points alone (Jamie McMurray, Jeff Gordon, Ryan Newman, Paul Menard and Clint Bowyer).

Teams:
Joe Gibbs Racing – Ky. Busch, Kenseth, Carl Edwards and Denny Hamlin
Hendrick Motorsports – Johnson, Dale Earnhardt Jr. and Gordon
Penske Racing – Joey Logano and Brad Keselowski
Richard Childress Racing – Newman and Menard
Stewart-Haas Racing – Kevin Harvick and Kurt Busch
Chip Ganassi Racing – McMurray
Furniture Row Racing – Martin Truex Jr.
Michael Waltrip Racing – Bowyer

Most notably left out of the Chase field is the fourth HMS driver Kasey Kahne, Tony Stewart, Aric Almirola, Kyle Larson and any driver from Roush Fenway Racing. It’s quite a diverse field, the competition should be tough, and three drivers will be eliminated after Dover. Before the playoffs get underway in Chicagoland, see if your 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

 +1

                                                     Joey Logano
2015 NASCAR headshots CUP Joey Logano credit NASCAR

Logano may be the new Harvick with respect to top finishes. They may be battling for the big prize in Homestead againDwight Drum, RaceTake.com

56

2

 +2

                                                     Kyle Busch

2015 NASCAR headshots CUP Kyle Busch credit NASCAR

Kyle Busch is finally positioned near the top of the standings with his four wins. He can surely see the Sprint Cup from there. Dwight Drum, RaceTake.com

53

3

 +4

                                                     Denny Hamlin
2015 NASCAR headshots CUP Denny Hamlin credit NASCAR

After his last ACL tear resulted in a victory, Hamlin thought it would be a sure fire way to join his JGR teammates in their recent string of victories. Looks like that theory only works once in a career. Tony Lumbis, Frontstretch

52

4

 -3

                                                     Kevin Harvick
2015 NASCAR headshots CUP Kevin Harvick credit NASCAR

Harvick leads the field in top-10 finishes. The Chase is the place to keep that momentum rolling. Dwight Drum, RaceTake.com

First Place Votes: 2

52

5

 +6

                                                     Matt Kenseth
2015 NASCAR headshots CUP Matt Kenseth credit NASCAR

Kenseth has won three of the last six races and has momentum heading into the Chase. All of JGR looks strong, but the No. 20 team has the best chance of taking the Cup when it’s all said and done. Michael Mehedin, Frontstretch

First Place Votes: 1

50

6

 -3

                                                    Brad Keselowski
2015 NASCAR headshots CUP Brad Keselowski credit NASCAR

Yes, Keselowski made the Chase this season, but only has one win and is taking a backseat to teammate Logano. Michael Mehedin, Frontstretch 

47

7

 -1

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

I actually put Junior as the No. 2 Hendrick Motorsports driver. Sorry, you can’t put anyone above Jimmie. Michael Mehedin, Frontstretch 

45

8

 -3

                                                     Carl Edwards
2015 NASCAR headshots CUP Carl Edwards credit NASCAR

With three wins and JGR momentum with him, Edwards must be dreaming of backflips in the Chase. Dwight Drum, RaceTake.com

39

9

 +4

                                                     Jamie McMurray
2015 NASCAR headshots CUP Jamie McMurray credit NASCAR

Was I the only one that was surprised that McMurray hasn’t made a Chase appearance until this year? Tony Lumbis, Frontstretch

33

10

 -1

                                                     Jimmie Johnson
2014 NASCAR Media Day - Portraits

Ok, folks. 10 races to go and a brand new contract extension. Sit back and watch the Johnson/Knaus magic begin. Michael Mehedin, Frontstretch

32

11

 +3

                                                     Jeff Gordon
2015 NASCAR headshots CUP Jeff Gordon credit NASCAR

It wasn’t a win, but Gordon nation must be relieved to see their driver show some signs of life heading into the Chase. Tony Lumbis, Frontstretch

28

12

 +3

                                                    Aric Almirola
2015 NASCAR headshots CUP Aric Almirola credit NASCAR

Seems like every year there is a non-Chaser that happens to get hot in the final 10. Last year it was Larson. This year, Almirola looks like the top candidate to fill that role. Tony Lumbis, Frontstretch

26

13

 -5

                                                     Kurt Busch
2015 NASCAR headshots CUP Kurt Busch credit NASCAR

I’ll put him on par with his teammate Harvick when it comes to who has the better chance of battling for the title. All he needs to do is control his temper and not beat himself. Seems easy enough. Michael Mehedin, Frontstretch

25

14

 N/A

                                                      Clint Bowyer
2014 NASCAR Cup Clint Bowyer headshot Credit Getty Images 430 TALL

May have the most on the line heading into this year’s Chase. Tony Lumbis, Frontstretch

22

15

 -5

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

I probably speak for everyone when I say that I hope Truex does well in the Chase and is in contention with three races to go. Michael Mehedin, Frontstretch

22

Others Receiving Votes: Ryan Newman (15), Kyle Larson (13), Kasey Kahne (8), Paul Menard (5), Ricky Stenhouse Jr. (4), David Ragan (2), Greg Biffle (1)

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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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