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NASCAR Sprint Cup Power Rankings: Top 15 After Dover

Well … no one expected that. Oh, sure, Kevin Harvick winning isn’t a surprise but being able to pull through in a high pressure situation has been a struggle for him as of late. Then Dover comes – a track Harvick had never formerly won at at – and WHAM! there he is in Victory Lane again. Just like that, he moves onto the next round of the Chase when no one thought he would.

You know who everyone thought would win? Jimmie Johnson. You know who finished 41st and is now out of Chase contention? … Jimmie Johnson.

To say the least, these two performances affected our rankings as they will also have a huge impact on the ultimate champion. Johnson was one of the favorites and Harvick was one position short of being out of it. Now, Harvick is in and Johnson is out for good. Oh, and let’s not forget that Paul Menard, Clint Bowyer and Jamie McMurray were also eliminated from the Chase in the final race of the Challenger Round.

Onto the Contender Round …. but first, our 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!

Total Votes



                                                    Kevin Harvick

He came, he saw, he kicked butt. Everyone else in the Chase better be worried because they didn’t shut him down when they had the chance. Mike Neff, Frontstretch.com

First Place Votes: 3




                                                     Matt Kenseth

This guy is just like his favorite football team, the Green Bay Packers. Consistent, wins and always a threat in the playoffs. Mike Zizzo, Texas Motor Speedway

First Place Votes: 1




                                                    Kyle Busch

Second place at Dover was overshadowed by everything else that happened. One has to wonder if Busch will have another Chase meltdown as in years past. Summer Bedgood, Frontstretch.com 

First Place Votes: 1




                                                     Joey Logano

Joey Logano was in contention at Homestead last year. He and team could repeat as they are able to produce consistency. Dwight Drum, RaceTake.com 




                                                     Dale Earnhardt, Jr.

Remember, Talladega is in this round.. Mike Neff, Frontstretch.com




                                                    Denny Hamlin

Even with the Kevin Harvick dominance at Dover, it’s still hard to bet against Joe Gibbs Racing moving forward. Summer Bedgood, Frontstretch.com




                                                    Carl Edwards

Going to be surprising if Cousin Carl isn’t one of the drivers battling to make the cut at Talladega. Mike Neff, Frontstretch.com 





                                                    Kurt Busch

Busch got off to a great start in the Chase – third at Chicagoland – and then followed with a pair of mediocre performances outside the top 15 to move on. He will have to step up in this round…. and probably will. Mike Zizzo, Texas Motor Speedway




                                                     Martin Truex, Jr.

Martin Truex, Jr. continues to finish strong. His team momentum could help him be in contention when four more will drop out after the next three races. Dwight Drum RaceTake.com 




                                                     Brad Keselowski

Nearly made it two out of the last three champions not to make it into the Contender Round. Tony Lumbis, Frontstretch.com 




                                                     Jeff Gordon
2015 NASCAR headshots CUP Jeff Gordon credit NASCAR

He survived the first round, but it’s up in the air whether or not he’ll survive the next one. Summer Bedgood, Frontstretch.com 




                                                    Jamie McMurray

You would think he would have at least run Junior up the track a little bit considering it was for a transfer to the next round. Mike Neff, Frontstretch.com 




                                                     Ryan Newman

Newman is up to his old Chase tricks like last year. Post-season starts and he is a dark horse, but he puts together a consistent string of runs to advance without winning. A top 5, a top 10 in the opening three-race Chase segment. Mike Zizzo, Texas Motor Speedway




                                                      Aric Almirola

He didn’t make the Chase, but he’s doing his darndest to make sure we don’t forget about him. Summer Bedgood, Frontstretch.com 




                                                      Jimmie Johnson

Johnson may have been eliminated but he is going to win a race over the final seven and that might mess up someone else’s title hopes. Mike Neff, Frontstretch.com


Others Receiving Votes: Kyle Larson (29), Kasey Kahne (29), Clint Bowyer (23), Paul Menard (15), Greg Biffle (8), Ricky Stenhouse Jr. (6).

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About Summer Bedgood

Summer Bedgood
Promoted to editor in 2013, Summer is one of Frontstretch’s fast-rising young talents. While contributing to social media efforts, she also writes the weekly "Up To Speed" column. A Kansas native, Summer graduated with a Bachelor's in Journalism and Mass Communications in 2015. She also contributes to other media outlets such as Kickin' The Tires.

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One comment

  1. Avatar

    Playing the “meltdown card” AGAIN, Summer? Your colleagues already used it after Kyle Busch finished 37th with a blown tire at New Hampshire. Can’t you at least TRY to be original in your commentary?