NASCAR Power Rankings: Top 10 NASCAR drivers ahead of Dover

Image courtesy of @NASCARonNBC.

After taking a quick break from the power rankings following the Sprint All-Star race, we’re back with a brand spankin’ new list of power rankings.

Charlotte produced some great storylines and also reshuffled the deck on our list. The last two weeks may have been dominated by Joe Gibbs Racing, but only two drivers from the coach’s team made this list. Let’s just say we don’t believe in knee-jerk reactions.

 

1. Kevin Harvick

Image courtesy of @NASCARonNBC.

Image courtesy of @NASCARonNBC.

Last Week: 2

2015 Statistics: Two wins, eight top fives, 11 top 10s

Recent Result: Ninth

Why He’s Here: Well, that didn’t take long. Kevin Harvick dropped down to No. 2 momentarily on our last list, but jumps right back up to the top after the Coke 600. No driver has been as consistently great as Harvick this season. His two wins are second only to Jimmie Johnson, but he leads every other category in the NASCAR Triple Crown.

 

2. Jimmie Johnson

Last Week: 1

2015 Statistics: Three wins, seven top fives, eight top 10s

Recent Result: 40th

Why He’s Here: Two spins and a collision with pit road left Johnson in a tailspin in the overall points standings. But thanks to his Sprint Cup-leading three victories, Johnson isn’t dropping any further than second on our list. Oh, and he has a great chance to add a fourth this weekend in Dover.

 

3. Dale Earnhardt Jr.

Image courtesy of @TeamHendrick.

Image courtesy of @TeamHendrick.

Last Week: 5

2015 Statistics: One win, seven top fives, 10 top 10s

Recent Result: Third

Why He’s Here: With three straight top-three finishes and a third-place result in Charlotte, it’s only fitting that Dale Earnhardt Jr. comes in at third in the power rankings. Greg Ives, his crew chief, took a gamble on fuel mileage that kept him ahead of better cars like Martin Truex Jr. That move also jumped him over the No. 78 driver.

 

4. Martin Truex Jr.

Last Week: 3

2015 Statistics: Three top fives, 11 top 10s

Recent Result: Fifth

Why He’s Here: Frustration continues to mount for Truex despite his team’s immense success. Truex led the most laps for a second straight points race only to have someone else swoop in for the win. He still came away with a top-five finish and will get into Victory Lane this season.

 

5. Joey Logano

Image courtesy of @sn_nascar.

Image courtesy of @sn_nascar.

Last Week: 4

2015 Statistics: One win, Six top fives, Nine top 10s

Recent Result: 13th

Why He’s Here: He wasn’t much of a factor in the Coca-Cola 600, but Joey Logano still narrowly missed out on a top-10 finish. Even when he’s not doing great, he’s better than nearly every other driver. Junior’s success knocks him down a notch, but Logano remains in the top five.

 

6. Kurt Busch

Last Week: 6

2015 Statistics: One win, three top fives, five top 10s

Recent Result: 10th

Why He’s Here: The Kurt Busch train hasn’t slowed down any since his return. He clinched a second straight top-10 result on Sunday and led 118 laps in Charlotte. No one has touched the success of Harvick this season, but Busch is his only equivalent in the Stewart-Haas Racing stable.

 

7. Denny Hamlin

Last Week: N/R

2015 Statistics: One win, three top fives, five top 10s

Recent Result: Eighth

Why He’s Here: The $1 million man suffered through a migraine and dehydration during the Coke 600, but still came away with a top 10. If that’s a sign of what’s to come from JGR on intermediate tracks, this will be one of the teams to beat when the Chase rolls around.

 

8. Matt Kenseth

Image courtesy of @NASCARONFOX.

Image courtesy of @NASCARONFOX.

Last Week: 7

2015 Statistics: One win, four top fives, seven top 10s

Recent Result: Fifth

Why He’s Here: The only reason Matt Kenseth got knocked out of the No. 7 spot was because his teammate Hamlin jumped over him with the Sprint All-Star race win. Statistically speaking, Kenseth is the best driver on the Gibbs team—which automatically earns him a spot in the top 10.

 

9. Brad Keselowski

Last Week: 9

2015 Statistics: One win, three top fives, eight top 10s

Recent Result: Seventh

Why He’s Here: Much like Logano, Brad Keselowski didn’t appear to have a car to compete for a win. He still recovered from an early penalty on pit road to finish inside the top 10 for the eighth time this season. Keselowski just looks like a prize fighter waiting for the final rounds to get here, but don’t count him out after two straight second-place finishes at Dover in 2014.

 

10. Jeff Gordon

Last Week: 8

2015 Statistics: Two top fives, seven top 10s

Recent Result: 15th

Why He’s Here: After a disappointing run in his final Coke 600, Jeff Gordon is hanging on by the skin of his teeth in this week’s power rankings. Now he returns to Dover, the site of his last win, so this might finally be the week when Gordon clinches a Chase berth during his final season.

 

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