NASCAR Power Rankings: Top 10 NASCAR drivers ahead of Michigan

Image courtesy of @FR78Racing.

Image courtesy of @FR78Racing.

After 69 races, Martin Truex Jr. finally made his way back to Victory Lane on Sunday. His win at Pocono was the third of his career, second for Furniture Row Racing and—most importantly—the first for Truex this season.

By virtue of his victory, Truex jumped up on the Chase Grid to third, but didn’t change much in our power rankings. Mostly because we already had him tabbed as a top-three driver—where he rightfully belonged. Here’s a look at the updated rankings heading into Michigan.

 

1. Jimmie Johnson

Image courtesy of @TeamHendrick.

Image courtesy of @TeamHendrick.

Last Week: 1

2015 Statistics: Four wins, nine top fives, 10 top 10s

Recent Result: Third

Why He’s Here: Truex might have topped the weekend, but Johnson has topped the entire season thus far. His four victories still keep him atop the power rankings heading into Michigan. Ironically enough, he is the defending spring winner at MIS and could very well come away with his fifth checkered flag on Sunday.

 

2. Kevin Harvick

Last Week: 2

2015 Statistics: Two wins, 10 top fives, 13 top 10s

Recent Result: Second

Why He’s Here: It’s almost becoming a normal occurrence to not only see Kevin Harvick in the top five, but also the top two at nearly every track. He beat JJ on Sunday, but finished second again behind Truex. More wins are coming for Harvick, it’s just a matter of when, not if.

 

3. Martin Truex Jr.

Last Week: 3

2015 Statistics: One win, four top fives, 13 top 10s

Recent Result: Win(!)

Why He’s Here: The most popular feel-good story of the season can finally look forward to another chapter being written. Truex finally locked up the second Chase berth for Furniture Row and can look ahead to competing for a championship. But this clearly isn’t the peak for Truex, who has 13 top 10s in 14 events. Expect him to still have a shot during the final four races.

4. Dale Earnhardt Jr.

Last Week: 4

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

Recent Result: 11th

Why He’s Here: He didn’t reach Victory Lane with a win, but that didn’t deter Dale Earnhardt Jr. from joining the party.

Two straight weeks outside of the top 10 has Earnhardt on the cusp of falling down a position. But despite Joey Logano getting his seventh top five of the season, Junior has been the more consistent force on the track recently. He’ll need to prove that at Michigan to remain in the top five for another week. Reaching Victory Lane on his own soon might help.

 

5. Joey Logano

Last Week: 5

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

Recent Result: Fourth

Why He’s Here: He might deserve to jump up a spot, but his top 10 in Long Pond was his first in nearly a month at the Sprint Cup level. If he throws down another solid performance at MIS, this Team Penske driver might be on an upward trend again.

 

6. Kurt Busch

Image courtesy of @StewartHaasRcng.

Image courtesy of @StewartHaasRcng.

Last Week: 7

2015 Statistics: One wins, four top fives, six top 10s

Recent Result: Fifth

Why He’s Here: A week after being taken out late by Denny Hamlin at Dover, Kurt Busch recovered admirably with a top five at Pocono. The Outlaw has more finishes outside the top 30 (11) as he does inside the top 10 (nine), so Michigan will be a great barometer of where Busch is just over midway through the regular season.

 

7. Denny Hamlin

Last Week: 6

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

Recent Result: 10th

Why He’s Here: He wasn’t particularly fast, but Denny Hamlin still plugged away to finish inside the top 10. Hamlin always seems to find a way to come away with a strong finish, which explains how he was one of the last four in the Chase in 2014. Just weeks removed from his strong showing in Charlotte, expect Hamlin to compete again in Michigan, a track where he finished seventh at in the fall.

 

8. Matt Kenseth

Last Week: 9

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

Recent Result: Sixth

Why He’s Here: Matt Kenseth put together one of his best performances ever at the Tricky Triangle. It wasn’t a top five, but Kenseth still finished at the top of a typically strong Joe Gibbs Racing stable. A model of consistency this season, Kenseth simply hasn’t done anything to skyrocket up the power rankings.

 

9. Jamie McMurray

Image courtesy of @NASCAR.

Image courtesy of @NASCAR.

Last Week: N/R

2015 Statistics: Two top fives, six top 10s

Recent Result: Seventh

Why He’s Here: Welcome back to the power rankings, Jamie McMurray. Two straight seventh-place results have him back on everyone’s radar, but can he take the next step? With Truex becoming the first surprise driver to make the Chase, our choice for the second is this Chip-Ganassi Racing driver. He has wins at Daytona, Indianapolis and Talladega, so a Chase berth could be on the way soon.

 

10. Brad Keselowski

Last Week: 8

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

Recent Result: 17th

Why He’s Here: After an incident with Brett Moffitt, Brad Keselowski was unable to recover and narrowly finished inside the top 20. The accident was Kes’ fault and caused his second straight result outside the top 10. With other drivers—namely McMurray—on the rise, Keselowski’s on the verge of getting dumped outside the list entirely.

 

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