We took a few weeks off from the power rankings, but they’re finally back. Between the Father’s Day break, a road race and a brand new rules package, we wanted time to let everything simmer before rolling out an updated power rankings list.
Coming off a win at Kentucky to help his chances at making the Chase, Kyle Busch saw a huge spike in the standings. Meanwhile, the struggles of Team Penske to find Victory Lane recently have hurt its drivers.
Here’s a look at the top 10 drivers in the sport ahead of the first New Hampshire race.
1. Jimmie Johnson
Last Week: 1
2015 Statistics: Four wins, 10 top fives, 13 top 10s
Recent Result: Ninth
Why He’s Here: He didn’t come away with a win or even lead a lap at Kentucky, but Jimmie Johnson still added another top 10. With four victories at this point, the only way he can be knocked off the top spot is an impressive run before the Chase by someone currently with two wins.
2. Kevin Harvick
Last Week: 2
2015 Statistics: Two wins, 12 top fives, 16 top 10s
Recent Result: Eighth
Why He’s Here: Kevin Harvick continues to post steady results despite not having a win since Phoenix. As the outright leader in points by nearly 70 points and a Chase berth secured, don’t be surprised if Harvick cruises into the postseason in search of his second consecutive title.
3. Dale Earnhardt Jr.
Last Week: 4
2015 Statistics: Two wins, nine top fives, 11 top 10s
Recent Result: 21st
Why He’s Here: Finishing outside the top 20 at Kentucky was mostly due to a lack of brakes and contact with Danica Patrick. Luckily, the Sprint Cup circuit won’t be returning to The Bluegrass State the rest of this season.
4. Kurt Busch
Last Week: 6
2015 Statistics: Two wins, seven top fives, 10 top 10s
Recent Result: 10th
Why He’s Here: His baby brother might have been the story in Kentucky, but Kurt Busch continued his consistent comeback as well. Yet another top 10 moves Busch into the top five and contending for a top-three spot with Junior’s (minor) slip.
5. Joey Logano
Last Week: 5
2015 Statistics: One win, 10 top fives, 13 top 10s
Recent Result: Second
Why He’s Here: Team Penske hasn’t taken a checkered flag in several weeks, and Joey Logano hasn’t added to his collection since the Daytona 500. But with his best finish at Kentucky over the weekend, the new aero package might be a gamechanger for the duo.
6. Kyle Busch
Last Week: N/R
2015 Statistics: Two wins, two top fives, three top 10s
Recent Result: Win
Why He’s Here: Speaking of the new rules package being a huge coo, it wasn’t more evident for any team than Joe Gibbs Racing. Kyle Busch took his second victory of the season and skyrocketed up the power rankings as one of the hottest drivers in the sport right now.
7. Martin Truex Jr.
Last Week: 3
2015 Statistics: One win, five top fives, 14 top 10s
Recent Result: 17th
Why He’s Here: Since a run of 14 top 10s in the first 15 races, Martin Truex Jr. has come up short multiple times out. New Hampshire holds a late Chase race, so conquering the track this weekend would help bring confidence back to the No. 78 team.
8. Denny Hamlin
Last Week: 7
2015 Statistics: One win, five top fives, eight top 10s
Recent Result: Third
Why He’s Here: JGR nailed down four drivers in the top five for the first time since Roush Fenway Racing did so in 2008 at Michigan. Denny Hamlin was third and looks like an improved driver on intermediate tracks after winning the Sprint All-Star Race a few weeks back.
9. Matt Kenseth
Last Week: 8
2015 Statistics: One win, six top fives, 10 top 10s
Recent Result: Fifth
Why He’s Here: Take the last two comments about JGR then wash, rinse and repeat. Matt Kenseth finished fourth in the Gibbs stable, taking home his sixth top five of the year. Now heading to a track where he won in 2013, Kenseth should continue the trend on Sunday.
10. Brad Keselowski
Last Week: 10
2015 Statistics: One win, three top fives, 10 top 10s
Recent Result: Sixth
Why He’s Here: Close, but no cigar. Outside of the No. 18 machine, the Blue Deuce was the second most dominant car on Saturday night. Unfortunately, mistakes on pit road kept Brad Keselowski out of Victory Lane yet again despite leading 62 laps and having 82 of the fastest laps.
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