Sprint Cup Power Rankings: Top 10 NASCAR drivers ahead of All-Star Weekend

Image courtesy of @NASCAR.

It may have finished well after most NASCAR fans’ bed times, but the SpongeBob SquarePants 400 caused some massive shifts in the power rankings for this week. For example, there’s a clear-cut No. 1 at the top of the list.

Kevin Harvick and Jimmie Johnson continued their blistering of 1.5-mile tracks, but only one could come out on top. As a result, let’s take a look at the top 10 prior to the Sprint All-Star Race event in Charlotte.

 

1. Jimmie Johnson, Hendrick Motorsports

Last Week: 2

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

Recent Result: Win

Why He’s Here: Thanks to capturing his third win and the once-in-a-lifetime SpongeBob trophy, Six-Time is now at the top of the power rankings. Heading to Charlotte, a track where he’s won at seven times including last May, Johnson should finish this two week clip in the Queen City with another winner sticker.

 

2. Kevin Harvick, Stewart-Haas Racing

Last Week: 1

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

Recent Result: Second

Why He’s Here: The man can do no wrong, but he’s still dealing with the demons of JJ at 1.5-mile tracks. Over the last seven races on intermediate tracks, Harvick has won three and came in second in four others. The only driver who has finished ahead of Harvick has been Johnson. Don’t expect Harvick to stay down long, though. He knows how to get back to the top of the rankings.

 

3. Martin Truex Jr., Furniture Row Racing

Last Week: 2

2015 Statistics: Two top fives, 10 top 10s

Recent Result: Ninth

Why He’s Here: He led the most laps on Saturday night. He had arguably the best car on the track all night. The only thing Martin Truex Jr. didn’t accomplish in Kansas was coming away with a checkered flag.

Truex has good reason to remain optimistic despite finishing ninth due to a late pit stop that cost him a win. Only Harvick has as many top-10 finishes as Truex and no driver has as inspirational of a story. Expect him to steal the show on Friday night during the Sprint Unlimited with no spot in the All-Star Race guaranteed.

 

4. Joey Logano, Team Penske

Last Week: 4

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

Recent Result: Fifth

Why He’s Here: Speed has been a blessing and a curse for Joey Logano at times this season. He’s always one of the fastest cars during qualifying and practice, but hasn’t quite had the speed on race day to capture his second victory. Logano is on the cusp of being at the same level with Harvick and Johnson, but hasn’t quite reached it to this point.  

 

5. Dale Earnhardt Jr., Hendrick Motorsports

Dale Earnhardt Jr. will be rolling out a brand new paint scheme during the All-Star Race. Image courtesy of @TeamHendrick.

Dale Earnhardt Jr. will be rolling out a brand new paint scheme during the All-Star Race. Image courtesy of @TeamHendrick.

Last Week: 6

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

Recent Result: Third

Why He’s Here: Looking to build off a win in Talladega, Dale Earnhardt Jr. finished third in Kansas. Not only did he capture his sixth top-five result of the year, but it was also his fifth finish inside the top three. More wins are coming, Jr. Nation, and the Hendrick Train clearly isn’t losing any steam heading into Charlotte.  

 

6. Kurt Busch, Stewart-Haas Racing

Last Week: 5

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

Recent Result: Eighth

Why He’s Here: Ho hum, another top-10 finish for Kurt Busch. The No. 41 driver has appeared to ease off the gas a little since his win at Richmond, but he’s still averaging a ninth-place finish during his first eight races back. Currently seventh on the Chase Grid and 14th in traditional points, Busch is a lock for the Chase and will still be a force when the fall rolls around.  

 

7. Matt Kenseth, Joe Gibbs Racing

Last Week: 7

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

Recent Result: Sixth

Why He’s Here: Matt Kenseth is currently at the top of the Joe Gibbs Racing stable that has surprisingly underperformed this season. His consistency has kept the team afloat, but big things are bound to happen with Carl Edwards still mired at 18th in points and Kyle Busch potentially on the comeback trail. For now, Kenseth is the only remaining JGR driver in the top 10 (spoiler alert!).

 

8. Jeff Gordon, Hendrick Motorsports

Image courtesy of @NASCAR.

Image courtesy of @NASCAR.

Last Week: 8

2015 Statistics: Two top fives, seven top 10s

Recent Result: Fourth

Why He’s Here: Well, what else did you expect from Jeff Gordon in Kansas? The No. 24 machine has been in the top five during 11 of the first 19 races at the track. Even with his success at the intermediate track, how he builds off it during May will say more about how his final full-time season will shape up.  

 

9. Brad Keselowski, Team Penske

Last Week: 9

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

Recent Result: Seventh

Why He’s Here: Oh, what might have been if the SpongeBob 400 was only held on Sunday. Brad Keselowski, who finished seventh on Saturday night, was holding out hope that the event would be moved to a day race later in the weekend.

Thankfully, the race was not held on Mother’s Day and Kes still captured another top-10 result on Saturday night. He remains a strong contender for his second championship in four years, but has some catching up to do if he wants to take down Johnson, Harvick and teammate Logano.

 

10. Jamie McMurray, Chip Ganassi Racing

Last Week: N/A

2015 Statistics: Two top fives, four top 10s

Recent Result: 13th

Why He’s Here: Welcome to the party, Jamie McMurray! With Denny Hamlin sliding out of the rankings with a poor finish in Kansas, McMurray is the beneficiary—and deservedly so. His four top 10s and average finish of 10th over the last eight events, the Chip-Ganassi Racing driver is climbing into true Chase discussion. Heading to Charlotte this weekend, McMurray will be looking to repeat as the All-Star Race champion and a second straight top-five in the Coca-Cola 600.

 

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