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NASCAR Sprint Cup Power Rankings: Top 15 After Michigan

NASCAR Sprint Cup Power Rankings: Top 15 After Michigan

Give Jeff Gordon enough chances and he’ll eventually beat you. That’s what happened to Joey Logano as Jeff Gordon pulled off a flawless restart with 17 laps to go, taking the lead and claiming his third win of the season. It’s the most wins Gordon has had in a single season since 2011.

It was a strong showing for those that needed strong runs, especially those trying to get into the Chase on points. Seven of the Power Ranking top 10 after Watkins Glen finished in the top 10 at Michigan. The top 4 (Earnhardt Jr., Gordon, Harvick and Logano) all finished in the top 5. Meanwhile, Matt Kenseth saw another chance at his first win of the season slip away after being involved in a multi-car incident, while Kyle Busch had trouble for a second week in a row finishing 39th.

Three night races end the regular season schedule starting with Bristol this coming weekend. Before the beating and banging begins, see if your favorite driver made the cut this week.

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!

 
Rank
Change
Name
Total Votes

1

+1

2014 NASCAR Cup Jeff Gordon headshot Credit Getty Images 430 TALLJeff Gordon

I don’t get the whole surprise about Gordon running well. He’s 43. I’m pretty sure I remember someone who won four races at age 43 and clinched the title by winning the third to last race of the year. We’ve seen it before. Phil Allaway, Frontstretch.com

First Place Votes: 6

158

2

-1

2014 NASCAR Cup Dale Earnhardt Jr headshot Credit Getty Images 430 TALLDale Earnhardt, Jr.

Remember the days when a pit road mishap would have knocked Dale, Jr. out of the race mentally? Not anymore. This team is not just good, they are now mentally tough too. Jim Noble, ESPN/SiriusXM NASCAR Radio/PRN

First Place Votes: 2

153

3

Kevin Harvick's record at Phoenix makes him the odds-on favorite this weekend, having won here just three races ago.

Kevin Harvick

Kevin Harvick has a knack for running down leaders. That could play big if he’s a finalist rolling into Homestead. Dwight Drum, RaceTake.com

140

4

2014 NASCAR Cup Joey  Logano headshot Credit Getty Images 430 TALLJoey Logano

Had the only car in the same league as Jeff Gordon at Michigan. Led a race-high 86 laps but was beat on the final restart with 17 laps to go and wound up third. Four straight top-6 finishes has Logano primed to be a factor once the Chase starts. Justin Tucker, Frontstretch.com

137

5

2014 NASCAR Cup Brad Keselowski headshot Credit Getty Images 430 TALLBrad Keselowski

Slammed into the wall, at more than 210 miles an hour, yet still came back to finish eighth. Anyone else question Brad’s tenacity, the safety of these cars, or Paul Wolfe? They’ll be a force to be reckoned with come Chase time. Tom Bowles, Frontstretch.com

126

6

+1

2014 NASCAR Cup Jimmie Johnson headshot Credit Getty Images 430 TALLJimmie Johnson

The work they put in together to get the shifter fixed was the ultimate “Let’s Build Something Together” Lowe’s commercial. Kelly Crandall, PopularSpeed.com

107

7

+2

2013 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series PortraitsDenny Hamlin

Hamlin is none too pleased about the lack of power the Toyotas have this season and it boiled over on Sunday. Joe Gibbs Racing is falling further and further behind each week. Justin Tucker, Frontstretch.com

93

8

+6

2014 NASCAR Cup Clint Bowyer headshot Credit Getty Images 430 TALLClint Bowyer

Doing exactly what he needs to do to get MWR into the Chase. A top 10 at Michigan and currently holds one of the four non-win Chase positions. Wouldn’t it be ironic if Bowyer is in this same position come Richmond? Michael Mehedin, Frontstretch.com

89

9

+6

2014 NASCAR Cup Greg Biffle headshot Credit Getty Images 430 TALLGreg Biffle

Biffle was Roush Fenway Racing’s lead dog at their best track and he only yielded a 10th-place finish. Yikes! Tony Lumbis, Frontstretch.com

80

10

2014 NASCAR Cup Ryan Newman headshot Credit Getty Images 430 TALLRyan Newman

Wasn’t the first time that he’s had a problem with someone at Michigan. But Jimmie Johnson is not Joey Logano so Newman couldn’t push him around. Kelly Crandall, PopularSpeed.com

79

11

-5

2014 NASCAR Cup Matt Kenseth headshot Credit Getty Images 430 TALLMatt Kenseth

Matt Kenseth is very likely to make the Chase without a win with only three races left before the cutoff. Watch him win a race to defy the odds. Dwight Drum, RaceTake.com

75

12

2014 NASCAR Media Day - Portraits

Kasey Kahne

Hendrick Motorsports has eight wins in the past 13 races. Kasey Kahne has two top-5 finishes in 23 races. There’s clearly a disconnect here. Tom Bowles, Frontstretch.com

66

12

N/A

2014 NASCAR Cup AJ Allmendinger headshot Credit Getty Images 430 TALLAJ Allmendinger

Good to see this team carry some momentum into Michigan, proving they’re not a one-trick pony. Tony Lumbis, Frontstretch.com

59

14

-6

2014 NASCAR Cup Kyle Larson headshot Credit Getty Images 430 TALLKyle Larson

Perhaps people should just stop considering Larson a favorite at certain tracks because those are the weekends he always ends up in trouble. Kelly Crandall, PopularSpeed.com

56

15

-3

Three years ago, Carl Edwards made the choice to stay with Roush Fenway Racing, but this time around, things have changed.

Carl Edwards

Carl Edwards has two wins, but seems to have lost momentum. This lame duck might not be squawking much heading into the Chase. Dwight Drum, RaceTake.com

55

Others Receiving Votes: Kurt Busch (45), Kyle Busch (31), Jamie McMurray (28), Marcos Ambrose (27), Paul Menard (27), Aric Almirola (14), Austin Dillon (7), Casey Mears (7), Brian Vickers (6), Ricky Stenhouse Jr. (2), Danica Patrick (1)

About Michael Mehedin

Michael Mehedin
Mike starts his second year with the Frontstretch in 2014 working on a combination of promotional and marketing assignments. Managing the NASCAR Power Rankings (Wednesdays), he works with broadcast and writing experts from throughout the world of racing to produce the biggest national weekly poll on Sprint Cup competition. Also our resident Marketing Assistant, Mike handles day-to-day client responsibilities while settling into his new digs outside of Charlotte.