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NASCAR Sprint Cup Power Rankings: Top 15 After New Hampshire

NASCAR Sprint Cup Power Rankings: Top 15 After New Hampshire

For the second time in three weeks Brad Keselowski gave what he called a “championship performance”. The Penske driver dominated the race, leading the most laps from the pole position and picking up his third win of the season. If the Chase points reset now, he would lead the standings. Jimmie Johnson is the only other driver this season with three wins.

New Hampshire proved to be a rebound race after the carnage from Daytona. Four of the top 10 in Power Rankings after Daytona finished in the top 5, including race winner Brad Keselowski, Kyle Busch, Matt Kenseth and Ryan Newman. However, the bad luck from Daytona spilled over an additional week for others including Jimmie Johnson, who crashed only a few laps into the race after multiple tire issues. Joey Logano was running second when contact with Morgan Shephard sent him into the wall and ended his day.

A rare off-weekend is up next before teams head to Indianapolis. Only seven races until the Chase begins. See if your driver made this week’s cut and positioned himself to make the top 16.

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

+3

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

Good thing he got his Victory Lane mishap out of the way in Kentucky. One can only imagine what could have happened with a giant lobster. Tony Lumbis, Frontstretch.com

First Place Votes: 4

117

2

 -1

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

In the past, the hard summer stretch has broken the No. 88 team. But this year it might push them towards a title run. Kelly Crandall, PopularSpeed.com

First Place Votes: 2

114

3

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

Nearly made chicken salad out of chicken. But the chicken dried up at the end. Kelly Crandall, PopularSpeed.com

104

4

 -3

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

It appears even NASCAR Superman, Jimmie Johnson, can be humbled by tires. It’s doubtful that Kryptonite ever came with instructions, but in this scientific world, maybe answers about tire failure need a little more science. Dwight Drum, RaceTake.com

96

5

 +5

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

Ended the race on four wheels, stole a second-place finish and celebrated over the radio about making it on fuel. Kyle can go into the off-weekend happy. Kelly Crandall, PopularSpeed.com

81

T-6

 +1

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

I sound like a broken record, but it’s hard to believe Kenseth has yet to win a race. Yes, he’s currently fourth in points but will drop tremendously if he doesn’t put a few in the W column soon. Michael Mehedin, Frontstretch.com

75

T-6

 +3

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

Replaced Menard for the moment as the RCR team that is quietly building a strong season without anyone noticing. Tony Lumbis, Frontstretch.com

75

8

 +7

2013 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series PortraitsDenny Hamlin

Kyle Busch claimed that Hamlin had a better race car than he did after the race. Unfortunately, he couldn’t take advantage of it to get a better finish than eighth. Phil Allaway, Frontstretch.com

72

9

 -4 Kevin Harvick's record at Phoenix makes him the odds-on favorite this weekend, having won here just three races ago.Kevin Harvick now has the age-old question on his mind: Is it better to be fast and loose than never to be fast at all? Tony Lumbis, Frontstretch.com

71

T-10

 +3

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

Bowyer admitted the team is desperate for a win. With the clock ticking down to the Chase, that desperation is escalating, and his post-race comments reflect that every week. Kelly Crandall, PopularSpeed.com

69

T-11

 -5

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

Had the second-best car at Loudon only to be taken out by a 72-year old senior citizen who roller-skates down pit road. Absolutely incredible. Justin Tucker, Frontstretch.com

69

12

 -4

2014 NASCAR Cup Kurt Busch headshot Credit Getty Images 430 TALLKurt Busch

Another lackluster weekend for the elder Busch brother, and he sits 25th in series points. If he doesn’t get his act together that win might not even get him into the Chase. Michael Mehedin, Frontstretch.com

48

13

 -4

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

Larson’s end of the age spectrum certainly did better this weekend than Morgan Shepherd’s end. Tony Lumbis, Frontstretch.com

45

14

 -2

2014 NASCAR Cup Carl Edwards headshot Credit Getty Images 430 TALLCarl Edwards

Only a few really know for sure where Carl Edwards is going in 2015. But for now, he has a solid spot in the Chase. That might be Championship knowledge heading into the elimination Chase world. Dwight Drum, RaceTake.com

43

15

 -4

2014 NASCAR Cup Paul Menard headshot Credit Getty Images 430 TALLPaul Menard

Might have gotten shown up by his teammate at Loudon, but the slump that everyone is waiting for has yet to come and Menard still has a chance to make his first Chase. Oh, and by the way, he won at Indianapolis in 2011. Michael Mehedin, Frontstretch.com

36

Others Receiving Votes: Kasey Kahne (34), Austin Dillon (32),Tony Stewart (28), Aric Almirola (18), Jamie McMurray (10), Ricky Stenhouse Jr. (9), Brian Vickers (5), Martin Truex Jr. (5), Greg Biffle (4)

Participants: Phil Allaway, Frontstretch.com; Kelly Crandall, PopularSpeed.com; Dwight Drum, RaceTake.com; Tony Lumbis, Frontstretch.com; Michael Mehedin, Frontstretch.com; Justin Tucker, Frontstretch.com.

With Loudon now in the rear-view, the Chase inches ever closer. Tom Bowles looks as things we learned from Sunday afternoon’s dominating performance by Brad Keselowski.

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.