Tuesday , September 30 2014
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Top 15 Power Rankings after Kentucky

Top 15 Power Rankings after Kentucky

The Penske Racing duo of Brad Keselowski and Joey Logano asserted their dominance at Kentucky and put on a clinic for the rest of the field. Not only did they sweep the front row, they led a combined 236 laps. Although Logano slid back to ninth place after his engine began to flounder, Keselowski won his second race of the season. Penske has now combined for four race wins in 2014.

Six of the top 10 in Power Rankings after Sonoma recorded top 10 finishes at Kentucky including all four Hendrick Motorsports drivers. The team as a whole recorded their third consecutive top 10 finish. Although he won last week, Edwards was a non-factor and finished 17th while Paul Menard’s top five finish streak was snapped at two as he could only muster a 15th place finish.

The season hits its halfway mark which means drivers head back to Florida for its Fourth of July celebration at Daytona under the lights.

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 Dale Earnhardt Jr headshot Credit Getty Images 430 TALLDale Earnhardt Jr.

Championship form for the 88 team on Saturday. They took a car that no one was happy with, qualified poorly and turned it into a top-10 machine that finished fifth. Kelly Crandall, PopularSpeed.com

First Place Votes: 2

115

2

 -1

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

Jimmie Johnson and team only came in 10th at Kentucky. It’s about time for another win to lift team spirits. Dwight Drum, RaceTake.com

First Place Votes: 2

113

3

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

Jeff Gordon might as well add another win to his stats. He has the most top 10 finishes at 13, and leads the points by 24, his car number. How’s that for luck? Dwight Drum, RaceTake.com

First Place Votes: 2

108

4

 +1

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

The only thing that could defeat Brad Keselowski Saturday night was the ol’ bubbly. Phil Allaway, Frontstretch.com

102

5

 -1

2014 NASCAR Media Day - PortraitsKevin Harvick

I think Kevin’s going to have quite the bald spot if his pit crew’s current form continues for the rest of the season. Phil Allaway, Frontstretch.com

98

6

 +1

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

Had it not been for a dropped cylinder it would have been a Penske 1-2 finish. Logano finished 9th on a night where he should have finished no worse than second. Justin Tucker, Frontstretch.com

91

7

 +8

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

Looking like he is getting closer to pulling off that one obligatory win a year. Tony Lumbis, Frontstretch.com

67

8

2014 NASCAR Media Day - PortraitsPaul Menard

Finished 15th Saturday night but was still at the front for a portion of the night. Still think this will be the only RCR team in the Chase. Michael Mehedin, Frontstretch.com

66

9

 +4

2014 NASCAR Media Day - PortraitsKyle Busch

Nothing like a good old fashion silly season rumor to turn around performance. Tony Lumbis, Frontstretch.com

65

11

 +1

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

Perhaps if it wasn’t for all the successes he had last year, this season wouldn’t seem so disappointing. Kelly Crandall, PopularSpeed.com

62

12

 -7

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

Roush Fenway Racing is still painfully slow on 1.5 mile race tracks as proven by his 17th place finish on Saturday. Justin Tucker, Frontstretch.com

61

12

 +4

2014 NASCAR Media Day - PortraitsKasey Kahne

Three top 10 finishes in a row. On the verge of making the Chase on points. Looks like this team turned around their performance though so surely a win is on the horizon. Michael Mehedin, Frontstretch.com

48

13

 -4

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

Two weeks of lackluster performances at tracks I thought for sure Bowyer would perform better at. Not sure we’ll be seeing him in the Chase this year. Michael Mehedin, Frontstretch.com

43

14

 -4

2014 NASCAR Cup Jamie McMurray headshot Credit Getty Images 430 TALLJamie McMurray

Caught up in an accident not of his doing. Now needs a win to have any hopes of making the Chase. Justin Tucker, Frontstretch.com

39

15

 +3

2014 NASCAR Cup Tony Stewart headshot Credit Getty Images 430 TALLTony Stewart

Almost nabbed another top 10 finish. Still waiting for him to heat up and start knocking off wins to make a run at another title. Michael Mehedin, Frontstretch.com

36

Others Receiving Votes: Kyle Larson (35), Kurt Busch (34), Greg Biffle (27), Denny Hamlin (19), Austin Dillon (12), Marcos Ambrose (12), Brian Vickers (4), Martin Truex Jr. (2), AJ Allmendinger (1)

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 Michigan in the rear-view mirror, what’s next for the No. 48 team to conquer on their checklist? Matt Taliaferro investigates in Athlon’s featured racing column of the day.

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.