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!
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
Dale 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
Nearly made chicken salad out of chicken. But the chicken dried up at the end. Kelly Crandall, PopularSpeed.com
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
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
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
Replaced Menard for the moment as the RCR team that is quietly building a strong season without anyone noticing. Tony Lumbis, Frontstretch.com
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
|-4||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|
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
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
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
Larson’s end of the age spectrum certainly did better this weekend than Morgan Shepherd’s end. Tony Lumbis, Frontstretch.com
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
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
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)