Race Weekend Central

NASCAR Sprint Cup Power Rankings: Top 15 After Bristol

It was a Penske Racing weekend. Not only did Brad Keselowski win the Truck Series race Thursday, Ryan Blaney won the Nationwide race Friday and Joey Logano took a win away from Matt Kenseth, passing him with 44 laps to go Saturday night. Logano became the fifth different driver to win three races this season and will be seeded fourth once the Chase seeding is set.

It was a rough weekend for a number of the top drivers in Thunder Valley. Only four of the Power Ranking top 10 after Michigan finished in the top 10 at Bristol including Logano, Keselowski, Jimmie Johnson and Greg Biffle. And what is Bristol without controversy? While battling for the lead, Kevin Harvick turned Denny Hamlin into the inside wall, collecting Dale Earnhardt, Jr. Hamlin showed his frustration, throwing his HANS device at Harvick as he passed. No penalties will be levied to Hamlin for that burst of anger.

With Logano’s win Saturday night, four non-win positions are still up for grabs with two races left before the Chase begins. Anything can happen in Atlanta and Richmond as drivers desperately position themselves to either win or make the Chase on points. As we prepare for the Labor Day holiday weekend, see if your driver made it out of Bristol without too much damage.

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!

Total Votes


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

Gordon leads Earnhardt in points? I must have hit 1.21 gigawatts and gone back to the future to 1995. Dennis Michelsen, RaceTalkRadio.com

First Place Votes: 8




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

Well folks, take your pick. Will it be Hendrick or Penske for the Championship? Tony Lumbis, Frontstretch.com

First Place Votes: 2




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

The 2012 champ might be playing second-fiddle to his teammate right now, but wait until the Chase begins. Seems to bring out the best in him and Paul Wolfe. Vito Pugliese, Frontstretch.com




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

His car from Saturday night has to be a lock to make it to his car graveyard. Tony Lumbis, Frontstretch.com




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

Kevin Harvick

There is no more disappointing two-win driver and team right now than Harvick and the No. 4. A pit road speeding penalty cost him a shot at his third win of 2014. Can you imagine how many wins he would have if not for all the mistakes? Justin Tucker, Frontstretch.com



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

Only the No. 48 team can blame a paint scheme for bad luck, roll out a new scheme and go out and finish in the top 5. Kelly Crandall, PopularSpeed.com




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

Matt Kenseth could be saving all his 2014 wins for Chase territory. That could be a highly valuable savings program. Dwight Drum, RaceTake.com




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

With just two races left before the Chase cutoff, Greg Biffle could squeak into the playoffs or blast to a spot with a win. Dwight Drum, RaceTake.com




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

Ever so quietly building his case to be a darkhorse inside this Chase. Flashed a top-5 car at a road course, cookie cutter, short track and with a restrictor plate all within the last two months. Tom Bowles, Frontstretch.com




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

Carl Edwards

Didn’t contend for a win at Bristol, but three Roush Fenway Racing cars in the top 10 bears mentioning, if only from a feel-good standpoint. Jim Noble, ESPN/SiriusXM NASCAR Radio/PRN




2013 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series PortraitsDenny Hamlin

Something keeps telling me that the Gibbs cars are going to hit on something once the Chase begins. The question is, will the No. 11 team be one of them? Jim Noble, ESPN/SiriusXM NASCAR Radio/PRN




2014 NASCAR Cup Clint Bowyer headshot Credit Getty Images 430 TALL

Clint Bowyer

A case could be made that the No. 15 team doesn’t belong in the Chase, and then you look and realize that he’s somehow sitting 10th in points. Kelly Crandall, PopularSpeed.com




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

He’s been consistent, much like Kenseth, but a win would allow him to breathe a little easier. Jeff Wolfe, Frontstretch.com




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

A classic case of what momentum does to a race team. Following his win, the No. 47 team bested their results from earlier this season at Michigan and Bristol. Kelly Crandall, PopularSpeed.com




2014 NASCAR Media Day - Portraits

Kyle Larson

If he would stop hitting the wall so darn much, maybe this rookie would win a race – and make the Chase. Tom Bowles, Frontstretch.com


Others Receiving Votes: Kyle Busch (62), Jamie McMurray (43), Paul Menard (33), Jeff  Burton (25), Kasey Kahne (25), Aric Almirola (23), Ricky Stenhouse, Jr. (20), Marcos Ambrose (8), Austin Dillon (7), Brian Vickers (3), Michael McDowell (2), Tony Stewart (2), Justin Allgaier (1), Ryan Blaney (1)

About the author

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.

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John C

Glad to see The Shrub is nowhere near the top ten !! You should create a “moron” vote and see where he ranks on that list. No. 1 I’m sure!!

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