Race Weekend Central

NASCAR Sprint Cup Power Rankings: Top 15 After Dover

The revised Chase format brought exactly what was expected to the first round of eliminations at Dover. Jeff Gordon earned his fourth win of the season, becoming the first non-Team Penske driver to win a Chase race. Meanwhile, Kevin Harvick dominated the day yet again, leading a race-high 223 laps before left front suspension issues relegated him to a 13th-place finish.

The highlight of the day was the battle for the final transfer position between Kurt Busch, Kasey Kahne and AJ Allmendinger. It took until the checkered flag few before we knew for sure who would be moving on to the Contender round. After an unscheduled pit stop for a loose wheel trapped Kahne multiple laps down and as low as 15th in points, he was able to fight his way back to a 20th-place finish and claim the final transfer position by only two points over Allmendinger.

The four drivers eliminated from Chase contention are:
AJ Allmendinger (JTG Daugherty Racing)
Kurt Busch (Stewart-Haas Racing)
Greg Biffle (Roush Fenway Racing)
Aric Almirola (Richard Petty Motorsports)

The following teams are still represented:
Hendrick Motorsports (4)
Joe Gibbs Racing (3)
Team Penske (2)
Stewart-Haas Racing (1)
Roush Fenway Racing (1)
Richard Childress Racing (1)

Has your bracket busted yet? Teams head to Kansas Speedway this weekend for round 1 of the Contender Round. But first, see if the experts got it right this week and if your favorite driver made the top 15 after Dover.

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


Brad Keselowski2014 NASCAR Media Day - Portraits

It says here that Brad will win at either Kansas or Charlotte, and make the craziness at Talladega a moot point. Remember, you read it here first. Jim Noble, ESPN/SiriusXM NASCAR Radio/PRN

First Place Votes: 5



Joey Logano2014 NASCAR Cup Joey  Logano headshot Credit Getty Images 430 TALL

If I would have told you Logano would have the best average finish of all the Chasers in the first round would you have believed me? Logano’s average finish in the first round was 3.0, which includes his fourth-place finish at Dover. Justin Tucker, Frontstretch.com




2014 NASCAR Cup Jeff Gordon headshot Credit Getty Images 430 TALL

Jeff Gordon

Only Terry Labonte has won a championship more than ten years after his previous championship, but records are made to be broken. Dennis Michelsen, RaceTalkRadio.com

First Place Votes: 2




Kevin Harvick2014 NASCAR Media Day - Portraits

Kevin’s been very mature about his woes on pit road this season. A less mature Harvick would have gone off the deep end by now. Phil Allaway, Frontstretch.com




Jimmie Johnson2014 NASCAR Media Day - Portraits

Failed to lead a lap at Dover for the first time since 2007. It’s either a slow build to the top, hiding all their cards, or the No. 48 team is officially in trouble. Tom Bowles, Frontstretch.com




Matt Kenseth2014 NASCAR Cup Matt Kenseth headshot Credit Getty Images 430 TALL

Matt Kenseth continues to finish well without winning, but to be among the final four in Homestead, he will likely need some checkers. Dwight Drum, RaceTake.com




Dale Earnhardt, Jr.2014 NASCAR Media Day - Portraits

His three Chase finishes so far: 11th, ninth and 17th. A lot of queasy stomachs in Junior Nation right now. Jim Noble, ESPN, SiriusXM NASCAR Radio/PRN




Kyle Busch2014 NASCAR Media Day - Portraits

Running the best out of the Joe Gibbs Racing cars, but his kryptonite lies ahead: Kansas. One more DNF there and Busch’s Chase is officially toast. Tom Bowles, Frontstretch.com




Kyle Larson2014 NASCAR Media Day - Portraits

Kid Money is showing the world why so many people that follow dirt racing have been bragging about this kid since he was 14. Dennis Michelsen, RaceTalkRadio.com




Ryan Newman2014 NASCAR Cup Ryan Newman headshot Credit Getty Images 430 TALL

Ryan Newman has had good results all year without a win. He may just hang in there long enough to get eliminated before Homestead. Dwight Drum, RaceTake.com




Denny Hamlin2013 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Portraits

Playing with house money right now. Nobody expects the No. 11 team to advance one more round. Could play into their favor, especially with the three tracks in the next round. Jim Noble, ESPN/SiriusXM NASCAR Radio/PRN




Carl Edwards2014 NASCAR Media Day - Portraits

Won’t be a factor in the next round. Thanks for playing, and clean out your office. Jim Noble, ESPN/SiriusXM NASCAR Radio/PRN




2014 NASCAR Media Day - Portraits

Kasey Kahne

It seems that Kasey Kahne has been riding a bubble all season The question is whether it will burst in the next cycle of eliminations or later. Dwight Drum, RaceTake.com



Clint Bowyer2014 NASCAR Cup Clint Bowyer headshot Credit Getty Images 430 TALL

Hard to believe this team was the championship runner-up two seasons ago. Long way to go to claw back into contention for 2015. Tom Bowles, Frontstretch.com




Jamie McMurray2014 NASCAR Cup Jamie McMurray headshot Credit Getty Images 430 TALL

It’s like a switch was flipped with the Nos. 1 and 42 teams. Not sure why all of a sudden they’re running strong. Don’t they know they have to have these kinds of finishes to get IN to the Chase? Michael Mehedin, Frontstretch.com


Others Receiving Votes: Kurt Busch (28), AJ Allmendinger (24), Martin Truex, Jr. (23), Greg Biffle (21), Aric Almirola (17), Tony Stewart (11), Brian Vickers (10), Austin Dillon (4), Danica Patrick (1), Paul Menard (1)

Participants: Phil Allaway, Frontstretch.com; Tom Bowles, Frontstretch.com; Dwight Drum, RaceTake.com; Michael Mehedin, Frontstretch.com; Dennis Michelsen, RaceTalkRadio.com; Jim Noble, ESPN/Sirius XM NASCAR Radio/PRN; Justin Tucker, Frontstretch.com

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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Wait, so Larson finshed top6 for the 3rd week in a row and he DROPPED 4 spots in the power rankings? Uhhh, why? lol

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