Race Weekend Central

NASCAR Sprint Cup Power Rankings: Top 15 After Texas

For the second time during the Chase, on-track contact has led to a post-race fight. The one common denominator: Brad Keselowski. This time, Keselowski made a bold three-wide move between Jimmie Johnson and Jeff Gordon which resulted in a cut tire for Gordon and a 29th place finish. Understandably, Gordon was upset after seeing a potential race-winning run and a guaranteed spot at Homestead wiped away. Gordon now sits fourth in points, on the verge of being knocked out of championship contention with one race remaining in the Eliminator Round. Oh, and by the way, Jimmie Johnson won the race. This is the second consecutive race won by a non-Chase contender which means that at least three of the final four positions at Homestead will be based on points position.

It was a 50/50 day for the eight remaining Chase contenders. Harvick, Keselowski, Edwards and Hamlin finished in the top 10 while Logano, Newman, Kenseth and Gordon did not. Much the same for the top 10 in Power Rankings after Martinsville. Half of the drivers (Harvick, Keselowski, Kyle Busch, Earnhardt Jr. and Hamlin) had top-10 finishes while the other half finished no better than 12th (Joey Logano).

One race remains in the Eliminator Round before the final four are set for a showdown at Homestead. Before we head west, see if your favorite driver made the top 15 after Texas.

The four drivers currently outside the final four are:
Matt Kenseth
Carl Edwards
Brad Keselowski
Kevin Harvick

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



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

Interesting strategy at Team Penske. Brad distracts the entire field while Joey quietly positions himself for a championship when nobody is looking. Tony Lumbis, Frontstretch.com

First Place Votes: 5




Kevin Harvick2014 NASCAR Media Day - Portraits

“Ever see two people bickering in line? Ever get so annoyed you just want to see those two fight and get it over with? If so, #Harvicking might be for you. All it take is one little practice shove…” Tom Bowles, Frontstretch.com




2014 NASCAR Media Day - Portraits

Brad Keselowski

Forget the third place finish at Texas. Keselowski is going to find it very hard to win the championship without any friends. Justin Tucker, Frontstretch.com




Denny Hamlin2013 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Portraits

Hamlin is tied for the points lead even though he has zero top-five finishes in the Chase. You go figure that one out. Justin Tucker, Frontstretch.com

First Place Votes: 1




Jeff Gordon2014 NASCAR Cup Jeff Gordon headshot Credit Getty Images 430 TALL

Can’t help but think that Gordon would have made the same move Keselowski did had he been in Brad’s position on the restart. Tony Lumbis, Frontstretch.com




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

When asked in a press conference today, Mike Helton said he’d be fine with a winless champion. Sounds like more and more people feel Newman could win this thing. And now with three drivers guaranteed bids to the final four on points, there is no reason Newman can’t be one of them with another of his consistent drives at Phoenix. Michael Mehedin, Frontstretch.com




Dale Earnhardt Jr.2014 NASCAR Media Day - Portraits

Still very solid despite being eliminated from the Chase at Talladega. Had what was probably the quietest sixth-place finish of his career on Sunday. Phil Allaway, Frontstretch.com




Kyle Busch2014 NASCAR Media Day - Portraits

Went from lapped and dropping a carcass on the track to nearly scoring the triple. Pretty amazing second-half of the race. Phil Allaway, Frontstretch.com




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

For someone Kevin Harvick wants to spin, these guys sure have a lot in common when it comes to pushing and shoving. Maybe they can come together around a common cause. After all, it does take “2” to tango. Tom Bowles, Frontstretch.com




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

Jamie needs to be in a contract year…every year. Phil Allaway, Frontstretch.com




Kyle Larson2014 NASCAR Media Day - Portraits

Kyle Larson continues to finish strong and master his learning curves without disturbing many veteran Sprint Cup drivers. That absorbing could go a long way. Dwight Drum, RaceTake.com




Carl Edwards2014 NASCAR Media Day - Portraits

Carl Edwards keeps hanging on even with Lame Duck feet. Dwight Drum, RaceTake.com




2014 NASCAR Media Day - Portraits

AJ Allmendinger

Sits two positions from an invitation to the main stage in Las Vegas. Quite a feat for a single-car team to even be within reach of that goal with two races remaining in the season. Mission accomplished for the No. 47 team in 2014. Michael Mehedin, Frontstretch.com




Kurt Busch2014 NASCAR Cup Kurt Busch headshot Credit Getty Images 430 TALL

Old-school Tony Gibson? Old-school Kurt Busch? Championship-caliber talent on both sides? A motto of “win or else” from the owner footing the bill? This pairing is gonna get gooooood! Tom Bowles, Frontstretch.com



Jimmie Johnson2014 NASCAR Media Day - Portraits

Ol’ six-time put a vintage Texas-sized Team 48-style butt-whoopin’ on the field on Sunday picking up his fourth win of the season. Justin Tucker, Frontstretch.com


Others Receiving Votes: Tony Stewart (29), Greg Biffle (25), Clint Bowyer (20), Kasey Kahne (16), Austin Dillon (12), Paul Menard (12), Martin Truex Jr. (8), Casey Mears (5), Brian Vickers (3), Justin Allgaier (2), Aric Almirola (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.

How in the h**l does Gordon drop four spots? He had the best car at Martinsville, and had the race won at Texas until NASCAR threw that unnecessary caution for Bowyer hitting the wall with NO debris left on track. Gee, that’s a surprise, Bowyer hitting the wall while Gordon running for the win. Jeff drops to fifth in the rankings because a MOROM decides to take him out? I’m a Gordon fan and at first thought that Jeff had as much to do with the contact as Brad did, but then I watched the video. YES, look at the video people, Gordon starts his turn into turn one and the left front nose of Brad’s car is still at JJ’s right rear bumper. Brad forced the issue and didn’t care what the consequences were. That hole WAS NOT there. Brad drove in straight and Gordon started to turn into the corner. There would have been no reason for his spotter to tell him Brad was there cause Brad was still behind JJ. Any spotter would’ve thought Brad was going to follow JJ into the corner and not shoot up the track to make a hole and run into Gordon.


I read the description of how y’all calculate these rankings. My only thought is that this week the crack pipe played a role.

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