Race Weekend Central

Frontstretch NASCAR Power Rankings: Top 15 After the 2015 Coca-Cola 600 at Charlotte

Carl Edwards took advantage of fuel strategy to win his first race of 2015 and first driving for Joe Gibbs Racing. Edwards led only 25 laps but put himself in the lead by pitting with 62 laps to go and conserving fuel to the end, while the dominant cars were forced to pit. Meanwhile, Martin Truex Jr. and Kurt Busch were the class of the field, leading a combined 249 of the 400 laps.

Although a few drivers had surprise finishes, like Greg Biffle, many of those that were strong in the All-Star Race kept the momentum up this weekend. The top-10 finishers in the All-Star Race all finished in the top 15 Sunday night.

After two weeks of home games, teams head north to the concrete “Monster” in Dover, Delaware. But first, see how your favorite driver ranks this week.

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


Kevin Ha2015 NASCAR headshots CUP Kevin Harvick Jimmy Johns credit NASCARrvick

When a bad day is a ninth-place finish due to being on the wrong side of a fuel-mileage race you know you are having a great season. Dennis Michelsen, RaceTalkRadio.com

First Place Votes: 5




Dale Earnhardt Jr.2015 NASCAR headshots CUP Dale Earnhardt Jr credit NASCAR

Dale Jr.’s 3.2 average finish on 1.5-mile tracks is impressive. However, the lack of a win on such tracks makes it all for naught. Aaron Bearden, Frontstretch




Joey Logano2015 NASCAR headshots CUP Joey Logano credit NASCAR

Surprised a lot of people, including myself, with his lack of presence toward the top of the running order all night. Michael Mehedin, Frontstretch




Martin Truex Jr.2015 NASCAR headshots CUP Martin Truex Jr credit NASCAR

Potential consolation to Truex and team is that Harvick went through several near misses early last season as well, and that turned out pretty good in the end. Tony Lumbis, Frontstretch




Matt Kenseth2015 NASCAR headshots CUP Matt Kenseth credit NASCAR

Kenseth rattled off another solid top-five finish by stretching fuel. It didn’t happen the way the polesitter expected, but I doubt he’ll complain. Dennis Michelsen, Frontstretch




Jimmie Johnson2014 NASCAR Media Day - Portraits

Johnson and team may have hit the wall in Charlotte, and even with three wins in the bank, Johnson will likely bounce back before the Chase begins. Dwight Drum, RaceTake.com 




Kurt Busch2015 NASCAR headshots CUP Kurt Busch credit NASCAR

Could easily have five wins this season. Dennis Michelsen, RaceTalkRadio.com 




Brad Keselowski2015 NASCAR headshots CUP Brad Keselowski credit NASCAR

Unfortunately for Team Penske, Keselowski couldn’t bring it a win, leading the team with a seventh-place finish. Roger Penske should be alright, though. I heard he won some other race that day. Aaron Bearden, Frontstretch



Denny Hamlin2015 NASCAR headshots CUP Denny Hamlin credit NASCAR

Thought he might win the All-Star/600 double but was only able to manage a top-10 finish. Still not bad all things considered. Michael Mehedin, Frontstretch




Carl Edwards2015 NASCAR headshots CUP Carl Edwards credit NASCAR

Not sure what was more difficult for Edwards, nursing the car home on fumes or fighting his way out of the stands. Tony Lumbis, Frontstretch




Jeff Gordon2015 NASCAR headshots CUP Jeff Gordon credit NASCAR

Have to wonder whether Gordon will win during his final season. A win or two would give him more to talk about next year when he moves into the Fox TV booth. Dwight Drum, RaceTake.com




Ryan Newman2015 NASCAR headshots CUP Ryan Newman credit NASCAR

That’s right, he’s still top 10-ing everyone to death. Tony Lumbis, Frontstretch




Kasey Kahne2015 NASCAR headshots CUP Kasey Kahne credit NASCAR

Probably won the award for most cars passed. Started in the 30s, made it into the top 10, got a speed penalty, raced for the lucky dog and ended up 12th. Surely not the finish he was expecting but could have been a lot worse. Michael Mehedin, Frontstretch



Aric Almirola2015 NASCAR headshots CUP Aric Almirola credit NASCAR

Another top 20 for Almirola, who has become the king of “just good enough” this season when it comes to the points standings. Still, as new drivers keep winning, the margin for error is getting slimmer. Aaron Bearden, Frontstretch




Greg Biffle2015 NASCAR headshots CUP Greg Biffle credit NASCAR

Honestly, how many people would have guessed Biffle would have been the shining star for Roush Fenway Racing Sunday night? Michael Mehedin, Frontstretch


Others Receiving Votes: Jamie McMurray (34), Paul Menard (30), Kyle Busch (28), Austin Dillon (13), Clint Bowyer (11), Danica Patrick (6), Kyle Larson (5), Landon Cassill (1)sure

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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..what is going on wit the Penske camp? Not looking too good compared to the same time last year.


..but then again, it seems no team is hitting the “superstar” status thus far. It is a weird season so far, imo. And boring as all hell. This aero package is worse than the last one they hoisted on the poor public.

Tommy T.

I get why Newman isn’t getting a lot of respect as he has not run up front or seriously challenged for a win. However, it looks like despite the 50-point penalty he is on the road to repeating last years performance wherein he finished second in season-ending points with Harvick out-pointing him by 1. Eight top-10’s and no DNF’s in eleven races…add the 50 points back in and you have a driver tied for 5th with JJ in the standings. RCR clearly is no longer one of the powerhouse teams but Newman has been a master at getting all he can out of what he’s got!

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