Race Weekend Central

Frontstretch NASCAR Power Rankings: Top 15 After the 2015 Sylvania 300 at New Hampshire

Two races into the Chase and the Challenger Round continues to surprise and excite. After trouble in Chicago, Kevin Harvick knew he had to win to advance to the Contender Round. It looked like he was going to just that as he dominated most of the race, but he couldn’t stretch his fuel mileage far enough, handing the win to Matt Kenseth. Kenseth won his fifth race of the season, and most importantly, guaranteed himself a spot in the Contender Round with teammate Denny Hamlin.

Eight of the top-10 finishers at New Hampshire were Chase contenders, but many drivers had fuel issues in the closing laps including Kurt Busch, Dale Earnhardt Jr. and Clint Bowyer, relegating them to 19th, 25th and 26th, respectively. The worst of the Chase drivers was Kyle Busch, who hit the wall hard after a right-front tire failure. He would finish 37th. Non-Chase contenders Greg Biffle and Kasey Kahne had banner days filling out the top 10 in fourth and ninth, respectively.

With the first elimination race this weekend at Dover, the following drivers are currently outside the top 12:
Kyle Busch
Paul Menard
Kevin Harvick
Clint Bowyer

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



                                                     Matt Kenseth
2015 NASCAR headshots CUP Matt Kenseth credit NASCAR

No truth to the rumor that crew chief Jason Ratcliff put a large rock in the fuel cell of the No. 4 to prevent it from filling completelyMike Neff, Frontstretch

First Place Votes: 5




                                                     Denny Hamlin

2015 NASCAR headshots CUP Denny Hamlin credit NASCAR

Given his results after ACL tears, I imagine Hamlin’s going to start looking for contact in future basketball games. Aaron Bearden, Frontstretch




                                                     Joey Logano
2015 NASCAR headshots CUP Joey Logano credit NASCAR

With everything you’ve been hearing about Joe Gibbs Racing lately, Logano has been very quiet recently, but he’s still putting up the good results. Phil Allaway, Frontstretch

First Place Votes: 1




                                                     Carl Edwards
2015 NASCAR headshots CUP Carl Edwards credit NASCAR

Most drivers fear Miles the Monster. Edwards, on the other hand, is bulky enough to make Miles fear him. Aaron Bearden, Frontstretch




                                                     Jimmie Johnson
2014 NASCAR Media Day - Portraits

This just in: It is the Chase. Johnson is ALWAYS top 4. Mike Neff, Frontstretch




                                                    Kurt Busch
2015 NASCAR headshots CUP Kurt Busch credit NASCAR

Looks like they used the same calculator for his fuel mileage as they did for Harvick’s. Mike Neff, Frontstretch 




                                                     Ryan Newman
2015 NASCAR headshots CUP Ryan Newman credit NASCAR

Newman is on his way to duplicating last year’s winless Chase results. Finish strong and try to win the last race, works for him. Dwight Drum, RaceTake.com 




                                                     Brad Keselowski
2015 NASCAR headshots CUP Brad Keselowski credit NASCAR

Keselowski showed he can almost overcome a NASCAR call on restart that irritated many fans and more.  He is likely to be back up front again and maybe with the right jump next time. Dwight Drum, RaceTake.com



                                                     Kevin Harvick
2015 NASCAR headshots CUP Kevin Harvick credit NASCAR

Harvick’s season has gone into a free fall over the past couple of weeks. He has to stop the bleeding, and quick. Phil Allaway, Frontstretch




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

Apparently Nationwide doesn’t offer fuel as part of its roadside assistance. Mike Neff, Frontstretch




                                                     Jeff Gordon
2015 NASCAR headshots CUP Jeff Gordon credit NASCAR

So far, so good for JG. Can he keep momentum rolling in his final Chase for the Sprint Cup? Aaron Bearden, Frontstretch



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

Truex could be the sleeper in the Chase. Fans will wake up if he can grab a checkered flag or two. Dwight Drum, RaceTake.com




                                                     Kyle Busch
2015 NASCAR headshots CUP Kyle Busch credit NASCAR

Late September. Right on schedule for truculent Kyle Busch to return. Phil Allaway, Frontstretch




                                                      Greg Biffle
2015 NASCAR headshots CUP Greg Biffle credit NASCAR

Whoa, sticking with the Biff actually worked this week? It’s been a while. Biffle scored a top five that Roush Fenway Racing desperately needed. Aaron Bearden, Frontstretch



                                                      Jamie McMurray
2015 NASCAR headshots CUP Jamie McMurray credit NASCAR

Just happy to be here. Mike Neff, Frontstretch


Others Receiving Votes: Paul Menard (35), Kasey Kahne (25), Kyle Larson (20), Clint Bowyer (17), Tony Stewart (7), Ricky Stenhouse Jr. (6), Aric Almirola (3), Austin Dillon (3), Trevor Bayne (2), AJ Allmendinger (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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You do realize that Kyle Busch only needs a decent finish ahead of Menard, Junior and McMurray to pull even with the rest of the Chase drivers for the next round? Don’t celebrate his elimination quite yet. Wishful thinking doesn’t equal reality. It’s like spiking the football on the 15-yard line.

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