Race Weekend Central

Frontstretch NASCAR Power Rankings: Top 15 After the 2015 CampingWorld.com 500 at Talladega

Everyone sort of expected Talladega Superspeedway to shake up the standings but I don’t think anyone expected the dramatic, forced ending that occurred in the final laps of the race. Even after NASCAR announced that it would be reducing the number of green-white-checkered attempts from three to one days before the event Sunday’s ultimate ending at Talladega Superspeedway was unpredictable, to say the least. It wasn’t the first time NASCAR had to return to video footage to determine the winner… and it won’t be the last.

Between the controversy of the GWC “attempts,” whether or not Kevin Harvick “accidentally” saved his Chase chances and the “abuse of quotation marks everywhere” Talladega created about the same type of jumble in our Power Rankings as it did in the Chase standings. With Dale Earnhardt Jr. and Matt Kenseth out of the Chase – among others – where did our writers put them in the rankings? Keep reading to find out.

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 Logano

Sweeping a round of the Chase clearly gives Logano momentum, but Martinsville won’t be easy for the youngster. Phil Allaway, Frontstretch

First Place Votes: 4




                                                     Brad Keselowski

His teammate may be getting all the headlines but unlike 2014, Keselowski is quietly advancing through the Chase off of everyone’s radar. Tony Lumbis, Frontstretch 




                                                    Carl Edwards

Quietly advanced to the next round. But, heck, everyone advanced quietly compared to Logano. Summer Bedgood, Frontstretch 




                                                     Jeff Gordon

There was no storybook ending for Earnhardt Jr. at Talladega but are we shaping up to see one with Gordon at Homestead? Tony Lumbis, Frontstretch 




                                                    Kevin Harvick

It appears that while Dick Trickle is the White Knight, Harvick is now the Black Knight. It’s a classic wresting heel character. However, diabolical behavior doesn’t go over well on short tracks. Phil Allaway, Frontstretch




                                                    Kyle Busch
Basically blamed the Chase format on what happened to teammate Kenseth at the end of the Talladega race. Um, I can’t imagine Busch wouldn’t pull strings of his own to make it to the championship. Summer Bedgood, Frontstretch




                                                    Kurt Busch

Teammate Harvick has sort of overshadowed Busch this season but as a two-time Martinsville Speedway winner, you have to wonder if he can lock himself into the championship race this weekend. Summer Bedgood, Frontstretch





                                                   Martin Truex Jr.

Ran into Jimmie Johnson on that controversial non-attempt at a GWC at the end of the race. That and the disallowed qualifying run due to driving below the yellow line was about all we heard from Truex last weekend. Summer Bedgood, Frontstretch 




                                                     Dale Earnhardt Jr.

Responded to controversy with dignity and class. Unfortunately, the same could not be said for some of his so-called fans in the stands who littered the track (as well as other fans) with beer cans. Tony Lumbis, Frontstretch 




                                                     Jimmie Johnson

His spin in the infield is what caused NASCAR to call off the first GWC attempt at the end of the race. However, Johnson was not completely absent from the event as Hendrick Motorsports as a whole was fast all day. Summer Bedgood, Frontstretch




                                                     Paul Menard

I’m just as surprised as you are to see Menard here. Clearly, the late-race carnage helped Menard as he left the Alabama track with a sixth-place finish. Raise your hand if you noticed… (crickets). Summer Bedgood, Frontstretch




                                                    Matt Kenseth

Logano may have a giant shell on his car but will Kenseth see a target instead this week at Martinsville? Tony Lumbis, Frontstretch



                                                     Ryan Newman
2015 NASCAR headshots CUP Ryan Newman credit NASCAR

There will be no repeat of the underdog performance this driver put on in Homestead of last year. However, you have to imagine there will still be at least one darkhorse in the final race this season. Summer Bedgood, Frontstretch




                                                      Clint Bowyer

I felt bad for Justin Allgaier. I really did. But watching Bowyer back up into the No. 51 on pit road during qualifying was just a nice little reminder that we are all human and something I think we’ll look back on and laugh about at the end of the season. Summer Bedgood, Frontstretch




                                                      Denny Hamlin

Couldn’t latch on to the good run he needed at Talladega to advance. Tony Lumbis, Frontstretch 


Others Receiving Votes: Aric Almirola (20), Kasey Kahne (19), Kyle Larson (18), Ricky Stenhouse Jr. (10), Jamie McMurray (6), Austin Dillon (6), Michael Waltrip (4), Casey Mears (3), Greg Biffle (3), Sam Hornish Jr. (1)

ParticipantsPhil Allaway, FrontstretchSummer Bedgood, Frontstretch; Dwight Drum, Racetake.comTony Lumbis, Frontstretch

About the author

Promoted to editor in 2013, Summer is one of Frontstretch’s fast-rising young talents. While contributing to social media efforts, she also writes the weekly "Up To Speed" column. A Kansas native, Summer graduated with a Bachelor's in Journalism and Mass Communications in 2015. She also contributes to other media outlets such as Kickin' The Tires.

Sign up for the Frontstretch Newsletter

A daily email update (Monday through Friday) providing racing news, commentary, features, and information from Frontstretch.com
We hate spam. Your email address will not be sold or shared with anyone else.

Inline Feedbacks
View all comments

Only the top 8 matter.
The rest and their sponsors might as well stay home.

Michael Watrip 4 votes?????? YIKES! Who in their right mind…


Is this a new design for a website, or is it still work in progress or whatever? Because it sucks.


They did it again. I hate when web sites change “for the better.” It’s like they think it’s time for a change when it isn’t necessary. Maybe they can get more advertising on the page.

You’re right. This sucks. I hope they don’t listen like Brian.

Share via