Power Rankings

Power Rankings: Bristol

By Pat DeCola | NASCAR.com |
April 21, 2015 at 02.45 PM

1 Kevin Harvick
Kevin Harvick
---- 1/2 2nd The reigning champ led a race-high 184 laps on Sunday and only finished 38th because he couldn’t stop in time to avoid a turned David Ragan. No reason to move him down for the poor result.
2 Jimmie Johnson
Jimmie Johnson
+2 2/9 3rd We’re still not exactly sure how Johnson muscled his way back to the front after running into multiple issues over the course of the race, especially considering it was at one of his worst tracks. Then again, he IS a six-time champion for a reason.
3 Joey Logano
Joey Logano
-1 1/5 5th When Logano ran into his wrecked teammate just 19 laps into Sunday’s Bristol race, it was even more disappointing because he was a favorite to win after leading every circuit in Saturday’s XFINITY Race.
4 Jeff Gordon
Jeff Gordon
+3 2/11 8th With his third-place finish at Bristol, the four-time champ has now improved his finishing position for four straight weeks. Still winless in 2015, it’s only a matter of time before his 15-race drought will end.
5 Brad Keselowski
Brad Keselowski
-1 3/8 17th After starting on the front row, many pegged Keselowski as a potential race-winner. We never got to see if he had the car to do it, as a spinout and wreck on Lap 19 all-but-ruined his No. 2 Ford.
6 Martin Truex Jr
Martin Truex Jr
-1 3/19 10th Sadly, Truex Jr.’s streak of top-10 finishes to start the season ended at seven. Guess what? So did Joey Logano's and Kevin Harvick’s, who were the only other two drivers to be enjoying such a streak.
7 Ryan Newman
Ryan Newman
+3 6/15 11th Newman’s No. 31 Chevrolet performed much better down the stretch than earlier in the race, putting him in contention for the win late. It’ll be interesting to see how Newman’s performance maintains itself if/when crew chief Luke Lambert has to serve his six-race suspension.
8 Dale Earnhardt Jr
Dale Earnhardt Jr
+1 3/10 14th Earnhardt has now alternated finishes outside and inside the top 10 for the past five races, so if that pattern holds a solid finish should be in store for him at Richmond, where he has three wins.
9 Denny Hamlin
Denny Hamlin
-1 5/11 22nd For the third consecutive season, Hamlin has missed at least part of a race due to injury. It’s hard to fault him for that, but while replacement driver Erik Jones’ 26th-place finish in his Cup debut is great for an 18-year-old, it didn’t help the No. 11 driver in points, for which he was still the driver of credit.
10 Carl Edwards
Carl Edwards
+2 7/15 19th Look past the 24th-place finish. A week after securing his first top 10 of the season, Edwards looked like he had a car that could truly compete for a win, leading 86 laps – all of which came in the second half of the race.
11 Matt Kenseth
Matt Kenseth
+4 5/14 7th Now that Kenseth has a 51-race winless streak off his mind – and it definitely was; how could it not? – watch out. The season is still early, and he won a series-high seven races just two years ago.
12 Kurt Busch
Kurt Busch
+1 10/NR 1st Busch led 98 laps and appeared to have the race wrapped up before a questionable pit call by a committee on the pit box to replace unfortunate kidney-stone recipient Tony 'Oldman' Gibson. With his normal chief back on top next week at Richmond, expect the momentum to continue.
13 Kasey Kahne
Kasey Kahne
-1 7/13 6th Kahne has been above average this year, finishing worse than 17th just once. Unfortunately that came this week at Bristol and it dropped him two spots in the standings.
14 Jamie McMurray
Jamie McMurray
-3 11/16 4th A 14th-place finish dropped McMurray in the standings, but it’s not the end of the world. He’s still 12th in the point standings and on pace to make his first career Chase for the Sprint Cup.
15 Kyle Larson
Kyle Larson
+2 11/18 12th Larson has repeatedly stated that his health is fine after passing out at Martinsville and his performance at Bristol showed it. His 90 laps led were a career high and more than doubled his career total.
16 Paul Menard
Paul Menard
---- 13/NR 15th Menard recovered from a 41st-place finish at Texas and maintained his finishes much closer to the top 10 than away from it.
17 Danica Patrick
Danica Patrick
+1 17/NR 25th Setting the Cup record for top 10s for a woman is great. Doing it at the type of track known for making the measure of a man is exceptional.
18 Clint Bowyer
Clint Bowyer
---- 10/19 9th Along with a seventh-place finish at Daytona and a 13th-place showing at Martinsville, Bristol was one of a select few times Bowyer’s No. 15 has looked competitive. Now, if only ALL the races took place at superspeedways and short tracks.
19 Tony Stewart
Tony Stewart
+2 16/NR 41st Sure, Stewart usally starts slow, but no top 10s through the first seven races isn’t typical of “Smoke”. Neither is keeping his emotions in check at Bristol, but he did so on Sunday and rode to a sixth-place finish.
20 Austin Dillon
Austin Dillon
+1 20/NR 27th Dillon would be happy with a top 10 at Bristol most days. That 3 car was in position to compete for the win before running out of gas during overtime caution laps while waiting out the rain. Heart-breaker.

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