Logano scored about as no-doubt of a win as a driver can hope for at Charlotte, out-running Kevin Harvick. If the 22 is faster than the 4, it’s faster than everyone. Oh, and he's the defending race-winner.
MORE: Logano on to Eliminator Round
|-1||1/11||2nd||Harvick remained exceptional at Charlotte, but his main title competition came into focus in Joey Logano. They have a history, so we're in for a battle.|
|+2||2/13||4th||Hamlin wasn't a major win factor in Charlotte, but he was strong. Top-fives just seem to be in Hamlin's arsenal right now.|
Martin Truex Jr
Truex showing strength on an intermediate bodes well for the 78 team, with three of the remaining six races coming on 1.5-mile tracks.
MORE: Truex encouraged after Charlotte
|+1||3/17||6th||Edwards has come a long way since his early season struggles and has slowly built himself to a level just below the elites -- while also establishing himself as a title contender.|
|+4||3/NR||5th||Running poorly at Kansas runs in the Busch family, where even Kurt averages a dismal finish of 18.4. Luckily, a solid Charlotte result gives him a slight cushion.|
Gordon's Kansas stats are quite impressive -- and better than just about any other driver -- so the four-time champ's first win of 2015 could certainly come this weekend.
MORE: Gordon still chasing first 2015 win
|+3||3/11||9th||Overall Charlotte was a successful venture for Keselowski -- he finished in the top 10 and he didn't get tackled by Matt Kenseth in the garage area after the race.|
|+4||6/16||15th||Newman's 15th-place finish isn't excellent, but with so many heavy hitters stumbling out of the Contender Round gate, it might be enough.|
If anybody can overcome a 20th-place finish to start the round, it's Kyle Busch. Just as long as he and Kasey Kahne can stay out of each others' way. And Kyle Larson, for that matter.
MORE: A history of Kahne-Busch incidents
Dale Earnhardt Jr
Whether it was caused by oil on the track or not, Junior hit the wall several times at Charlotte and struggled to a 28th-place finish to land in a hole before Kansas, where he is winless.
MORE: Junior questions NASCAR clean-up efforts
Kenseth didn't seem too stressed after multiple issues caused a 42nd-place finish, so there's reason to think the 2003 champ can dig himself out -- but it won't be easy.
MORE: JGR favorites take tumble
|+1||7/16||12th||Even after being eliminated from the Chase, McMurray still ran well at Charlotte. No reason to think this team will lay down the rest of the way.|
For the second consecutive week, Johnson struggled with mechanical issues. At least this time, it actually meant he benefitted from it -- in one way.
MORE: Johnson benefits from early race exit
|+1||10/19||11th||Just like McMurray, Bowyer followed up being eliminated with a solid Charlotte run. A win in the closing races of 2015 would be a nice note for the MWR team to hang their hat on, but it isn't likely.|
|-1||13/NR||36th||Nothing noteworthy from Menard's Charlotte race, but it could improve at Kansas, where the RCR driver hasn't finished worse than 19th since 2009.|