Power Rankings

Power Rankings: Talladega

By Pat DeCola | NASCAR.com |
May 05, 2015 at 09.00 AM

1 Kevin Harvick
Kevin Harvick
---- 1/2 8th Harvick’s starting position of 24th was his worst of the season, but it didn’t matter. The reigning champ still managed a top-10 finish, making it nine of 10 to start the year.
2 Jimmie Johnson
Jimmie Johnson
---- 2/9 2nd Part of the Hendrick trio that led 164 of 188 laps (167 if you add Kasey Kahne’s three on top), Johnson was able to parlay his time out front into a runner-up finish and another spot in the standings. |
RELATED: No. 48 had no real chance at the win
3 Joey Logano
Joey Logano
---- 1/5 33rd Logano had a good day on Saturday, winning the XFINITY race. It likely wasn’t enough to ease his Sunday pain, however, as an early wreck put him down and he finished 33rd despite his best efforts to make a late comeback. |
RELATED: Logano in XFINITY Victory Lane
4 Martin Truex Jr
Martin Truex Jr
+3 3/19 5th Truex rode his second top-five finish of the season to second in the overall standings, continuing to be the most pleasant surprise of 2015.
5 Dale Earnhardt Jr
Dale Earnhardt Jr
+6 3/11 1st An Earnhardt winning at Talladega just feels right, doesn’t it? Junior’s Daytona win last year really set the tone for the rest of the regular season, so it’ll be interesting to see how this win rubs off on the somewhat revamped No. 88 team. | RELATED: Junior Nation rewarded
6 Kurt Busch
Kurt Busch
---- 6/NR 12th Over the past two weeks, Busch has earned a win and risen seven spots in the standings. It’s easy to think that trend will continue.
7 Brad Keselowski
Brad Keselowski
-2 3/8 22nd Keselowski started 15th, led no laps and finished 22nd. Not a typical race from the 2012 champion, who came in as the most recent winner at Talladega, but he’ll recover.
8 Jeff Gordon
Jeff Gordon
-4 2/11 31st Gordon likely had the best car out there on Sunday, but cost himself dearly with a late pit road speeding penalty. Win No. 1 of the season continues to evade him. That said, care to guess who the defending winner of the spring Kansas race is?
RELATED: Gordon's run undone
9 Ryan Newman
Ryan Newman
---- 6/15 7th Remove Newman’s finish of 38th in the season-opening Daytona 500 and he’s got an average finish of 9.22, which would put him fourth in the series behind Kevin Harvick (6.6), Martin Truex Jr. (9.0) and Kurt Busch (9.1).
10 Matt Kenseth
Matt Kenseth
-2 5/14 25th Kenseth won back-to-back Kansas races from 2012-2013, but has finished in the top 10 just once with 22 laps led since then.
11 Denny Hamlin
Denny Hamlin
+1 5/12 9th Hamlin has only four top-10 finishes in 10 races this season, but No. 4 came Sunday at ‘Dega. Still, he’s fifth in the series in laps led, so he’ll be adding to his good finishes plenty over the coming months.
12 Jamie McMurray
Jamie McMurray
+1 11/16 11th Fun with stats: McMurray, who has close to double the amount of points as Tony Stewart, has led an equal amount of laps (14) as ‘Smoke’. McMurray averages a finish of 14.6, Stewart at 26.8. Laps led counts are interesting, but not a tell-all.
13 Kasey Kahne
Kasey Kahne
-3 7/13 34th While Kahne didn’t lead as many laps as his Hendrick cohorts, his three circuits out front marked just the third time this season he’s led any at all.
14 Carl Edwards
Carl Edwards
---- 7/15 32nd Edwards was the unlucky recipient of a shove from Casey Mears on the last lap that really crushed the hopes of the No. 19 squad on Sunday, but it’s clear that the team is gaining momentum. |
RELATED: Kansas is coming up; Edwards 'loves that place'
15 Paul Menard
Paul Menard
+1 13/NR 3rd No, Menard didn’t use the Dark Side to ‘force’ his way into a third-place finish at Talladega. Childress cars typically run well there when they don’t catch on fire, and Menard now has two top-fives at superspeedways this year.
16 Kyle Larson
Kyle Larson
-1 11/18 42nd Larson’s average start (11.7) to average finish (21.1) ratio is glaring, and you have to think that at some point his solid starting spots will even out with some solid finishes.
17 Danica Patrick
Danica Patrick
+1 17/NR 21st There are six other drivers in the Chase Grid standings besides Danica that average a finish better than where they started: Kevin Harvick, Jimmie Johnson, Kurt Busch, Dale Earnhardt Jr., Aric Almirola and Martin Truex Jr. Pretty good company.
18 Clint Bowyer
Clint Bowyer
-1 10/19 30th In one race this season, Joe Nemechek has led one lap. So has Bowyer – but in 10 races.
19 Aric Almirola
Aric Almirola
---- 17/NR 15th No top-fives. No top-10s. Thirteenth in the Chase Grid Standings and in position to be racing for a championship for the second year in a row. You keep doing you, Aric.
20 AJ Allmendinger
AJ Allmendinger
---- 19/NR 17th Weirdly, Allmendinger finished 17th at Talladega and saw his stock rise three spots in the standings. Hard to complain about that.