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Power Rankings


NASCAR.com Power Rankings: Post-2016

RANK DRIVER CHANGE H/L LAST FINISH COMMENTS
1 Jimmie Johnson
+2 1/13 1st

Johnson finishes the season on top in the standings, here, and -- when all is said and done a few years from now -- in the history books as the greatest of all time.


MORE: Johnson speechless, but peers have plenty to say

2 Joey Logano
-1 1/8 4th

If there's one silver lining that Logano can take away from a 2016 season that ended in heartbreak, its that he's shown once and for all he's ready and talented enough to win a title -- and there's a good chance he doesn't stop at one.


MORE: Logano on Edwards: 'I don't blame him'

3 Kevin Harvick
+2 1/9 3rd

There were points at Homestead where it looked like he'd be playing spoiler, but Harvick will have to settle for 17 top-five finishes -- tied with Kyle Busch for the series-high -- and 27 top 10s -- the series-high.

4 Kyle Busch
-2 1/6 6th

The knockout format of the Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup remains without a repeat champion after Busch failed to win Sunday, but he had a career-high 25 top 10s.


MORE: Busch denied back-to-back

5 Martin Truex Jr
+5 1/11 36th

It's fair to say no other driver reached a higher peak of dominance in 2016 than Truex Jr. He had a few memorable performances that led to a series-high 1809 laps led, 425 more than a second-place Kevin Harvick.

6 Brad Keselowski
+3 1/10 35th

Keselowski's 12th-place finish in points is his worst since placing 14th in 2013. Take it for what it's worth, but he follwed that up with a career high six wins in 2014.

7 Carl Edwards
-3 1/12 34th

While a bad wreck left Edwards short of the title, there's a good chance he starts next year out front, as he led the series with six poles in 2016.


MORE: Pivotal wreck ends Edwards' hopes

8 Denny Hamlin
---- 1/14 9th

Hamlin and Co.'s finishes weren't always there, but their starts were off the charts, with a series-best 6.3 average starting position.

9 Matt Kenseth
-3 4/13 7th

For some reason this struck me as odd -- the series only had one driver win exactly two races this season, and it was Kenseth.

10 Kurt Busch
-3 2/12 13th

Busch was one of four drivers to win exactly one race this year, but had nearly as many top-10 finishes (21) as the other three combined (Buescher, Larson Stewart, with 25).

11 Kyle Larson
+1 4/20 2nd

Larson finally got the "first win" monkey off his back in 2016, so look for him to add to that total in 2017 and beyond with more regularity.

12 Chase Elliott
-1 2/16 11th

Elliott didn't win in his rookie year, but the Sunoco Rookie of the Year still has plenty to be happy about after an impressive start to his career.

13 Austin Dillon
---- 9/17 12th

Conversation for 2017 -- who wil win first, Dillon or Elliott? They both showed they were capable of running up front in 2016.

14 Tony Stewart
+1 10/25 22nd

And with that, a career is called quits. Stewart treated his fans to a win and a Chase berth in his final season, and there's not much more they could've (realistically) hoped for.


MORE: Stewart's final race is its own reward

15 Jamie McMurray
-1 14/21 5th

McMurray made the Chase for the second-consecutive year, but his laps led count (zero) and overall decline in performance make his one win in the past six years feel like a distant memory.

16 Kasey Kahne
-8 13/Out 37th

Kahne certainly didn't have the results he was looking for in 2016, but he'll have to consider it an "experience year," given he ran more laps on the track (10,355) than anybody else. (Probably off the track, too.)

17 Ryan Newman
-22 12/Out 25th

Newman led more laps than he did last year, but his average finish faltered (down from 13.5 to 15.7) and his streak of three-consecutive Chase appearances was snapped.

18 AJ Allmendinger
+4 18/Out 8th

Despite not winning, 2016 was Allmendinger's most successful year in terms of averge finish (17.8) and top 10s (nine) since 2011 -- when he was with Richard Petty Motorsports.

19 Ryan Blaney
-18 14th/Out 26th

Blaney showed promise early in the year (seven of his nine top 10s came before Darlington) but he seemed to run out of steam. Look for him to come on strong and keep it up in 2017.

20 Chris Buescher
---- 16/Out 24th

A win and a Chase appearance was a great building block for the future of a team still looking to find its footing among the contenders in the Sprint Cup Series.

21 Dale Earnhardt Jr
---- 5th/Out 13th

Earnhardt Jr.'s results on the track before he was sidelined midway through the season weren't among his best -- first winless season since 2013 -- but the time off has allowed him to become more focused and come into 2017 ready to rock.


MORE: Junior on track for Daytona

22 Ricky Stenhouse Jr
-12 15th/Out 30th

Stenhouse's top fives (four) and top 10s (six) were both career highs, but the driver heads into his fifth season with his rookie campaign (2013) remaining his best points finish of 19th.

23 Trevor Bayne
---- 17/Out 20th

Bayne is the second of three Roush Fenway drivers ranked in a row in the lows 20s. At least you can say they're consistent in their mediocrity.

24 Greg Biffle
+4 18th/Out 17th

Biffle ends a 2016 campaign that was certainly his worst among many factors, including top 10s, points finish and average finish, all of which declined every year since 2012.

25 Alex Bowman
+3 25th/Out 16th

We only got 10 chances this year to see what could do behind the wheel of the No. 88, but we saw enough out of Bowman that I'm going to go out on a limb and say he find Cup ride somewhere in 2017.