Power Rankings


Power Rankings: Sonoma

By Pat DeCola | NASCAR.com |
June 30, 2015 at 08.30 AM

RANK DRIVER CHANGE H/L LAST FINISH COMMENTS
1 Jimmie Johnson
Jimmie Johnson
---- 1/9 6th Johnson led the most laps at Sonoma (45) but faded after the final restart for a sixth-place finish. Where he isn’t fading, however, is these Power Rankings, where he holds strong on top. | No second-guessing for Johnson
2 Kevin Harvick
Kevin Harvick
---- 1/2 4th After Sunday, Harvick now has 2015 top-five finishes at 0.75, 1.0, 1.5, 2.5-mile tracks and a road course. The man does not seem to have a weakness in his arsenal.
3 Kurt Busch
Kurt Busch
+1 3/NR 2nd If there was ever a time Kurt Busch would be happy with a second-place finish, it’s seeing his brother finish just ahead of him in a monumental comeback from injury. A bump here doesn’t hurt, either. | Kurt happy for little bro
4 Joey Logano
Joey Logano
+1 1/5 5th Logano comes off a solid road course finish (not typically his strong suit) in third place overall in points and as the reigning Daytona 500 winner as the series heads south for the Coke Zero 400. Things are going just swell for Mr. 22.
5 Martin Truex Jr
Martin Truex Jr
-2 2/19 42nd While his run-in with David Ragan that left him with a next-to-last-place finish may not have been his fault, the other 2015 heavyweights performed well and finished high in the running order and Truex suffers because of it.
6 Dale Earnhardt Jr
Dale Earnhardt Jr
---- 3/11 7th Don’t look now but after Sonoma, Junior has finished in the top 10 at a road course two years in a row for the first time in over a decade (Watkins Glen, 2003-04). | Junior explains proposal
7 Brad Keselowski
Brad Keselowski
---- 3/8 19th At Sonoma, Keselowski couldn’t build off the Michigan momentum he created with a sixth-place finish and has now finished outside the top 10 in six of his last nine overall starts.
8 Jamie McMurray
Jamie McMurray
+1 8/16 11th Looking ahead to Daytona, McMurray’s DIS stats are, to put it bluntly, weird. In 25 races, he’s started in the top 10 just three times, the last of which was 2006 – yet he has two wins that came in two starts outside the top 10.
9 Matt Kenseth
Matt Kenseth
-1 5/14 21st Kenseth didn’t disappoint at Sonoma – but mainly because he wasn’t expected to perform well, given his history. His Daytona history is much more favorable, so look for the talented plate racer to rebound this weekend.
10 Kasey Kahne
Kasey Kahne
+3 7/14 8th With another solid finish, all that’s missing from Kasey Kahne’s 2015 resume is that all-elusive win. Perhaps he can find that missing piece this weekend and break his 23-race dry streak at Daytona.
11 Denny Hamlin
Denny Hamlin
-1 5/13 18th Hamlin has finished higher than 10th just once over the past six races and finds himself mired in 13th-place. If it weren’t for the Martinsville win, we’d have serious questions about Hamlin’s season.
12 Jeff Gordon
Jeff Gordon
---- 2/12 16th Perhaps the only story that could’ve topped Kyle Busch’s victory at Sonoma would’ve been a win by Gordon in his final start at his home track, but it didn’t happen. | Emotional Sonoma race for Gordon
13 Kyle Busch
Kyle Busch
+5 11/18 1st Any questions? As long as he finds his way into the top 30 in points, Kyle Busch will be racing for his first Sprint Cup Series title yet again this fall. | Kyle comes on strong, wins Sonoma
14 Paul Menard
Paul Menard
---- 14/NR 13th Menard couldn’t match a career-best fifth-place Sonoma finish earned in 2014, but the improvement from a starting position of 32nd to a finish of 13th ain’t too shabby, either.
15 Carl Edwards
Carl Edwards
-4 7/16 40th Carl, we hardly knew ye. After it appeared he’d righted the ship with a Charlotte win, he’s yet to finish in the top 10 since despite an average start of 7.0 in four races. | Ragan, Edwards in big wreck
16 Clint Bowyer
Clint Bowyer
---- 10/19 3rd In two races with new crew chief Billy Scott, Bowyer has two top-10s. In the previous 14 starts with former pit boss Brian Pattie, he had just three. Small 2015 sample size, but still.
17 Ryan Newman
Ryan Newman
---- 6/15 9th Newman’s last five races are like a sandwich with really good bread (top 10s at Charlotte and Sonoma), mediocre toppings (18th-place finishes at Dover and Michigan) and, like, bologna or something in the middle (39th at Pocono).
18 Kyle Larson
Kyle Larson
-3 9/NR 15th Everything certainly was adding up for Kyle Larson to pick up his first Cup win at Sonoma – home state, started fourth, etc. – but alas, he’s still winless.
19 Aric Almirola
Aric Almirola
---- 15/NR 14th Who’s the defending Coke Zero 400 winner? You’re looking at him. Almirola booked his ticket to the Chase at this race last year, so look for another surprise winner this weekend.
20 Danica Patrick
Danica Patrick
---- 19/NR 24th Any time the series heads to Daytona, Patrick will always be a threat to pick up her first Cup victory, given her plate racing propensity. She’s well in the top 30 in points (19th), so a win would tentatively put her in the Chase.