Power Rankings

Power Rankings: Texas

By Pat DeCola | NASCAR.com |
April 14, 2015 at 04.00 PM

1 Kevin Harvick
Kevin Harvick
---- 1/2 38th Harvick decided to let someone else finish first or second for a change two weeks ago at Martinsville, but figured he’d reassume his role as front-row-finisher in Texas with his sixth of the season.
2 Joey Logano
Joey Logano
---- 1/5 40th Logano and Harvick are arguably the best two drivers in 2015 and will continue to tangle like they did at Texas. As the most recent Bristol winner, expect the 22 to be up front again on Sunday, whether the 4 car likes it or not.
3 Brad Keselowski
Brad Keselowski
---- 3/8 35th Keselowski once won back-to-back races at Bristol, the second of which sparked his 2012 championship run. As the series’ most recent runner-up at the short track, is another Tennessee victory and eventual Cup title on the Team Penske driver’s horizon?
4 Jimmie Johnson
Jimmie Johnson
+5 3/9 2nd In his quest to win every race the Sprint Cup Series has to offer, Johnson finally took home a Texas trophy in the spring. He’s won the Bristol spring race before, but it’s (somewhat surprisingly) his only victory at the facility. Something tells us he wouldn’t mind adding another one to the win column.
5 Martin Truex Jr
Martin Truex Jr
-1 3/19 29th Do we expect Truex’s blistering average finish of 6.6 to be around that mark come November? No. Do we expect him to still routinely finish in the top 10, like he has through the first seven races? Yes.
6 Denny Hamlin
Denny Hamlin
-1 5/11 26th Hamlin has won two of the previous three Coors Light Pole awards at Bristol, riding his prime starting spot to a sixth-place finish in last season’s version of this event.
7 Jeff Gordon
Jeff Gordon
-1 2/11 3rd Gordon now has four straight top-10 finishes and appears to be fully back on track, but one thing is still slightly concerning: laps led. Despite having fast cars, the veteran has led more than three laps in just two races this year.
8 Kasey Kahne
Kasey Kahne
---- 7/13 37th Two years ago, Kahne had a stout car that led 109 laps on its way to a 1.700-second margin of victory, the largest at the track since the 2008 August race.
9 Dale Earnhardt Jr
Dale Earnhardt Jr
+1 3/10 16th Looking for the last win by Junior at Bristol? You’ll need to track back over a decade to 2004, when he led 295 laps in the August race. The Hendrick Motorsports driver has led just 83 in 20 races since.
10 Ryan Newman
Ryan Newman
-3 6/15 5th Interestingly enough, Newman’s 2014 average start and average finish numbers have thus far flip-flopped in 2015, going from 13.3 and 12.7 to 8.4 and 14.0, respectively. He needs to start taking better advantage of his solid starting spots and convert them into strong finishes.
11 Jamie McMurray
Jamie McMurray
+3 14/16 14th McMurray is on pace for the best season of his career, currently matching his 11th-place finish of 2004. He can thank successful strategy gambles like we saw at Texas for this.
12 Carl Edwards
Carl Edwards
+3 7/15 24th Edwards just picked up his first top-10 of the season and is heading to Bristol as the defending race-winner. Things are finally trending upward for the new Joe Gibbs Racing driver.
13 Kurt Busch
Kurt Busch
-1 10/NR 15th Busch has cooled considerably since his scorching start after his reinstatement, following a pair of top-fives with a pair of 14th-place finishes. He’s won two Coors Light Pole awards in just four races, however, so we know the speed is there.
14 Matt Kenseth
Matt Kenseth
-3 5/14 1st Matt Kenseth hasn’t been higher than 10th in the standings all season. That feels weird, right? His average start (15.6) and average finish (17.6) thus far are the worst we’ve seen from him in years.
15 David Ragan
David Ragan
+2 15/NR 41st It’s a little surprising that Ragan has converted his time behind the wheel of Kyle Busch’s ride to just one top-10 finish, but the numbers don’t lie: he’s enjoying his best season since 2008, by far. His 16.3 average finish (compared to 29.4 in the No. 34 last season) is close to matching his career best of 15.6.
16 Paul Menard
Paul Menard
-3 13/NR 11th Slowly, but surely, Menard is falling out of contention and making his fourth-place finish (and only top-10 of the season) at Fontana look like more of a fluke than something to be considered seriously.
17 Kyle Larson
Kyle Larson
+1 11/18 7th Through this point last year – Larson’s rookie season – the Chip Ganassi Racing driver already had a pair of top-fives. He doesn’t have any right now, but now that we know his health shouldn’t be an issue moving forward, we can expect that to change.
18 Danica Patrick
Danica Patrick
+2 18/NR 9th The season is still early, but Patrick’s improvement in 2015 in undeniable. She’s just one spot out of Chase contention and is averaging better finishes than the likes of Clint Bowyer, Greg Biffle, AJ Allmendinger, Kyle Larson, Austin Dillon and Ricky Stenhouse Jr.
19 Clint Bowyer
Clint Bowyer
---- 10/19 12th Clint Bowyer has led one lap this year. One. You know who else has? Brett Moffitt, his part-time Michael Waltrip Racing teammate, who has been behind the wheel of the No. 55 Toyota in only four races.
20 Greg Biffle
Greg Biffle
+1 12/NR 30th Biffle’s only start and finish inside the top 10 both came at Daytona. So there’s a good chance the Roush Fenway Racing driver may be looking ahead a few weeks to the next superspeedway race at Talladega, especially considering he’s winless in his career at Bristol and Richmond.

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