NASCAR Cup Series

Power Rankings: The Fast Fifteen

The story of the Chase after two races is a consistent one — Matt Kenseth, Kyle Busch and Jimmie Jonson. Kenseth has opened with two wins while his teammate Busch has a pair of runner-ups. Johnson has finished no worse than sixth, placing the trio at the top of the Fast Fifteen Power Rankings for the second consecutive week.

The updated list can be found below.

1.) Matt Kenseth (LW: 1)

Two wins, an average finish of 1.0 and a 14 point championship lead to open the Chase for the Championship. That Kenseth guy is going to be pretty good someday, isn’t he? His seventh victory of the season came at a place where he has often struggled and had never won at until Sunday.

Dream season indeed.

2.) Kyle Busch (LW: 2)

Kyle Busch is doing everything he can to win the championship outside of beating his Joe Gibbs Racing teammate. Back-to-back runner-up finishes is still impressive and keeps him at 14 points out of the top spot.

3.) Jimmie Johnson (LW: 3)

While the Gibbs teammates get all the attention, Five-Time is silently lurking in the background with some of his better tracks (Dover and Charlotte) looming around the corner.

4.) Carl Edwards (LW: 8)

The former championship runner-up has been solid through two Chase races and is 38 points behind Kenseth. If the leaders stumble, Edwards could find himself back in the mix.

5.) Kurt Busch (LW: 4)

Busch continues to lose spots on pit road, magnified by the difficulty to pass at New Hampshire. He finished 13th on Sunday.

6.) Brad Keselowski (LW: 11)

An 11th place on Sunday at New Hampshire wasn’t terrible. The No. 2 is starting to regain some consistency that they can hopefully put towards next season.

7.) Dale Earnhardt Jr. (LW: 15)

NASCAR’s most popular driver responded to his Chicagoland misfortune with a sixth place at New Hampshire. It was good for momentum but not good enough to catch the championship leaders, who all finished ahead of him.

8.) Greg Biffle (LW: NR)

A third-place run on Sunday was one of Biffle’s best since the summer. He’s now fifth in the standings and 38 points back, posed to return to contention if the frontrunners have a setback.

9.) Jeff Gordon (LW: 6)

A season of what could have been was best represented by Sunday’s race in New Hampshire. For a second straight week, Gordon experienced a situation that took him from a likely top-5 to deep in the pack. But unlike Chicago, Gordon was only able to get as high as P15.

10.) Ryan Newman (LW: 9)

Yet another Chaser who struggled to break into the top-15 at New Hamsphire. Newman finished sixth.

11.) Clint Bowyer (LW: 7)

#WeAreMWR? Bowyer’s team didn’t buy any fan votes with the sympathy act and the team struggled at New Hamsphire, traditionally one of the Bowyer’s better venues.

12.) Sam Hornish Jr. (LW: 13)

Still the Nationwide Series points leader by 15 points after a P4 showing at Kentucky.

13.) Kevin Harvick (LW: 5)

Harvick was no doubt happy to leave New Hampshire after a 20th place showing.

14.) Jamie McMurray (LW: NR)

A top-5 at New Hampshire was a good boost for the highest finishing non-Chaser and a reminder that McMurray is having one of his better seasons despite not yet having hit Victory Lane.

15.) Austin Dillon

Kentucky remains one of his better tracks as it saw him finish second there in the Nationwide Series standalone event.

By Matt Weaver

Matt Weaver is the Executive Editor of POPULAR SPEED. He has covered NASCAR since 2011 and full-time since 2013. Weaver grew up in the sport, having raced himself before becoming a reporter in college at the University of South Alabama. He has been published all across the country and routinely makes radio appearances on Sirius XM Satellite radio and NBC Sports Radio Network.

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