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Week 16 - StatChat Power Rankings after Gateway

Photo Credit: Logan Riely/Getty Images

By Adam Carabine

We've ranked all 34 full-time drivers in the Cup Series (there are 36 charters, but the Rick Ware 15 and Kaulig 16 have rotating drivers, so they're excluded).

Rankings are determined using a large number of statistical inputs.


Zane Smith – This week: 34th – Last week: 34th

It’s a lack of consistency that has been plaguing the 71 team. 


Harrison Burton – This week: 33rd – Last week: 33rd

The last two races Burton has finished outside of the Top 30.  That won’t cut it.


Austin Dillon – This week: 32nd – Last week: 32nd

A P6 at Gateway was helpful, but we need more than a one-off race to move him up the rankings.


Corey LaJoie – This week: 31st – Last week: 29th

Like Harrison Burton, LaJoie just earned two straight finishes out of the Top 30.


Michael McDowell – This week: 30th – Last week: 30th

It started out as a strong day at Gateway, but unfortunately McDowell faded back to 25th after winning the pole. 


Carson Hocevar – This week: 29th – Last week: 29th  

A Top-10 at Gateway might be the turn of the tide this team needs.  He even earned his first three stage points of the season along the way.


Austin Cindric – This week: 28th – Last week: 31st

His win at Gateway just punched Cindric’s ticket to the playoffs.  Does that take some pressure off?  Can he build on this momentum? He is good at road courses, as we head to Sonoma.


Ricky Stenhouse Jr. – This week: 27th – Last week: 25th

It’s been a rough couple of weeks on the track for Stenhouse, even after his big fight at the All-Star Race.


Daniel Hemric – This week: 26th – Last week: 26th 

Two races in a row – two P18s.  Sure, that’s better than his Power Ranking might show, but we’ll need more of that.


John Hunter Nemechek – This week: 25th – Last week: 24th

Nemechek has been underperforming in the 42 car as of late.  After two finishes in a row outside of the Top 25, it’s time to step it up.


Ryan Preece – This week: 24th – Last week: 25th 

After the news that SHR is shutting down at the end of this year, it’s time for Preece to start performing better if he wants another Cup ride next year.


Justin Haley – This week: 23rd – Last week: 27th  

Haley has been impressing as of late in the 51 car, including a few Top 10s.  Did his Rick Ware Racing gamble pay off?


Josh Berry – This week: 22nd – Last week: 19th

A Top 10 in Charlotte was quickly followed by a last-placed finish at Gateway – the same week the SHR news broke.


Erik Jones – This week: 21st – Last week: 22nd

Since coming back from injury, Jones has been good – not great.  His back may need a bit more time to heal fully before he gets aggressive and competitive again.


Todd Gilliland – This week: 20th – Last week: 21st

Fresh off a new contract extension, Gilliland is still slowly moving up the power rankings.  P16 at Gateway is solid for this team.


Noah Gragson – This week: 19th – Last week: 20th

Gragson’s underlying numbers have been pretty solid, even when the results don’t always match.


Daniel Suarez – This week: 18th – Last week: 18th

Two finishes outside of the Top 20 in a row, yes his finishes aren’t always indicative of his day.  His focus may be on the playoffs after winning at Atlanta so early in the season.


Chase Briscoe – This week: 17th – Last week: 17th

He still sits 10 points out of a playoff spot.  It’s going to take some extra muscle from a team with one foot out the door if he wants to make the playoffs.


Bubba Wallace – This week: 16th – Last week: 15th

His Coke 600 was solid, finishing just outside the Top 10, but his Gateway performance left some to be desired.  Road Courses haven’t been his specialty and Sonoma is upcoming this weekend.


Joey Logano – This week: 15th – Last week: 16th

Logano is moving back in the right direction after an up and down season so far.  A Top-5 at Gateway is a good place to start.


Kyle Busch – This week: 14th – Last week: 11th

His encounter with Kyle Larson at Gateway left him with a DNF, finishing 35th.  He’ll fall a few spots this week.


Chris Buescher – This week: 13th – Last week: 14th

He had the best pass differential at Charlotte (+49) and finished Top 15 at Gateway.  RFK is continually on the rise.


Alex Bowman – This week: 12th – Last week: 12th

What a weirdly quiet year it’s been for Bowman.  He’s not performing all that badly (he’s +59 to the playoff cut line), but he seems to have the lowest profile of any Hendrick driver.


Ryan Blaney – This week: 11th – Last week: 13th

Yes, his finish at Gateway was embarrassing, as the 12 team ran out of gas on the last lap, but he was in a good position most of the day and had some great underlying numbers.


Ross Chastain – This week: 10th – Last week: 9th

Speaking of quiet seasons, Chastain has been kind of out of the limelight this year – at least compared to previous years.  He may be working on his reputation, but the results are at least solid.


Christopher Bell – This week: 9th – Last week: 10th

It might have been rain-shortened, but Bell earned his win at Charlotte.  He looked poised to win a second race in a row at Gateway until he broke an exhaust valve near the end of the race (still managing to salvage a Top 10 though).  He’s had a lot of speed lately.


Chase Elliott – This week: 8th – Last week: 8th

Two finishes within the Top 15 in the last two races, and yet something is still not quite back to normal for Elliott.  People wondered if his win earlier this year signalled a return to form, but I’m not seeing it just yet.


Ty Gibbs – This week: 7th – Last week: 7th

Gibbs is 4th in average finish this year in the Cup Series.  We knew he’d continue to get better after a solid rookie campaign, but did we expect this?  He’s got over 100 points to the playoff cutline too.


Brad Keselowski – This week: 6th – Last week: 6th

Keselowski has been on a heck of a run.  He’s had five finishes within the Top 3 in his last 7 races, including the one win at Darlington.  RFK is doing something right.


Tyler Reddick – This week: 5th – Last week: 5th

Two P4s in a row over the last few races – he’s putting up good underlying numbers and good finishes.  He already has a win this year, but I wouldn’t be surprised to see a few more.


William Byron – This week: 4th – Last week: 4th

Byron is already off to a strong start this year, having amassed three wins over the first half of the regular season.  When he has rough days, he could afford to still try and manage his points.


Martin Truex Jr. – This week: 3rd – Last week: 3rd

Speaking of managing points, Truex is a perfect example.  He’s had some bad luck, some bad cars here and there, and yet he’s still 4th in points.  He’s due for a win, and maybe Sonoma is just what the doctor ordered?


Denny Hamlin – This week: 2nd – Last week: 2nd

Another two races, and another two Top 5s for Denny.  That’s five in a row now, and he doesn’t look to be slowing down anytime soon.


Kyle Larson – This week: 1st – Last week: 1st

Finally the news came down that Larson is still eligible for the playoffs after missing the Coke 600 (not for lack of trying).  His Top 10 at Gateway helped him keep the top spot in the Power Rankings!



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