Rankings are updated every Monday of the NASCAR season.

Rank   Driver Points   Change   Comment
1 Matt Kenseth Matt Kenseth 3000
Kenseth did what he needed to do, simply surviving when he knew he had no chance for a win. He finished seventh and is one of the favorites moving forward.
2 Joey Logano Joey Logano 3000
▲ 2
Logano had been strong all season, but seemed to struggle Sunday and finished 10th. He will need to pick up his game over the next three races if he hopes to advance.
3 Denny Hamlin Denny Hamlin 3000
▼ 1
Hamlin was penalized for speeding on the pit road twice Sunday; he finished 18th. He may have won a race in the Elimination Round, but if he has another day like he did at Dover, his title hopes will quickly dim.
4 Carl Edwards Carl Edwards 3000
▼ 1
Edwards ran inside the top 10 for a time, but an issue with a wheel sent him to the pits under green and got him deep in the field. Edwards finished 15th and will hope to have better luck in the weeks ahead.
5 Martin Truex, Jr. Martin Truex, Jr. 3000
▲ 4
Truex was sent to the back of the field when the race started after NASCAR found issues with his car during the pre-race inspection. Truex fought back through the field to finish 11th.
6 Kurt Busch Kurt Busch 3000
▲ 1
Busch ran well most of the day, spending much of the race inside the 400 laps. A suspension issue forced him to have an extended pit stop late in the going. Busch rallied back to finish 17th. He may have had a bad finish Sunday, but look for Kurt Busch to be around until the end of the Chase at Homestead in November.
7 Jeff Gordon Jeff Gordon 3000
▲ 3
Gordon did only what he had to do to advance to the next round. He never had the speed to contend for the win and finished 12th. In his last chance at a title, Gordon will need to perform better if he hopes to have a shot at a final Sprint Cup championship.
8 Brad Keselowski Brad Keselowski 3000
Keselowski started eighth, but never had the speed to move forward. He struggled to finish 16th and will need a good run in the next few weeks if he wants to move to the next round.
9 Kyle Busch Kyle Busch 3000
▲ 4
Busch has a history of imploding and falling out of championship contention at this point in the season. This year, however, we are seeing a more mature Busch. On Sunday he needed a good run and got just that, finishing second. If Busch can keep it together, he will be a threat to go all the way.
10 Ryan Newman Ryan Newman 3000
▼ 4
Newman had a mediocre day, starting 6th and finishing 19th. He was able to advance, but will need to find a lot more speed if he hopes to move on. Don’t count him out, though. Last year, even without a win, Newman went all the way, losing the title by one point.
11 Dale Earnhardt Jr. Dale Earnhardt Jr. 3000
▲ 1
Earnhardt looked to be eliminated for a good part of the race Sunday. He was seventh and had to come back into the pits with a loose wheel and restarted in 19th. He charged back, however, staging a furious battle with Jamie McMurray in the final laps for the final transfer spot. Earnhardt finished third and advanced; McMurray finished fourth and was eliminated.
12 Kevin Harvick Kevin Harvick 3000
▲ 3
Harvick needed nothing short of a win and got just that on Sunday at Dover. The reigning champion led a race-high 355 of the 400 laps en route to a dominating win. Harvick sent a message loud and clear to his 11 competitors: He will be the one to beat in the Chase this year.

About The Ranker:

Greg Engle is an writer and an award-winning columnist who has worked full time for the Sporting News and the NASCAR Wire Service—if you wanted to get any more inside the sport of NASCAR you’d have to wear a crash helmet. He has received bylines in hundreds of newspapers across the country on auto sports and has also been featured on,, ESPN and Fox Sports. His work can be found at