NASCAR power rankings: Hamlin soars, Busch falls

Denny Hamlin won at Pocono Raceway for a 6th-time
Photo of Kaleb Kraus

Kaleb Kraus

NASCAR · 2 years ago

Show Bio

Pickswise's Esports expert. Very passionate about sports, especially college football and college basketball. I am a 2018 graduate of Michigan State University's School of Journalism.

The 2020 NASCAR season has seen plenty of bumpy patches, but with it now in full swing, the best drivers are beginning to present themselves. Now with the season nearing the half-way point, the drivers will test their skills as they visit the Indianapolis Motor Speedway. Following a first-time-ever doubleheader event at Pocono Raceway, some drivers have everything going right, while others look lost.

Let’s get into the first NASCAR Power Rankings of the Summer.

1. Denny Hamlin

Few drivers have looked as strong as Denny Hamlin this season. His four victories including the Daytona 500 lead all drivers in 2020. Still seeking his first Championship, he looks well set on accomplishing that feat at this point. He has the top spot, but Kevin Harvick is hot on his heels. The Brickyard hasn’t been Hamlin’s best track.

2. Kevin Harvick

It was a very strong pair of races at Pocono for Harvick, as he won on Saturday before a runner-up finish in Sunday’s event. Everything is looking up with three wins in the bag, and a trip to Indy could prove well, where he is a two-time winner.

3. Brad Keselowski

Keselowski picked up a stage two win on Sunday, only to pit late and wound up with an 11th-place finish. BK took home a win in the 2018 running of the Brickyard 400. Team Penske has looked strong each and every week.

4. Chase Elliott

Chase Elliott has a lot to be happy about thus far in 2020. After a bad day on Saturday, he finished the weekend on a high note with a strong fourth-place finish. His win at Charlotte is nice, but can he add to the Hendrick Motorsports legacy at Indianapolis.

5th and 6th belong to Ryan Blaney and Joey Logano

Blaney had a lot of confidence following his Talladega win, but after two finishes outside the top 10 at Pocono, and a run-in with Kyle Busch, he has to watch. He and teammate Logano both had a bad weekend. They hold their spots for now with their wins this season.

7. Martin Truex Jr.

The now 40-year old has a tight lock on this spot, with a win at Martinsville, and a pair of top 10’s at Pocono. To bad Indy is one of his worst tracks.

8. Alex Bowman

Bowman was able to rebound from a 27th-place finish on Saturday with a 9th-place finish on Sunday. He will need a good start to Sunday’s Brickyard 400, as he has really struggled at Indianapolis.

9. Aric Almirola

Almirola extended his top-five streak with a pair of top-five finishes at Pocono. That included leading the most laps in Saturday’s race along with his first stage win of the season.

10. Clint Bowyer

Bowyer added a pair of top 10s at Pocono, and heads to Indianapolis where he has an average finish of 13.5.

11. Kyle Busch

Kyle Busch has had a season to almost forget thus far. The defending series champion hasn’t found victory lane yet, and Sunday was taken out with arguably the best car in the field. He has two wins at Indy.

12. Kurt Busch

Kurt led the first 35 laps of Sunday’s Pocono 350 including the stage one win but wound up with a 13th-place finish. He’s lost a little ground with only one top 10 in the last four races.

13. William Byron

Byron has yet to win in his Cup career, but he is getting better and better. Coming off another top 10, Byron heads to Indianapolis where he won a race in the Xfinity Series. Don’t forget he drives the car number that won this event five times.

14. Jimmie Johnson

It wasn’t the weekend Jimmie Johnson was looking for, but with four wins at the Brickyard in his historic career, can he tie former teammate and car owner Jeff Gordon with number five?

15. Matt DiBenedetto

The Wood Brothers driver looks to have hit a new gear with help from that Team Penske power. A sixth-place finish on Sunday didn’t hurt his cause. MattyD is trending up.

16. Erik Jones

Nothing like rebounding from a hard-crash with a top-five finish. Especially when it was on the same track. Could a new deal with JGR be on the horizon?

Best of the Rest

Ricky Stenhouse Jr jumps Tyler Reddick and Chris Buescher with his consistency at Pocono. Reddick looks like the top contender for rookie of the year, but with back-to-back 30th or worse finishes at Pocono, he takes a step back. Ryan Newman is back in the mix, with a pair of strong finishes at Pocono. Indy is home for Newman, and with three top 10 finishes in a row at the track along with a victory in 2013, watch out.

This weekend NASCAR heads to the Indianapolis Motor Speedway for the annual Brickyard 400, don’t forget to check our free NASCAR picks for betting analysis on the race.

Virginia Bonuses

See All
PointsBet

$500

Get 5x $100 Risk-Free Bets!

Sign up for a new PointsBet account

Make a bet of up to $100 and receive a refund if you lose

Get this offer once a day for the first 5 days you sign up

Must be 21+. Full terms are available at PointsBet.

DraftKings

$200

Bet $5 on Any MLB Game, Get $200 if Your Team Wins!

Sign up for a new account with DraftKings Sportsbook and make your first deposit

Bet $5 on any MLB team to win their next game

Win $200 in free bets + any cash winnings from your original wager

Offer valid for new players only. Must be 21 years or older to play. Reward paid in site credit. Full terms available at DraftKings Sportsbook.

Monkey Knife Fight

$100

Claim Instant Deposit Match up to $100 + Free $5 game

Register for a Monkey Knife Fight account & deposit using promo code PICKSWISE100

Monkey Knife Fight will match your first deposit up to $100

Deposit $100 and you'll get $100 bonus + a free $5 game

18+. Terms and conditions apply. You must live in one of the states where real money DFS is legal.

PointsBet

$2,000

Get $2,000 in Risk-Free Bets!

Register for a new PointsBet account & deposit

Receive a free bet refund up to $500 if your first fixed odds bet loses

& a free bet refund up to $1,500 if your first two PointsBetting Wager loses

Must be 21+. Full terms are available at PointsBet.

Caesars Sportsbook

$1,500

Get up to $1,500 Risk-Free First Bet!

Sign up for a new Caesars Sportsbook account

Make your first deposit of $50+

If your first bet is not a winner, get it all back as a free bet (up to $1,100) if you lose!

21+. Terms and conditions apply.

BetRivers

$250

Get a $250 Deposit Bonus!

Sign up for a new BetRivers account using promo code PICKSWISE

Make a deposit & get it doubled up to $250 total

To get a $100 bonus, deposit $100

Must be 21+. Play in IA Only. Gambling Problem? Call 1-800-BETS OFF

Unibet

$500

Get a $500 Risk-Free Bet!

Register for a new Unibet account & make a deposit

Place your first bet up to $500 risk-free!

Get refunded up if you lose up to $500

New players only. Terms & conditions apply. 21+. VA only.

BetMGM

$1,000

Get a $1,000 Risk Free Bet!

Register for a new BetMGM & deposit

Place your first bet up to $1,000 risk-free!

Get refunded up if you lose up to $1,000

21+. Terms & conditions apply.

FanDuel Sportsbook

$1,000

Get a $1,000 Risk Free Bet!

Register for a new FanDuel Sportsbook account & deposit

Place your first bet up to $1,000 risk-free!

Get refunded up if you lose up to $1,000

21+. Terms & conditions apply.

DraftKings

$1,000

Get a $1,000 Deposit Bonus!

Register for a new DraftKings Sportsbook account & deposit

DraftKings will match 20% of your deposit up to $1,000 total

To get a $100 bonus, deposit $500

21+. Terms & conditions apply.

Monkey Knife Fight

$100

Claim 100% Instant Deposit Match up to $100!

Register for a Monkey Knife Fight account & deposit using promo code PICKSWISE100

Monkey Knife Fight will match your first deposit up to $100

Deposit $100 and you'll get $100 bonus + a free $5 game

18+. Terms and conditions apply. You must live in one of the states where real money DFS is legal.

Yahoo DFS

$25

Get $25 in Site Credit With Yahoo DFS When You Deposit $5!

Register for a new account with Yahoo DFS and deposit $5+

Enter a $5 DFS contest

Upon entry, you will receive a bonus $25 in credit into your account!

21+ and new players only. Full terms available from Yahoo DFS.

TVG

$200

Get Your First Single-Horse Win Wager Back Up to $200 if you don't win

Register for a new TVG account and make a deposit

Place your first single horse win-type bet up to $200

If your horse doesn't win you'll get a refund up to $300

21+. T&C's apply. Please gamble responsibly.

TwinSpires

$200

Get a $200 Sign-Up Bonus with Twinspires Racebook!

Open your TwinSpires.com account using offer code BET200

$200 bonus cash will be credited in increments of $100 for every $400 wagered

To earn the full $200 bonus players must wager $800 within 30 days

21+. Terms and conditions apply.