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Power Rankings

2019 Season Ending Power Rankings 1-10

by Dan Beaver
Updated On: November 18, 2019, 6:43 pm ET

A NASCAR season is long – encompassing parts of 10 months out of the calendar year – running from Valentine’s Day to almost Thanksgiving.

The Championship 4 were a worthy bunch, which they proved by running in the top five for most of the Ford EcoBoost 400 at Homestead-Miami Speedway. It took a mistake in the pits to keep them from collectively finishing in the top five, and when the checkers waved Denny Hamlin had risen to only 10th.

Still, the playoff contenders took three of the top four spots, giving them 10 top-fives in the past three years – two shy of perfection.


But one should not forget that the NASCAR season is long and the drivers who dominated at the end did not do so through the entire season. Kevin Harvick is the only driver who was part of the Fantasy Power Rankings for the entire season and he came close to falling out at one point – dropping back to 10th after the first Dover International Speedway race.

This week, we will shift focus and rank the drivers based on the entire season while noting how long they were among the top 10.

1. Kyle Busch
Weeks in the top 10: 32
FPR#: 6.82

Busch had his ups and downs and both the media and fantasy handicappers were on hand to point that out whenever he stumbled. By the end of the season, he had amassed five victories, 17 top-fives, and 27 top-10s. The most important win was the season finale because it brought with it the championship. He lost his consistency in September, however, and was not able to post back-to-back top-10s until the final three races.

2. Kevin Harvick
Weeks in the top 10: 36
FPR#: 6.83

Even though he did not have the same kind of season in 2019 as he experienced in 2018, Harvick might well have been the closest thing to a certainty as one could hope to find last year. Some modest runs in March put him in a vulnerable position and an accident at Talladega Superspeedway followed by a mediocre run at Dover nearly dropped him out of the top 10 for the only time in the season. It’s notable that his modest run at Dover ended with a surge and fourth-place finish, which fairly well describes his season.

3. Joey Logano
Weeks in the top 10: 34
FPR#: 7.69

The NASCAR points’ system rewards drivers at three key moments of the race: the end of the two stages and at the checkers. The Fantasy Power Rankings rewards drivers for how they run start to finish, and while Logano sagged in the Round of 8 and did not make it to the Championship 4, he was easily the third-best value of 2019. Finishing fifth at Homestead, one is left to wonder how much more effort he could have put into the closing laps if he had been in playoff contention.  

4. Martin Truex Jr.
Weeks in the top 10: 33
FPR#: 8.24

Truex ended the season incredibly strong with three wins and a near-perfect record of top-10s during the playoffs. Immediately preceding that surge, he finished outside the top 10 in three consecutive races from Bristol Motor Speedway through Indianapolis Motor Speedway. And while he was great in regard to top-10s, three of his last five races ended outside the top five.

5. Denny Hamlin
Weeks in the top 10: 29
FPR#: 8.40

Hamlin bookended his season with strong runs. He was in the top 10 in eight of the first nine races of the season – a full quarter of the schedule. Seven of his last nine attempts were in the top 10. He was the first driver to lock into the playoffs with his Daytona 500 win and he scored another season-defining victory in the penultimate race at Ingenuity Sun Media Raceway to advance to the Championship 4. For a time when he scored six straight top-fives in July and August the media was ready to hand him the trophy.

6. Ryan Blaney
Weeks in the top 10: 28
FPR#: 9.27

For a while, Blaney was the best of the Team Penske drivers. He had speed, but he lacked consistency for most of the season, never posting more than three straight top-10s during the year. His win at Talladega kept him alive in the championship and he made a concerted run during the Round of 8 with a fifth at Martinsville Speedway, eighth at Texas Motor Speedway, and third at Phoenix, but did not have enough regular season bonus points to get to the finale.

7. Brad Keselowski
Weeks in the top 10: 28
FPR#: 9.71

Like his teammate Blaney, Keselowski was never able to string more than three top-10s together. He did so only twice during the season, but one of these triples put him foremost in playoff contention when he was the only driver to sweep the top five in the Round of 16. He paid for peaking early in the Round of 12, however, and finished outside the top 10 in three straight races.

8. Kurt Busch
Weeks in the top 10: 17
FPR#: 10.60

Busch was in the Fantasy Power Rankings top 10 for the fewest number of weeks among those who made the season-long list. For majority of the year he was either just inside or outside that mark. He typically achieved that with consistency, such as his five results of 11th or better in the last seven races of the season. Only one of these was a top-five, however, and those were rare after he scored two in the first three races of 2019.

9. Chase Elliott
Weeks in the top 10: 23
FPR#: 10.63

Things simply could not go worse for Elliott in the Round of 8. A mechanical failure to start that round at Martinsville was followed by an unforced error and crash at Texas plus another accident at ISM Raceway. The wind was completely out of his sails by the time the series hit Homestead and his 15th-place finish there dropped him to 21st the last time we ran the 45-day script. Elliott made a name for himself with his spring Talladega win and the four top-fives that followed. He won at Watkins Glen and earned another pair of top-fives afterward, but those are the only times he finished well in three or more straight races.

10. Kyle Larson
Weeks in the top 10: 22
FPR#: 10.68

Larson’s high point of 2019 began with a pole at Sonoma Raceway. He finished 10th in that race and came up a few laps short of winning at Chicagoland the next week. While he would have to wait until October and Dover to win, he rattled off eight top-10s in 10 races during the summer, including five consecutive. One of these was a runner-up finish in the most grueling of all events, the Southern 500.

 

Rank

Driver

2019 Power
Average

Final 45
Days

Weeks in
Top-10

1.

Kyle Busch

6.82

1

32

2.

Kevin Harvick

6.83

2

36

3.

Joey Logano

7.69

6

34

4.

Martin Truex Jr.

8.24

4

33

5.

Denny Hamlin

8.40

3

29

6.

Ryan Blaney

9.27

5

28

7.

Brad Keselowski

9.71

12

28

8.

Kurt Busch

10.60

11

17

9.

Chase Elliott

10.63

21

23

10.

Kyle Larson

10.68

7

22

 

 

 

11.

William Byron

11.31

9

21

12.

Clint Bowyer

11.32

8

12

13.

Aric Almirola

11.85

13

14

14.

Alex Bowman

12.67

15

10

15.

Erik Jones

13.25

10

10

16.

Daniel Suarez

13.69

14

4

17.

Jimmie Johnson

13.96

17

2

18.

Ryan Newman

16.17

20

 

19.

Paul Menard

16.88

19

 

20.

Ricky Stenhouse Jr.

17.36

23

3

 

 

 

21.

Austin Dillon

17.43

18

 

22.

Chris Buescher

18.13

22

 

23.

Matt DiBenedetto

18.18

16

2

24.

Daniel Hemric

21.28

24

 

25.

Ty Dillon

23.51

26

 

26.

Michael McDowell

24.97

30

 

27.

Ryan Preece

24.99

25

 

28.

Bubba Wallace

25.19

29

 

29.

David Ragan

26.22

33

 

30.

Matt Tifft

28.82

27

 

 

Dan Beaver

Dan Beaver has been covering fantasy NASCAR for more than 20 years with a little help from his >650,000 record database. He can be found on Twitter @FantasyRace.