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Martin Truex Jr.
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Power Rankings

Power Ranking After: Chicagoland

by Dan Beaver
Updated On: July 1, 2019, 4:44 pm ET

This week’s range for the Fantasy Power Rankings is from the May running of the Coke 600 at Charlotte Motor Speedway through last week’s Camping World 400 at Chicagoland Speedway—a total of five races with two off-weeks tossed in.

The past five weeks have been dominated by similarly-configured, 1.5- and two-mile tracks with Charlotte, Michigan International Speedway and Chicagoland being countered by the unique flat track of Pocono Raceway and the road course of Sonoma Raceway.

Next week, the series heads to the wild card Daytona International Speedway and all bets are off the table. Anything can happen in the middle of such tight drafting packs. This is also the traditional halfway point of the season as NASCAR heads to venues for the second time in 2019.


1. Kyle Busch (last week: 1)
Weeks in the top 10: 17
FPR#: 7.39

Last week was another example of how Busch can occasionally be risky: He is not willing to take what the car gives him. Much of the time that means he gets more out of it than the competition could ever imagine. Last week it sent him into the wall and he did enough damage to the No. 18 Toyota that it eventually cost him a lap and a sub-20th-place finish. For a driver that commands a salary cap such as his, that was devastating to players even though he holds onto the top ranking.

2. Kevin Harvick (last week: 2)
Weeks in the top 10: 17
FPR#: 7.50

Even after NASCAR threw a caution as soon as Harvick hit the wall last week, it was not enough to save his race. He showed some dominance earlier in the event and won a Stage, but the final result was not very satisfying. He finished outside the top-five for the sixth consecutive week and a victory seems to be in the distant future. While the end result has not been great, he has been running with the leaders much of the day en route to these disappointing finishes.

3. Joey Logano (last week: 6) +3
Weeks in the top 10: 17
FPR#: 7.86

The three drivers at the top of the order this week have all been a part of the Fantasy Power Rankings Top 10 since the preseason edition and they don’t seem to be going anywhere soon. Logano picked the wrong strategy at Sonoma and had one other disappointing run at Kansas in recent weeks, but the remainder of his results dating back to Bristol this spring were seventh or better.

4. Martin Truex Jr. (last week: 7) +3
Weeks in the top 10: 14
FPR#: 8.00

Truex finally seems to be getting his early season rhythm back. We would have preferred a top-five from him on the 1.5-mile track that has become his playground, but one cannot discount the fact that he now has top-10 finishes in three consecutive races for the first time since Martinsville Speedway early this spring. Perhaps the seesaw has stopped. Of course it will take a couple of weeks to know if that is true because next week is the wild card track of Daytona International Speedway.

5. Brad Keselowski (last week: 3) -2
Weeks in the top 10: 16
FPR#: 8.26

At the end of the Camping World 400, Keselowski did not have the demeanor of a driver who just scored a top-five. He seemed disheartened by the fact that he did not challenge for the lead often enough during the afternoon. Fantasy owners should be encouraged by his three results of sixth or better in his last four attempts this year, however, and have him earmarked for two weeks from now at Kentucky Speedway.

6. Alex Bowman (last week: 4) -2
Weeks in the top 10: 7
FPR#: 8.32

Finally. That’s how it must have felt for Bowman when he crossed under the checkers for his first Cup win. He had a fast car, but determination played a major role as well because he had to regain the lead in the final 10 laps after losing it to Kyle Larson. One should not lose sight of the fact that was his first top-five since he scored three consecutive runner-up finishes or that his last five races have an average of 9.4.

7. Ryan Blaney (last week: 11) +4
Weeks in the top 10: 9
FPR#: 9.06

We did not expect Blaney to finish in the top 10 last week. He’s run well on a variety of other tracks, but the 1.5-milers have eluded him this season to the tune of no top-10s. The kind of run he had at Chicagoland can often galvanize a team and spur a series of strong outings – if he can avoid the 'Big One' at Daytona and get to Kentucky with another solid finish.

8. William Byron (last week: 8)
Weeks in the top 10: 6
FPR#: 9.19

Byron is becoming a difficult driver to overlook. In the first 17 races of this season, he has scored five top-10s and another pair of top-15s. Nearly all of his efforts landed in the top 20, so he has not cost many points when he’s missed the single digits. Better still, three of his top-10s have come in the last five weeks, which suggests he just keeps getting better as the season progresses.

9. Chase Elliott (last week: 5)
Weeks in the top 10: 14
FPR#: 9.94

So far in his career, Elliott has developed a tendency to be a streaky driver. At the moment he is on a downward trend with three consecutive results outside the top 10 on the heels of five consecutive top-fives. Can he reverse that? Possibly, but Daytona is not a track one wants to go to in need of a solid run. The good news is that he does have the most recent victory on the sister track of Talladega Superspeedway.

10. Denny Hamlin (last week: 12)
Weeks in the top 10: 11
FPR#: 10.84

One of the reasons we look at more than just the final results for the Fantasy Power Rankings formula is the type of run Hamlin had last week. He looked great in the opening segments, but got another in a long line of penalties and could not overcome it. His 15th-place finish was not impressive, but if he can avoid mistakes a couple of weeks from now on the next 1.5-mile track in Kentucky, he should challenge for a top-10.

Dropped from the Top 10

13. Aric Almirola (last week: 10)
Weeks in the top 10: 11
FPR#: 11.25

Last week should have been a ‘gimme’ for Almirola. He’s been perfect on 1.5-mile tracks in regard to top-12 finishes and for much of the Camping World 400 it appeared he would get another. He faded badly at the end of the race and finished outside the top 15 for the second time in the past three weeks. He’s good on plate tracks and could rebound if he avoids trouble.

14. Kurt Busch (last week: 9)
Weeks in the top 10: 11
FPR#: 12.06

Busch earned another top-15 last week, but consistency just isn’t getting the job done at the moment. In 2019, even when he finishes just outside the top 10, he often spends a sizeable portion of the race inside that mark. That didn’t happen at Chicagoland and his Fantasy Power Rankings average took a hit as a result. Notably, his teammate Larson was strong, which makes us continue to wonder if only one Ganassi guy can show strength at a time.

 

This
Week

Driver

Power
Avg.

Last
Week

Difference

1.

Kyle Busch

7.39

1

0

2.

Kevin Harvick

7.50

2

0

3.

Joey Logano

7.86

6

3

4.

Martin Truex Jr.

8.00

7

3

5.

Brad Keselowski

8.26

3

-2

6.

Alex Bowman

8.32

4

-2

7.

Ryan Blaney

9.06

11

4

8.

William Byron

9.19

8

0

9.

Chase Elliott

9.94

5

-4

10.

Denny Hamlin

10.84

12

2

 

 

 

 

 

11.

Kyle Larson

11.03

13

2

12.

Jimmie Johnson

11.19

15

3

13.

Aric Almirola

11.25

10

-3

14.

Kurt Busch

12.06

9

-5

15.

Chris Buescher

14.21

14

-1

16.

Daniel Suarez

15.17

18

2

17.

Erik Jones

15.57

17

0

18.

Ryan Newman

16.07

19

1

19.

Paul Menard

17.57

22

3

20.

Ricky Stenhouse Jr.

18.52

20

0

21.

Clint Bowyer

18.78

16

-5

22.

Daniel Hemric

18.97

23

1

23.

Austin Dillon

22.17

25

2

24.

Matt DiBenedetto

22.74

24

0

25.

Bubba Wallace

24.50

26

1

26.

Michael McDowell

24.61

28

2

27.

David Ragan

24.81

27

0

28.

Matt Tifft

27.41

29

1

29.

Ryan Preece

27.48

30

1

30.

Parker Kligerman

27.80

32

2

31.

Ty Dillon

28.07

31

0

32.

Corey LaJoie

28.70

33

1

33.

Ross Chastain

29.18

36

3

34.

Bayley Currey

29.35

34

0

35.

Joey Gase

29.86

41

6

36.

Garrett Smithley

30.80

37

1

37.

Landon Cassill

31.07

40

3

38.

Reed Sorenson

31.68

38

0

39.

Quin Houff

31.90

39

0

40.

BJ McLeod

33.30

35

-5

41.

Josh Bilicki

33.50

42

1

42.

Justin Haley

34.40

44

2

43.

Cody Ware

34.91

46

3

44.

Kyle Weatherman

35.33

45

1

45.

JJ Yeley

36.50

47

2

 

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.