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Brad Keselowski
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Power Rankings

Power Ranking After: Kansas

by Dan Beaver
Updated On: November 14, 2018, 7:41 am ET

Last week it appeared the Big 3 mounted a comeback. Kevin Harvick, Kyle Busch, and Martin Truex Jr. were all stout in practice. They each ran strong at various points of the Hollywood Casino 400 at Kansas Speedway. But the 1.5-mile tracks have been kind to them all year and it remains to be seen how they will fare on the short, flat tracks in Round 3.

In six playoff races, there have been five different winners. Only one of these was a member of the Big 3. If the that pattern continues, it could mean that only one of the early-season dominators will make it to Homestead-Miami Speedway with a shot at the championship.

1. Joey Logano (Last week: 3)
Weeks in the top 10: 23
FPR #: 6.30
Logano shows only an eighth-place finish last week, but he easily had one of the strongest cars for most of the race. He won Stage 1, finished third in Stage 2, and had one of the best average running positions in the game. He now has a 10-race streak of top-15s; eight of those were top-10s. Still, he knows he needs to win in Round 3 if he wants to advance to Homestead with a shot at the championship.

2. Brad Keselowski (Last week: 6)
Weeks in the top 10: 28
FPR #: 6.49
Bristol is the race that falls out of this week’s Last 60-Day Fantasy Power Rankings formula and that means Keselowski’s three consecutive wins from Darlington through Las Vegas are also about to age out. After getting off to such a great start to the playoffs, he has earned only two top-10s, so don’t expect him to be this high on the list next week unless he manages to win at Martinsville.


3. Kyle Larson (Last week: 2)
Weeks in the top 10: 30
FPR#: 6.78
Larson’s only realistic hope of advancing last week was for him to win. He mounted a great charge at the end of the Hollywood Casino 400, but came up two positions short. He was forced to the back of the field with a backup car and that kept him from recording a great average running position. Coupled with the fact that Bristol’s second-place weekend is what fell out of the Power Rankings, he actually lost a little ground in the past 60 days formula.

4. Kevin Harvick (Last week: 5)
Weeks in the top 10: 32
FPR #: 6.84
The No. 4 team keeps making mistakes. They have such a great points lead that it doesn’t matter very much in terms of them advancing to the final round of the playoffs – unless there are three unique winners below him in the standings during the Round of 8. He’s run well most weekends, but still has only one top-five during the playoffs to show for his effort and that is not the championship caliber one expects from the No. 4 team.

5. Chase Elliott (Last week: 3)
Weeks in the top 10: 17
FPR#: 7.29
Don’t let the fact that Elliott slipped one position this week fool you; the No. 9 team is improving overall. He has not been infallible in the last 60 days with 30-something results at Las Vegas Motor Speedway and Talladega Superspeedway, but the ability to win has elevated him to a new level.

6. Kurt Busch (Last week: 1)
Weeks in the top 10: 33
FPR#: 7.43
The problem with consistency is that when a driver has a bad finish, it tends to undo many of the results that went before. Busch’s 18th-place finish at Kansas because of a tire penalty means that he has finished outside the top 10 in half of his last eight attempts. That is a far cry from the eight straight single-digit results he had from Kentucky Speedway through Indianapolis Motor Speedway.

7. Kyle Busch (Last week: 9)
Weeks in the top 10: 31
FPR#: 7.89
With less than 10 laps remaining, Busch was chasing down Elliott. It was a scenario we’ve seen before with the No. 18 coming out on the winning side. The margin stopped shrinking when Larson caught the Toyota and distracted Busch enough that he settled for second. It was a strong run, but still only Busch's second top-five during the last nine races.

8. Martin Truex Jr. (Last week: 10)
Weeks in the top 10: 27
FPR#: 8.97
Truex snapped a three-race skid of results outside the top 10 last week when he crossed under the checkers fifth. He spent a big part of the past two weeks outside the cutoff line, however, because this team is not performing as well as they would like. The pressure of looking for work will slowly take its toll on the team members. Top-fives will continue to be hard-earned.

9. Ryan Blaney (Last week: 8)
Weeks in the top 10: 26
FPR#: 9.38
The Hollywood Casino 400 may have been one of the most frustrating ever for Blaney. Running out of gas at Talladega put him in a precarious position and a top-10 was not enough to get him to Round 3 of the playoffs. The question for both him and Keselowski now shifts to how much effort will go into insuring Logano has the best Team Penske equipment and whether that will impact the performance of the No. 12 and 2 cars.

10. Clint Bowyer (Last week: 7)
Weeks in the top 10: 30
FPR#: 10.36
Kansas may be Bowyer’s home track, but he was happy to get out of there with enough points to advance to Round 3 and head off to a Kansas City Chiefs game. The good news is that the field heads to the track on which Bowyer snapped his long winless streak this spring.

Big Movers outside the Top 10

15. Jamie McMurray (Last week: 10)
Weeks in the top 10: 0
FPR#: 15.20
McMurray is not going to be a must-have for the remainder of the season, but he will be a decent value in certain situations. In the past 60 days, he has finished 21st of better in six of eight races, which makes him a predictable mid-cap pick.

17. Jimmie Johnson (Last week: 15)
Weeks in the top 10: 5
FPR#: 15.57
It’s been this way much of the season: Just when it seems to be safe to roll the dice on Johnson, he has another disappointing race. His 22nd-place result at Kansas was the 10th time in the last 18 races that he finished outside the top 15 and the third time in his last six attempts. 

This
Week

Driver

Power
Avg.

Last
Week

Difference

1

Joey Logano

6.30

4

3

2

Brad Keselowski

6.49

6

4

3

Kyle Larson

6.78

2

-1

4

Kevin Harvick

6.84

5

1

5

Chase Elliott

7.29

3

-2

6

Kurt Busch

7.43

1

-5

7

Kyle Busch

7.89

9

2

8

Martin Truex Jr./p>

8.97

10

2

9

Ryan Blaney

9.38

8

-1

10

Clint Bowyer

10.36

7

-3

 

11

Aric Almirola

10.57

12

1

12

Denny Hamlin

10.84

11

-1

13

Erik Jones

11.97

13

0

14

Alex Bowman

14.46

14

0

15

Jamie McMurray

15.20

17

2

16

Ryan Newman

15.29

16

0

17

Jimmie Johnson

15.57

15

-2

18

Austin Dillon

15.83

18

0

19

Paul Menard

16.57

20

1

20

Daniel Suarez

19.52

21

1

21

Ricky Stenhouse Jr./p>

19.64

22

1

22

Matt Kenseth

19.88

23

1

23

AJ Allmendinger

23.03

27

4

24

Chris Buescher

23.43

25

1

25

William Byron

23.45

24

-1

26

Trevor Bayne

23.77

19

-7

27

David Ragan

25.68

28

1

28

Michael McDowell

25.71

30

2

29

Regan Smith

26.24

26

-3

30

Ty Dillon

26.68

29

-1

31

Matt DiBenedetto

29.29

33

2

32

Daniel Hemric

29.35

31

-1

33

Corey LaJoie

30.79

36

3

34

Cole Custer

30.82

34

0

35

Bubba Wallace

30.82

40

5

36

Cole Whitt

31.75

38

2

37

Ross Chastain

32.75

35

-2

38

Landon Cassill

33.29

39

1

39

JJ Yeley

33.63

41

2

40

Justin Marks

33.75

42

2

41

Joey Gase

34.86

45

4

42

Jeffrey Earnhardt

34.93

43

1

43

Kyle Weatherman

35.88

46

3

44

Reed Sorenson

36.00

44

0

45

BJ McLeod

36.11

47

2

46

Harrison Rhodes

38.00

50

4

47

Alon Day

38.75

51

4

48

Timmy Hill

38.85

49

1

49

David Starr

39.75

52

3

50

Gray Gaulding

40.00

53

3

51

Stanton Barrett

40.00

54

3

 

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.