Phoenix Power Ranking

NASCAR Cup Series Power Ranking from Phoenix

Phoenix Power Ranking features the NASCAR Cup Series after the FanShield 500 at Phoenix Raceway

NASCAR visited its first short track of the 2020 season on Sunday, with 38 drivers hitting the track at Phoenix Raceway, a 1-mile flat track. The race was also the ground-breaker for the new aerodynamic package, with a much smaller rear spoiler and much less downforce. It ended with Joey Logano becoming the first repeat race-winner of the year, picking up his second win in four races, and it leads to a new number one in the Phoenix power ranking. 

1. Joey Logano (Team Penske No. 22)

LW: 4

FanShield 500 Finish: 1st

Logano has two victories in four races this season, which can be classified as a great start. Logano’s aggressive style of driving paid off at Phoenix, where the restarts were wild and required an innovative method of getting to the front. The 22 was near the front for the entirety of the race and ended up holding off Phoenix legend Kevin Harvick to pick up the win. Time will tell if Logano can make it three-for-five next week. 

2. Kevin Harvick (Stewart-Haas Racing No. 4)

LW: 1

FanShield 500 Finish: 2nd

Harvick may not have been able to pick up a tenth career win at Phoenix on Sunday, but he did bring home a stage win and a runner-up finish. The second-place result vaulted Harvick into the season points lead by one point over Logano. Harvick has plenty of success at Atlanta as well, and he’ll be one of the favorites to pick up his first win of the season next weekend. 

3. Kyle Busch (Joe Gibbs Racing No. 18)

LW: 2

FanShield 500 Finish: 3rd

After two poor results, Busch has finished in the top three for two consecutive races. Despite this, he hasn’t had what looks like a winning car quite yet. There’s still plenty of time for JGR to continue to make adjustments on their cars, but as of now, Busch is doing most of the work himself. Credit to the driver for grinding another good finish at Phoenix. It’s hard to believe the big breakthrough is that far off. 

4. Chase Elliott (Hendrick Motorsports No. 9)

LW: 7

FanShield 500 Finish: 7th

Phoenix Raceway brought an eventful day for Chase Elliott’s team, as the No. 9 car was one of the best on the track in the early stages, but went a lap down after having to pit for a loose wheel. Luckily for Elliott, he got the free pass and was able to drive through the field again for a top-ten finish. It’s clear so far that Hendrick’s cars are much-improved this year, and it should only be a matter of time before Chase gets to victory lane. 

5. Denny Hamlin (Joe Gibbs Racing No. 11)

LW: 3

FanShield 500 Finish: 20th

Hamlin’s weekend wasn’t exactly ideal. He was involved in a wreck on lap 65 that put him out of contention. Hamlin was able to finish the race and pick up a few points, but his struggles since the victory in the Daytona 500 continued. After finishing 20th, Hamlin is now sitting 11th in the regular-season point standings and is trending down quickly. 

6. Brad Keselowski (Team Penske No. 2)

LW: 8

FanShield 500 Finish: 11th

Keselowski was faced with a tough decision toward the end of the FanShield 500 and ended up electing to come down pit road, giving up track position to take new tires. Unfortunately for Keselowski, he gave up his shot at a win by doing this, but given the tire wear trends over the course of the race, it’s likely that he made the right decision. Despite the somewhat disappointing finish, Keselowski did pick up a stage win, so not all was lost. 

7. Ryan Blaney (Team Penske No. 12)

LW: 5

FanShield 500 Finish: 37th

After three consecutive races where Blaney had a chance to win coming into the final laps (none of which actually became wins), the bad luck compounded in Phoenix. Blaney was involved in a collision with Brad Keselowski and Denny Hamlin on lap 65 that knocked him out of the race before he was given a real shot at the victory. The result also knocked him out of the top spot in the points standings, though Blaney is still in a comfortable position. 

8. Alex Bowman (Hendrick Motorsports No. 88)

LW: 6

FanShield 500 Finish: 14th

Bowman was unable to follow up his win at Auto Club with anything spectacular, but he ground through an up and down day to finish in the top-15. Bowman dealt with some damage from a minor incident late in the race but was still able to bring his 88 car to the finish line and pick up another decent points day. With the speed that Hendrick Motorsports has shown thus far, Atlanta should be a good weekend for Bowman. 

9. Kyle Larson (Chip Ganassi Racing No. 42)

LW: 10

FanShield 500 Finish: 4th

It took a little while for Larson and the Chip Ganassi crew to figure out the new aerodynamic package on Sunday, but once they did, the 42 was one of the fastest cars on the track. He wasn’t able to truly contend to win the race, but a fourth-place finish is certainly adequate for a team that struggled so badly early in 2019. 

10. Aric Almirola (Stewart-Haas Racing No. 10)

LW: 12

FanShield 500 Finish: 8th

For the second straight week, Almirola came home with an eighth-place finish and ran a pretty good race. While his car lacks the type of speed he needs to contend for a win yet this season, Almirola has had a good long-run car for the past two weeks and consistently run inside the top ten. He won the pole at Atlanta in 2019, which could be an indicator of what is to come. 

11. Martin Truex Jr. (Joe Gibbs Racing No. 19)

LW: 9

FanShield 500 Finish: 32nd

The way that Truex’s race ended on Sunday wasn’t exactly under his control, but the bottom line is that the result was another poor finish. Truex’s wreck with Aric Almirola came after a race in which he drove from the back (due to an engine change) all the way to the front for a brief time. Every week is showing improvement in terms of Joe Gibbs speed. The biggest question is when the first win will come. 

12. Kurt Busch (Chip Ganassi Racing No. 1)

LW: 14

FanShield 500 Finish: 6th

Here comes Kurt. Busch finished 33rd and 25th in the first two races of the season but followed up his third-place finish at Auto Club with a sixth-place finish. Kurt’s ability to hang around in the middle of the pack and then just show up inside the top-ten was showcased at Phoenix, where he wasn’t mentioned once on the broadcast until stage three. In his own way, Busch is a sleeper who can surprise some people this year. 

13. Matt DiBenedetto (Wood Brothers Racing No. 21)

LW: 11

FanShield 500 Finish: 13th

Phoenix for DiBenedetto was essentially a carbon copy of what happened at Auto Club. DiBenedetto started the race by running up near the top-five but began to gradually fall through the pack as the race went on. The changing traction compound and the emphasis on tire wear looked to be having an effect on the 21’s ability to hang with the front cars as the final stage progressed, but another top-15 for DiBenedetto continues a solid start. 

14. Jimmie Johnson (Hendrick Motorsports No. 48)

LW: 15

FanShield 500 Finish: 12th

Johnson’s day at Phoenix was okay; nothing tremendous but not bad either. A 12th-place finish kept the seven-time champion inside the top-five in the point standings and allowed his consistent start to continue. While Johnson’s speed early in the season hasn’t quite matched his teammates, Chase Elliott and Alex Bowman, his last go-around is looking good thus far.

15. Clint Bowyer (Stewart-Haas Racing No. 14)

LW: 17

FanShield 500 Finish: 5th

It’s been a bit difficult to get a judgment on Bowyer’s early-season performance, but a top-five at Phoenix was a good recovery after two straight races outside of the top-ten. Bowyer has looked all the part of a fringe playoff driver, similar to last year. It was encouraging to see him put together his run at Phoenix and consistently run near the front. 

16. William Byron (Hendrick Motorsports No. 24)

LW: 16

FanShield 500 Finish: 10th

Byron finally broke himself into the top-ten after a bit of a subpar start to the season. Even at Phoenix, he appeared to lag behind his Hendrick teammates in terms of speed, and that has become a recurring theme here over the first four races. That being said, there’s still tons of time for Byron to break out and make his first career win happen. 

17. Chris Buescher (Roush-Fenway Racing No. 17)

LW: 13

FanShield 500 Finish: 17th

Buescher’s start to the season in his first Cup season with Roush-Fenway Racing has been a little better than expected in most ways. Buescher has been consistent and hasn’t finished outside of the top-20 yet. His 17th place finish at Phoenix was the worst of the season thus far, but still, nothing to be concerned about, and the 17 still sits inside the cut line. 

18. Cole Custer (Stewart-Haas Racing No. 41)

LW: 21

FanShield 500 Finish: 9th

After three poor races, Phoenix began what will hopefully become a breakthrough for Custer, who picked up the first top-ten out of any of the ‘Big Three’ rookies in the race, coming home ninth. As the youngster continues to adjust to the Cup series, it will be interesting to see how far he can continue to move through the field and the standings. 

19. Tyler Reddick (Richard Childress Racing No. 8)

LW: 20

FanShield 500 Finish: 33rd

Reddick said it himself. He made a rookie mistake at Phoenix, and it likely cost him a top-ten, maybe a top-five finish. It was shocking to see how quickly Reddick was able to make it through the field to get as high as second place before he slipped back to tenth and eventually wrecked out of the race. In the results, it will go down as a bad race, but the stage points and progress made will say otherwise. 

20. Erik Jones (Joe Gibbs Racing No. 20)

LW: 18

FanShield 500 Finish: 28th

It was another tough race for Jones, who has really struggled to get his feet under him early in the season. The way that the Gibbs cars have run, combined with some bad luck and just a generally lower level of talent than his three teammates have put Jones on the outside looking in early in the year. 


21. Ricky Stenhouse Jr. (LW: 19)

22. Ty Dillon (LW: 27)

23. Austin Dillon (LW: 22)

24. Bubba Wallace (LW: 25)

25. Ross Chastain (LW: 24)

26. Michael McDowell (LW: 28)

27. Corey LaJoie (LW: 23)

28. Ryan Preece (LW: 29)

29. John Hunter Nemechek (LW: 26)

30. Christopher Bell (LW: 30)