Post Coca Cola 600 Power Ranking

CONCORD, NORTH CAROLINA – MAY 24: Cars drive during the NASCAR Cup Series Coca-Cola 600 at Charlotte Motor Speedway on May 24, 2020 in Concord, North Carolina. Photo by Jared C. Tilton/Getty Images

Post Coca Cola 600 Power Ranking with a Strong Run by Bowman and a Keselowski Win.

The Coca-Cola 600 at Charlotte Motor Speedway is the only NASCAR Cup Series race over 500 miles and four stages. The most extended race of the season is just three races after the most extended layoff in NASCAR history.

The Memorial weekend event is a grueling test of endurance and durability for the cars and drivers. Alex Bowman dominated early with Team Penske handling the field in the second half. Joey Logano won Stage 3. Then, Brad Keselowski claimed his first win of the season after a late-race caution. Although there’s a bit of a shake-up near the top of the newest power ranking, the top spot isn’t changing hands quite yet.

1. Kevin Harvick

LR: 1

Coca-Cola 600 Finish: 5th

Harvick grabbed himself yet another top-five finish in the Coke 600 and continues to be the only driver to finish top-ten in every single race. Harvick’s consistency throughout the season is impressive, especially with the two-month-long layoff thrown into consideration. It seems that in the final few laps, the No. 4 car always has a chance to win, which is going to make him hard to knock off the top of the standings.

2. Alex Bowman

LR: 3

Coca-Cola 600 Finish: 19th

If you only watched the last 100 laps of the race, Bowman probably wasn’t impressive at all. His 19th-place finish attests to that. However, he dominated the early portion of the race, winning the first two stages and finishing second in the third stage. Bowman continues to show that he is not to be overlooked in the championship race this year, and could be a sleeper to win it all.

3. Joey Logano

LR: 4

Coca-Cola 600 Finish: 13th

Logano didn’t have a great race on Sunday, but he was able to stay close to the top-ten and had a decent long-run car during a part of the race. With two victories already, he has nothing to worry about with the point standings, but he’ll hope to get back near the front on Wednesday.

4. Brad Keselowski

LR: 6

Coca-Cola 600 Finish: 1st

Keselowski should send a thank you note to William Byron for bringing out the late caution that allowed him to get a race-winning track position. With how difficult passing was throughout the race, Brad’s decision to stay out was the right one, and it paid off. A huge victory to get in the win column this year. 

5. Kyle Busch

LR: 5

Coca-Cola 600 Finish: 4th

If there was any doubt, Kyle Busch appears to have figured everything out after a slow start. He’s had one of the best cars on the track in each of the past three races and has put himself in a position to win. It hasn’t worked out yet, but another top-five and a big jump in the standings isn’t too shabby. 

6. Denny Hamlin

LR: 2

Coca-Cola 600 Finish: 29th

Considering Hamlin was eight laps down before he even got to run a green flag lap, finishing inside the top-30 can be considered a small victory. It’s a shame we didn’t get to truly see how good Hamlin’s car was after he dropped a piece of ballast on the pace laps, but one race won’t be too much of a damper on an otherwise great season.

7. Chase Elliott

LR: 7

Coca-Cola 600 Finish: 2nd

If one race getting stolen from Chase Elliott was supposed to be enough, William Byron’s rear tire didn’t get the message. With Elliott about to clinch an easy victory, Byron’s incident brought out a caution. Elliott pitted, and while he made a valiant effort, he couldn’t get back to the front. Still a great race, just disappointing that it couldn’t have ended in a win.

8. Martin Truex Jr.

LR: 8

Coca-Cola 600 Finish: 6th

MTJ is as close to a top-ten guarantee as it gets at Charlotte, and he made good on that guarantee by finishing sixth in a solid, yet not spectacular, effort. It still feels like this team hasn’t quite gotten to their peak yet, but a win is looming.

9. Ryan Blaney

LR: 11

Coca-Cola 600 Finish: 3rd

After enduring some terrible luck to the tune of just one top-ten in six races, Blaney finally redeemed himself by running a great race at Charlotte and finishing third, aided by the last caution. It’s good to see Blaney back on the right track, especially as he’s now the only Team Penske driver without a win.

10. Kurt Busch

LR: 9

Coca-Cola 600 Finish: 7th

Busch’s dropping in these rankings is more due to the performance of other drivers than his performance. Busch had a solid run himself, winning the pole and finishing in the top-ten for the fourth time this year. His car struggled early on but got better as the race went on, especially in the final stage. Look for his team to make some adjustments for Wednesday’s race.

11. Tyler Reddick

LR: 13

Coca-Cola 600 Finish: 8th

Following NASCAR’s break from the action, Reddick’s performance has been great to watch. Another top-ten proves that the rookie is around to stay and may legitimately contend for the playoffs in a car that wasn’t anywhere close to last year. I’ve been thoroughly impressed with Reddick’s progress so far.

12. Aric Almirola

LR: 10

Coca-Cola 600 Finish: 15th

It was a bad start to the weekend for Almirola, who failed to post a qualifying lap and had to start in last. He was able to make his way into the top ten briefly before losing a few spots on the final restart. Once again, Almirola kept himself clean and brought home a decent finish. 15th place isn’t anything to write home about, but it’s not too bad after starting 40th.

13. Matt DiBenedetto

LR: 12

Coca-Cola 600 Finish: 17th

DiBenedetto spent the majority of the race mired in the middle of the pack after starting near the front. If a couple of strategy calls would have gone differently, he may have found himself battling for a much better position. DiBenedetto has built a nice buffer ahead of the cut line and hasn’t yet finished outside of the top-20. 

14. Jimmie Johnson

LR: 15

Coca-Cola 600 Finish: 40th

If Jimmie Johnson hadn’t failed post-race inspection and kept his second-place finish, he would have received much more than a one spot bump in these rankings. Despite the unfortunate result, Johnson ran one of his best races in a long time, even challenging for the win down to the last lap. The penalty hurts his cushion in the playoff standings, but there was arguably more good than bad for the seven-time champion on Sunday.

15. Erik Jones

LR: 16

Coca-Cola 600 Finish: 11th

Jones just missed out on his third straight top ten finish coming out of the break, and overall was a very competitive car all night long. He’s beginning to show that he can hang with his three teammates, and is starting to look like as good a bet as anyone to become the second Gibbs driver to head to victory lane this year. With the way Jones has run recently, the second time around at Charlotte may go even better. 

16. Clint Bowyer

LR: 14

Coca-Cola 600 Finish: 39th

Like Johnson two spots above, Bowyer suffered from some terrible luck on Sunday. While running in a decent position toward the end of Stage 1, Bowyer hit the wall hard, ending his night in 39th place. Following a race at Darlington where Bowyer wrecked after winning two stages, it wasn’t the ideal evening, but still, something to build on, as the car wasn’t bad when it was running. 

17. Chris Buescher

LR: 21

Coca-Cola 600 Finish: 10th

Buescher lurked around the back half of the top-20 for most of the race but used a nice run down the stretch (as well as Jimmie Johnson’s disqualification) to grab his first top-ten finish since Daytona. His Roush-Fenway car has been pretty solid for the most part this year, but he still sits on the outside looking in regarding the playoff picture. He’ll be hoping for a repeat on Wednesday night. 

18. Ryan Newman

LR: 17

Coca-Cola 600 Finish: 27th

It was not a great night for Newman, who struggled following a tenth-place Stage 1 finish. Despite that, he was still able to make up a little bit of ground in his difficult, yet not impossible, chase to make the postseason. The car may not have been great for the second half of the race, but Newman has shown the ability to keep a good car near the front for an extended period, and that gives plenty of reason for hope.

19. John Hunter Nemechek

LR: 23

Coca-Cola 600 Finish: 16th

Aside from Tyler Reddick, John Hunter Nemechek has been the season’s most impressive rookie through seven races. In a Front Row Motorsports car that was lucky to finish in the top-25 last year, Nemechek already has three top-20 finishes and one top-ten. He ran another solid race on Sunday, staying inside the top-20 and finishing 16th. Awesome start to the season for a driver who has been underrated for a long time. 

20. Austin Dillon

LR: 24

Coca-Cola 600 Finish: 14th

Like his teammate Tyler Reddick, Dillon had a nice long-run car at Charlotte, running in the top-ten for the majority of the race, picking up some stage points, and finishing inside the top 15. It’s no secret that 2019 was a considerable disappointment for Dillon and RCR as a whole, but this season has been a complete 180 so far. It will be interesting to see whether or not they’re able to keep up this high level of competition.

BEST OF THE REST

21. William Byron (LR: 19)

22. Matt Kenseth (LR: 18)

23. Ty Dillon (LR: 20)

24. Cole Custer (LR: 25)

25. Christopher Bell (LR: 26)

26. Bubba Wallace (LR: 22)

27. Michael McDowell (LR: 27)

28. Ryan Preece (LR: 28)

29. Corey LaJoie (LR: NR)

30. Ricky Stenhouse Jr. (LR: 29)

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