Post-Daytona Road Course NASCAR Cup Series Power Ranking

Post-Daytona Road Course Power Ranking is for the NASCAR Cup Series after their inaugural race the Go Bowling 235 on the road course at Daytona International Speedway.
DAYTONA BEACH, FLORIDA – AUGUST 16: Chase Elliott, driver of the #9 NAPA Auto Parts Chevrolet, drives during the NASCAR Cup Series Go Bowling 235 at Daytona International Speedway on August 16, 2020 in Daytona Beach, Florida. (Photo by Brian Lawdermilk/Getty Images)

Post-Daytona Road Course Power Ranking is for the NASCAR Cup Series after their inaugural race the Go Bowling 235 on the road course at Daytona International Speedway.

As if 2020 isn’t already unpredictable enough, imagine how Kevin Harvick was feeling leading the field into the sharp left-handed first turn at the Daytona Road Course on Sunday. While the race didn’t necessarily bring the insanity people were expecting after wreck-filled Xfinity and Truck Series races, the track did give an exhibition of driver skill in its first Cup Series Daytona Road Course event. Chase Elliott grabbed a huge win, his second of the season, and a few drivers picked up some big points in the race as well. 

1. Kevin Harvick

LR: 1

Go Bowling 235 Result: 17th

Kevin Harvick didn’t have a Kevin Harvick-type day at the Daytona Road Course, finishing outside of the top-ten for just the fourth time all season. That being said, Harvick was able to salvage a top-20 finish after a couple of spins, and still leads second-place Denny Hamlin by 118 points. It will take something catastrophic for Harvick to not take the regular-season points title.

2. Denny Hamlin

LR: 2

Go Bowling 235 Result: 2nd

This shouldn’t be anything resembling a surprise anymore, but Denny Hamlin was in contention for yet another win on Sunday. He ended up coming home second, but Hamlin hopped Brad Keselowski for second-place in the standings and has now finished sixth or better in five consecutive races. As crazy as it seems, Hamlin could very well have three or four more wins to add to the five he already claims. 

3. Martin Truex Jr.

LR: 4

Go Bowling 235 Result: 3rd

It seems only fitting that Truex moves up a spot to third in this week’s power ranking, simply because he’s claimed it as his own recently. Truex has finished in third, no better, no worse, in five consecutive races. While it’s still odd that he hasn’t found victory lane more than his lone win at Martinsville, Truex is coming around at the right time.

4. Brad Keselowski

LR: 3

Go Bowling 235 Result: 13th

Not too shabby of a Sunday afternoon for Keselowski, whose main goal at this point is picking up playoff points over the last few races of the regular season. While a 13th-place finish is far from poor, that result combined with Keselowski’s 39th-place result in the second Michigan race marks the first time he’s had consecutive races outside the top-ten since Phoenix and Darlington. Those were the fourth and fifth races of the season. Talk about consistency.

5. Joey Logano

LR: 5

Go Bowling 235 Result: 9th

Logano made attempts to pit off-cycle and use strategy to lead himself to a win at Daytona. It didn’t work out as tire wear affected him almost immediately. But, he was still able to pick up another top-ten finish. Aside from a crash at Kansas, Logano has top-ten finishes in each of his last six races. The winless streak is growing though, as it is now at 18 races. 

6. Chase Elliott

LR: 7

Go Bowling 235 Result: 1st

Chase Elliott was likely disappointed when the race at Watkins Glen was canceled. After winning there in 2018 and 2019, he didn’t get the chance to three-peat (at least not yet), but the replacement for that race treated Elliott just fine. Elliott finally picked up his second win of the season in a dominating performance, proving he is one of the best road course drivers in the sport.

7. Aric Almirola

LR: 6

Go Bowling 235 Result: 24th

Road courses have never been Almirola’s strong suit, but he probably deserves better than a 24th-place finish at Daytona. While Almirola wasn’t running near the front, he was a top-15 car for the majority of the day and was threatening to break into the top-ten before the last caution came out. He still has top-ten finishes in ten of his past 12 races, and Dover has traditionally been a good track for the veteran.

8. Kurt Busch

LR: 10

Go Bowling 235 Result: 14th

Like Almirola, one spot ahead of him, Busch probably deserves a better result than he got on Sunday. He ran in the top-five for a good portion of the first couple stages, but was caught in traffic late and lost a few spots. Busch is one of three winless drivers who are essentially locked into the playoffs based on their points cushion. But that won’t make him any less hungry to get to victory lane.

9. Ryan Blaney

LR: 8

Go Bowling 235 Result: 31st

Blaney was able to grab himself some stage points at Daytona, but that was about it. Blaney has fallen on a rough patch, with just three finishes better than 20th in his last nine races. He’s now in danger of falling behind both Joey Logano and Martin Truex Jr. in the standings, and those playoff points could wind up being crucial.

10. Kyle Busch

LR: 9

Go Bowling 235 Result: 37th

Sunday’s race was about as good a way to describe Kyle Busch’s 2020 season as any. In the previous two races, Busch finished in the top-five. He did appear to be on the verge of the breakthrough he’s been waiting for all season long. Busch dealt with a flat-spotted tire and brake issues early on, and his day culminated with a blown tire while already running multiple laps down. Not an ideal day for Busch.

11. Clint Bowyer

LR: 13

Go Bowling 235 Result: 6th

Bowyer put together a very nice race at Daytona, picking up some huge points by coming home sixth. Bowyer now has a 66 point cushion over the playoff cut line, and with two other drivers between him and Jimmie Johnson – who is the current first man out – even one unexpected winner will not likely knock Bowyer out of his spot.

12. Matt DiBenedetto

LR: 11

Go Bowling 235 Result: 15th

It was a so-so day for DiBenedetto, who has put together a solid run of four straight top-15 finishes. Fun stat of the day: DiBenedetto has a better average finish this season (14.9) than Kyle Busch (15.1). In all reality, that doesn’t mean much, but it’s still a point that no one would bet on coming into the season.

13. William Byron

LR: 14

Go Bowling 235 Result: 8th

Hardly anyone needs a good race as much as William Byron. With teammate (and playoff bubble adversary) Jimmie Johnson putting together a top-five finish, Byron was able to mitigate the damage to his already thin playoff cushion by finishing eighth. Byron currently leads Johnson by 25 points (in one more race) for the final spot. 

14. Tyler Reddick

LR: 12

Go Bowling 235 Result: 18th

With the way the playoff bubble is currently looking, Reddick will almost certainly need a win to get in. Otherwise, he’ll have to make up 57 points on William Byron, as well as hop Jimmie Johnson and Erik Jones. It’s possible, but not likely. That being said, the Dover doubleheader could be huge for Reddick to build momentum heading into the regular season’s final race. 

15. Alex Bowman

LR: 15

Go Bowling 235 Result: 12th

Bowman still has just one top-ten finish in his last eight starts and hasn’t finished in the top-five since Darlington, in May. It appears that Bowman might have endured another wasted day when he blew a tire at the end of the first stage. Luckily, he was able to salvage a top-15 finish and pick up a few points. 

16. Jimmie Johnson

LR: 17

Go Bowling 235 Result: 4th

Only time will tell if Johnson missing the race at Indianapolis following his positive coronavirus test will be the difference between him making or missing the playoffs in his final season. Currently 25 points behind William Byron, Johnson can still get in even without a win. A top-five finish at the Daytona Road Course was a great way to start the home stretch of the regular season.

17. Austin Dillon

LR: 16

Go Bowling 235 Result: N/A

Dillon became the second driver to miss a race this season after testing positive for COVID-19. Luckily, Dillon’s Texas win already has him locked into the playoffs, and his two negative tests have him cleared to race at Dover. 

Fun Stat of the Day 2: Dillon and teammate Tyler Reddick have the same average finish (17.0). They both have two top-five finishes. Reddick has seven top tens, Dillon has six. In other words, it’s been a tight competition at RCR in 2020.

18. Erik Jones

LR: 21

Go Bowling 235 Result: 11th

After a couple of weeks outside of the top-20 in the power ranking, Jones returns to the board after a solid race on Sunday. He still has plenty of work to do if he wants to get into the playoffs. But with a superspeedway race looming, a win for Jones could be in the cards. Even so, a productive Dover doubleheader is crucial toward putting Jones into a position where he doesn’t necessarily HAVE to win at Daytona to get in.

19. Christopher Bell

LR: 18

Go Bowling 235 Result: 21st

Sunday was not a great race for Bell, who had a finish outside the top-20, and unintentionally spun Kevin Harvick through the grass, which is never a good look. After a mid-season stretch that includes four top-tens in a nine-race span, Bell hasn’t finished better than 13th in his last six races. The playoffs are out of reach without a win, so it comes down to development for the rookie at this point.

20. Michael McDowell

LR: 23

Go Bowling 235 Result: 10th

It’s only fair to give McDowell his due in the power ranking after an extremely impressive run at Daytona. An experienced road course racer, McDowell had high expectations for his performance over the weekend and ended up scoring his third top-ten finish of the season. All of his top-tens have come in the last ten races, as Front Row Motorsports is showing some great progress throughout 2020. 


21. Cole Custer (19)

22. Bubba Wallace (20)

23. Chris Buescher (26)

24. Matt Kenseth (22)

25. Ryan Newman (27)

26. Ty Dillon (24)

27. Ricky Stenhouse Jr. (29)

28. John Hunter Nemechek (25)

29. Daniel Suarez (28)

30. Kaz Grala (NR)