The following is a projected seeding for the 2013 Chase for the Sprint Cup. Seeding is based upon a driver’s performance thus far in the season as well as the projected performance of a driver based on their history. This is similar to most power rankings but focuses on the seeding for the Chase while also recognizing race-to-race performance.
1. Jimmie Johnson – 4 wins, 8 top 5s, 12 top 10s
2. Matt Kenseth – 4 wins, 4 top 5s, 9 top 10s
3. Kyle Busch – 2 wins, 8 top 5s, 10 top 10s
4. Kevin Harvick – 2 wins, 5 top 5s, 10 top 10s
5. Clint Bowyer – 7 top 5s, 11 top 10s
6. Dale Earnhardt, Jr. – 4 top 5s, 10 top 10s
7. Kurt Busch – 4 top 5s, 8 top 10s
8. Greg Biffle – 1 win, 3 top 5s, 7 top 10s
9. Kasey Kahne – 1 win, 5 top 5s, 7 top 10s
10. Tony Stewart – 1 win, 4 top 5s, 6 top 10s
11. Martin Truex, Jr. (Wild Card) – 1 win, 4 top 5s, 8 top 10s
12. Carl Edwards (Wild Card) – 1 win, 6 top 5s, 9 top 10s
It is crystal clear who the best team in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series is right now based off the performance of Jimmie Johnson and his team. Unlike the rest of his competition, Johnson is consistently fast every single week and when he has bad days, he’s still getting good finishes.
Kasey Kahne drops out of the top five seed projection due to the fact that he seems to be suffering the same kind of luck that his teammate, Jeff Gordon has gone through most of this season. Kurt Busch goes from being unranked last week to being projected to the seventh seed. Busch has the speed, the team and the equipment, he just needs to minimize making mistakes as he did a couple weeks in Sonoma.
Chase outsiders: Brad Keselowski, Jeff Gordon, Joey Logano, Ryan Newman, Jamie McMurray
Brad Keselowski continues to fall farther behind in points but even worse, he has not shown very much speed in several races. On the other hand, Jeff Gordon has shown a lot of speed but has had a terrible amount of bad luck befall he and his team, including getting involved in a wreck Saturday night at Daytona.
Of these five drivers, Ryan Newman and Jamie McMurray were the only ones who were able to avoid disaster and get a top 10 finish this past weekend. McMurray crossed the finish line seventh while Newman was involved in the final incident coming off turn four on the final lap but managed to take 10th position.