NASCAR Cup Series: Power rankings entering the 2021 season

Chase Elliott, Hendrick Motorsports, NASCAR (Photo by Brian Lawdermilk/Getty Images)
Chase Elliott, Hendrick Motorsports, NASCAR (Photo by Brian Lawdermilk/Getty Images) /
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Michael McDowell, NASCAR
Michael McDowell, Front Row Motorsports, NASCAR – Mandatory Credit: Jay Biggerstaff-USA TODAY Sports /

2021 NASCAR Cup Series Power Rankings: #26 and #25

#26. . No. 38. Front Row Motorsports, Ford. ANTHONY ALFREDO

Anthony Alfredo is set to replace John Hunter Nemechek behind the wheel of the #38 Ford at Front Row Motorsports after it was confirmed that Nemechek would be leaving the team following his rookie season to drop down to the Truck Series and compete for Kyle Busch Motorsports. Front Row Motorsports’ progression throughout the 2020 season, which saw them have their best overall season in team history, is a plus for the rookie as he prepares to compete full-time for the first time in his NASCAR career following a part-time season of Truck Series competition in 2019 and a part-time season of Xfinity Series competition last year. How well he adapts to the sport’s top level, given his lack of experience, will be interesting to watch, especially just one year after Nemechek’s impressive rookie season with the team.

. No. 34. Front Row Motorsports, Ford. MICHAEL MCDOWELL. #25

Was there a more underrated driver in the 2020 NASCAR Cup Series season than Michael McDowell? He entered the season with career-high finished of 26th place in the championship standings and career-high average finish of 22.2, and he finished in 23rd with an average finish of 20.9. Additionally, he recorded four top 10 finishes; previously, he hadn’t recorded more than three over a two-year span, and most notably, he did so without a single top 10 finish in a superspeedway race. He hadn’t finished in the top 10 in a non-superspeedway race since 2016. Expect him to perform well under the radar yet again in his fourth year with Front Row Motorsports in 2021.