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) /
6 of 18
Ryan Newman, NASCAR
Ryan Newman, Roush Fenway Racing, NASCAR – Mandatory Credit: Brynn Anderson/Pool Photo via USA TODAY Network /

2021 NASCAR Cup Series Power Rankings: #24 and #23

#24. . No. 6. Roush Fenway Racing, Ford. RYAN NEWMAN

Ryan Newman’s 2020 season can be summed up by the fact that his nasty Daytona 500 crash actually ended up netting him his second best result of the year. Miraculously, he did not sustain any major injuries in that wreck, which left his #6 Ford completely destroyed as it managed to cross the finish line in ninth place. He did miss three races, but even without missing those three races, he would have come nowhere close to making the playoffs like he did in 2019 because of the huge step back Roush Fenway Racing took in 2020. His only other top 10 finish of the year was his sixth place finish at Talladega Superspeedway.

Roush Fenway Racing, Ford. CHRIS BUESCHER. #23. . No. 17

Even in his first season with Roush Fenway Racing, Chris Buescher’s performance illustrated the step back that the team took. Buescher finished in 20th place in the championship standings in the 2019 season driving for JTG Daugherty Racing, and many saw his move to Roush Fenway Racing as being a step forward. While that potential was illustrated in some ways, including the fact that he doubled his career-high top 10 finish total of four with eight, that was not the case as a whole, as he only managed to finish in 21st in the standings and was not as consistent as he was with his former team. If Roush Fenway Racing don’t regain what they seem to have lost after 2019, expect more of the same in 2021.