NASCAR Power Rankings: Pre-Season Thunder Before Daytona

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Welcome to the first NASCAR power rankings of 2016. The 2015 offseason is behind us, and the Sprint Unlimited helped kick off the stock car season this past weekend. Now, the Daytona 500 is up next, and here are your top ten Sprint Cup Series drivers coming into the Great American Race:

  1. Kyle Busch

It’s a no brainer here – the champ from 2015 has to start on top. And with the momentum from that title run and recovery from injury, Busch has to be a favorite again to win it all.

  1. Kevin Harvick

The runner up to the title in 2015 and 2014 champ, the combo of Harvick, Stewart-Haas Racing, and crew chief Rodney Childers is one of the strongest in the sport. Look for them to compete for wins all year long.

  1. Joey Logano

Could this be Team Penske’s top driver heading into 2016? With six wins in 2015, and an incident with Matt Kenseth being the only force to stop him from a title run, Logano will be right up there hunting the Sprint Cup.

  1. Denny Hamlin

After winning the Sprint Unlimited last Saturday for the second time in three years, Hamlin looks poised to contend for a Daytona 500 win once more. Could he also break through and win a championship this season too?

  1. Martin Truex Jr.

The biggest surprise from last season was the little engine that could from Furniture Row Racing. But with a new engine deal from Toyota, will the team be able to replicate that success?

  1. Jimmie Johnson

The man who has a six-pack of Cup titles will be hunting a seventh this year to tie legends like Dale Earnhardt and Richard Petty. Can he make it past the first round of the Chase however, unlike 2015?

  1. Matt Kenseth

Settling in well in his role as the veteran at Joe Gibbs Racing, Kenseth will start second in the Daytona 500 on Sunday. And expect him to continue the Toyota team’s strength overall from the second half of last year.

  1. Kurt Busch

With a new sponsor in Monster Energy and renewed energy for the season, Kurt Busch looks to secure his spot in the Chase early in the year, or with a big win at Daytona, one that has eluded him.

  1. Dale Earnhardt Jr.

The pied piper of restrictor plate racing will certainly be one of the favorites from fans to win on Sunday. The question becomes if Junior can be consistent outside of his bread and butter tracks.

  1. Carl Edwards

Arguably the biggest questions Carl must answer in his second year at Joe Gibbs Racing are these – was 2015 a slow start, and can he separate himself from the rest of his teams’ stable of championship contenders?

Be sure to tune in for the Daytona 500, this Sunday on your local FOX station. And join our racing team for the Great American Race by competing in our NASCAR fantasy league here.

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