Monday, June 18, 2018

NASCAR Monster Energy Cup Power Rankings For Round 29

The NASCAR Monster Energy Cup Power Rankings head into Charlotte this week for the first race of the round of 12, which means four drivers were eliminated last week. This now marks the start of the second round of the playoffs. Those four drivers were Ryan Newman, Austin Dillon, Kasey Kahne and Kurt Busch. That means 12 drivers are left battling for the title, although two drivers have separated themselves from the field. Kyle Busch has been quite impressive as he has now won back-to-back races. He’s racing really well at this point in the season and he’s going to be tough to beat. One driver that has the best shot to do that is Martin Truex Jr., who has been the most consistent driver on the NASCAR circuit this season.

1. Martin Truex Jr.

Last Week: 1

NASCAR Monster Energy Cup Title Odds: +180

Truex tops the standings after starting from the pole at Dover and finishing fourth after leading 51 laps along the way. He heads to Charlotte with an 18-point lead, and he dominated the first Charlotte race, leading 233 laps, but he finished third. Truex has 11 starts in the fall Charlotte race with no wins, but he has an average finish of 15.5.

2. Kyle Busch

Last Week: 2

NASCAR Monster Energy Cup Title Odds: +180

Busch picked up his fourth win of the season at Dover by passing Chase Elliott late in the race, and now he trails Truex by 18 points in the standings. He has the best average finish of all active drivers in the fall Charlotte race at 10.7 in 13 starts, although he has no wins. He has never won a Cup points race at Charlotte, but Busch did win the All-Star race here in the summer and finished second to Austin Dillon here in the first points race.

3. Kyle Larson

Last Week: 3

NASCAR Monster Energy Cup Title Odds: +450

Larson led 137 laps at Dover, where he has been great in both races, but he is third in the standings after finishing in fifth place. He finished fifth at the fall Charlotte race last season, but Larson could muster just a 33rd-place result in the summer in the points race. He also finished second to Busch at the All-Star race and started from the pole.

4. Brad Keselowski

Last Week: 5

NASCAR Monster Energy Cup Title Odds: +800

Keselowski is fourth in the standings after finishing 10th at Dover, where he led 39 laps after starting 16th. He won the 2013 fall Charlotte race, but the summer race wasn’t good to Keselowski as he finished 39th here, one spot out of last place. He did manage to finish seventh here last fall, and he’ll be looking for another good run as Keselowski tries to stay in the mix.

5. Kevin Harvick

Last Week: 4

NASCAR Monster Energy Cup Title Odds: +800

Harvick is sixth in the standings after finishing 17th at Dover after starting ninth, and he won the 2014 fall Charlotte race. He did win the pole here in the summer and led 45 laps before finishing eighth, and he also won the pole here last fall, and ended up in 38th place. Charlotte isn’t one of Harvick’s best tracks, needless to say.

6. Denny Hamlin

Last Week: 6

NASCAR Monster Energy Cup Title Odds: +1000

Hamlin is seventh in the standings following a 35th-place finish at Dover, and even though he hasn’t won at Charlotte, he has been pretty good here with a finishing average of 15.1 in 12 fall races. He finished fifth here in the summer, although he did finish 30th here last fall. Hamlin simply can’t afford another race like the one he had at Dover, or else he’ll be out of the running for a Cup championship.

7. Jimmie Johnson

Last Week: 7

NASCAR Monster Energy Cup Title Odds: +1200

Johnson is fifth in the standings after a third-place run at Dover, and the seven-time champion is hanging in there. He has four wins in the fall Charlotte race, the most of any driver, and he led 155 laps en route to the win here last fall. In the summer, Johnson could only muster a 17th-place finish, but he showed signs of life last week at Dover, another track where he is very good. This is another place where Johnson could get his run for eight titles going really strong, but he is starting to run out of time and races. Still, it is Jimmie Johnson and he’ll get the benefit of the doubt until he doesn’t anymore.

8. Chase Elliott

Last Week: 8

NASCAR Monster Energy Cup Title Odds: +2500

Elliott will be disappointed with his second-place run at Dover, where he led a race-high 138 laps and is now 10th in the standings. But Elliott is still learning how to win and navigating late-race traffic is something that he’ll figure out as he gets in that position more times, and besides, losing to Busch is nothing to be ashamed about. He heads to Charlotte, where he finished 38th in the summer and 33rd last fall, although he was seventh in the 20-driver field at the All-Star race.

9. Matt Kenseth

Last Week: 9

NASCAR Monster Energy Cup Title Odds: +3300

Kenseth is 11th in the standings and just made it in after finishing 11th at Dover, and he won the 2011 fall Charlotte race. He finished a solid fourth here in the summer and he finished second to Johnson in this event last fall. A win might be in order for Kenseth to make it to the next round because solid finishes aren’t going to cut it at this point.

10. Ryan Blaney

Last Week: 10

NASCAR Monster Energy Cup Title Odds: +10000

Blaney is ninth in the standings after a 23rd-place finish at Dover, and Charlotte isn’t a good place for him at all as he has a 26.2 finishing average in five starts here. He finished 24th here in the summer and 31st in the race here last fall, so at least he has been improving a little bit. Blaney is basically playing with house money now and this is all just great experience for the young driver, and if he can get into a position similar to Elliott last week at Dover, it is all just a learning experience.

Click here to get all of the latest NASCAR betting lines at BetDSI including head-to-head matchups, props and odds to win each NASCAR and NASCAR Xfinity tournament!

About Geoff Harvey

Geoff Harvey has been setting his fantasy rosters since his days in the womb, just don't ask him how he used to get his waiver-wire reports back then. He's a lifelong fan of sports, especially the fantasy and betting aspects.

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