Top 10 Sprint Cup driver ratings from 2015

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Kyle Busch won the 2015 Sprint Cup title but you won’t see his name on many lists of the top drivers in certain stat categories.

One of those is driver rating.

NASCAR tabulates a driver rating based on totals in wins, finishes, top-15 finishes, average running position while on the lead lap, average speed under green, fastest lap, led most laps and lead-lap finish. There is a maximum 150 points per race. They must have raced in 75 percent of scheduled point-paying races.

That last part means you won’t see Kyle Busch on this list after he missed the first 11 races of the year due to injury. In 2014, Busch ended the year with a rating of 89.2, the 10th best.

Here is a look at the top 10 drivers in driver rating.

  1. Kevin Harvick (119.0) – The Stewart-Haas racing driver finished 2015 exactly where he did in 2014 when he won the championship with a rating of 110.5.
  2. Joey Logano (106.5) – Winning the most races in 2015 wasn’t enough for Logano, who moved up one spot from 2014 (110.2). He replaced Jeff Gordon in the runner-up spot.
  3. Kurt Busch (104.2) – Busch didn’t even crack the top 10 in 2014 (11th, 87.8).
  4. Brad Keselowski (101.7) – The 2012 Cup champion may have had a lower number than his 2014 rating (103.7), but he finished 2015 in the same spot.
  5. Martin Truex Jr. (99.7) – The first driver not to surpass 100.0 in their rating, Truex will be OK since he ended 2014 with a rating of 71.2 in 23rd.
  6. Jimmie Johnson (99.3) – The six-time champion dropped one spot from his 2014 total when he rated 99.1.
  7. Matt Kenseth (99.1) – Kenseth finished the year with the seventh-best rating for the second year in a row. In 2014, he earned a 93.1 rating.
  8. Dale Earnhardt Jr. (97.1) – The Hendrick Motorsports star slipped two spot from his 2014 final standing. He finished with the a 97.8 rating then.
  9. Carl Edwards (95.7) – His first year with Joe Gibbs Racing saw Edwards jump seven spots from 17th in 2014, when he finished with a rating of 80.9.
  10. Denny Hamlin (95.3) – Down two spots from 2014, when he finished with a rating of 91.5.

Starting lineup for Texas Cup race: Brad Keselowski wins pole

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Brad Keselowski will be at the front of the field to start Sunday’s NASCAR Cup Series playoff race at Texas Motor Speedway (3:30 pm ET, USA Network).

Keselowski, who is not a part of the 12-driver playoff group, won the pole Saturday afternoon with a speed of 188.990, edging Joey Logano‘s 188.805.

MORE: Texas Cup starting lineup

The race is the first of three in the second round of the Cup playoffs. Round of 12 races will follow at Talladega Superspeedway Oct. 2 and the Charlotte Motor Speedway Roval Oct. 9.

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Also starting in the top five Sunday will be William Byron, Tyler Reddick and Michael McDowell.

Brad Keselowski wins Cup pole at Texas Motor Speedway

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Brad Keselowski, hoping to extend Roush Fenway Keselowski Racing’s turnaround, won the pole Saturday for Sunday’s NASCAR Cup Series playoff race at Texas Motor Speedway.

It was the second piece of good news for RFK Racing in two weeks. Chris Buescher,  Keselowski’s teammate, won last week’s race at Bristol Motor Speedway, the first victory for the team under the RFK banner.

Keselowski, who ran 188.990 mph, is not a part of the 12-driver playoff group. Nine of the first 14 starting positions were filled by playoff drivers.

MORE: Texas Cup qualifying results

Following in the top five Saturday were Joey Logano, William Byron, Tyler Reddick and Michael McDowell. Playoff point leader Chase Elliott will start sixth.

“Texas is a really tough track,” Keselowski told NBC Sports. “As hot as it’s going to be, that will be even tougher.”

Race-time temperatures are expected to be in the mid-90s Sunday.

The race (3:30 p.m. ET), the first event in the second round of the playoffs, will be televised by the USA Network.

Sunday Texas Cup race: Start time, TV info, weather

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The first race in the second round of the NASCAR Cup Series playoffs is scheduled Sunday at Texas Motor Speedway.

Twelve drivers are racing for eight spots in the next round. Chase Elliott leads the standings by 15 over Joey Logano entering Sunday’s 500-mile event, the only Cup points race at TMS this year. Ryan Blaney, who is in the playoff group, won the All-Star Race at the track in May.

Chase Briscoe, Alex Bowman, Daniel Suarez and Austin Cindric are below the cutline entering the 3:30 p.m. ET (USA Network) race.

MORE: Big race celebration? Try Waffle House

The playoffs will continue at Talladega Superspeedway (Oct. 2) and the Charlotte Motor Speedway Roval (Oct. 9).

Details for Sunday’s Cup race at Texas Motor Speedway:

START: The command to start engines will be given by “Top Gun: Maverick” actors Jay Ellis and Lewis Pullman at 3:38 p.m. (ET) … Green flag is scheduled to wave at 3:49 p.m.

PRERACE: Cup garage opens at 12:30 p.m. … Driver introductions are at 3 p.m. … The invocation will be given by Bret Shisler of Texas Alliance Raceway Ministries at 3:30 p.m. … The 1st Cavalry Division Band will perform the anthem at 3:31 p.m.

DISTANCE: The race is 334 laps (501 miles) on the 1.5-mile speedway.

STAGES: Stage 1 ends at Lap 105. Stage 2 ends at Lap 210.

MORE: Ryan Blaney’s team to appeal penalty

TV/RADIO: USA Network will broadcast the race at 3:30 p.m. Countdown to Green begins at 2:30 p.m. on USA Network. The post-race show will air on USA Network. … Performance Racing Network coverage begins at 2:30 p.m. and also will stream at goprn.com. SiriusXM NASCAR Radio will carry the PRN broadcast.

STREAMING: NBCsports.com

FORECAST: Weather Underground — Partly cloudy skies. High of 96 with a 5% chance of rain.

LAST TIME: Kyle Larson won by .459 of a second over William Byron last October. Larson led 256 of the race’s 334 laps.

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Brandon Jones wins Xfinity pole at Texas Motor Speedway

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Playoff driver Brandon Jones won the pole position Saturday morning for Saturday afternoon’s NASCAR Xfinity Series race at Texas Motor Speedway.

Jones was clocked at 185.637 miles per hour. He has won three of the past four Xfinity poles.

MORE: Texas Xfinity qualifying results

MORE: Texas Xfinity starting lineup

Scheduled for 3:30 p.m. ET Saturday on the USA Network, the race is the opening event of the Xfinity playoffs.

Following Jones in the top five were Noah Gragson (winner of three consecutive Xfinity races), Daniel Hemric, John Hunter Nemechek and Sam Mayer.

MORE: Post-race celebration? Try the Waffle House

The race is 200 laps (300 miles) on the 1.5-mile track. Drivers will be battling heat in the mid-to-high 90s.