NHRA Story
Mike Dunn's Denver Power Rankings
Tuesday, July 15, 2014


Antron Brown, Cruz Pedregon, Allen Johnson, and Andrew Hines are the top picks in ESPN2 analyst Mike Dunn's Power Rankings heading into the Mopar Mile-High NHRA Nationals in Denver.

TOP FUEL
Rank Driver Plus/minus
1. Antron Brown Even
2. Spencer Massey NR
3. Doug Kalitta -1
Mike's notes: Nothing fancy here. Just the three drivers who have won the last five years. Antron in 2009 and 2012, Spencer in 2011 and last year, and Doug in 2010. Watch for Doug, though. Kalitta Racing has six wins on the mountain going back to 1984.
 
FUNNY CAR
Rank Driver Plus/minus
1. Cruz Pedregon NR
2. John Force NR
3. Matt Hagan -1
Mike's notes: Cruz really had a handle on his car here last year, so I am going off of that to give him the No. 1 spot. John's crew chief, Jimmy Prock, really knows how to make power on the mountain, and with the win in Norwalk, it looks like the consistency is coming back. All of Don Schumacher's Funny Cars are running well right now, and I could have picked any one of them for the No. 3 slot, so I went with Matt because he will be running the Mopar colors for this race.
 
PRO STOCK
Rank Driver Plus/minus
1. Allen Johnson NR
2. V. Gaines NR
3. Erica Enders-Stevens NR
Mike's notes: The only thing I knew for certain before the season started was that I would put Allen No. 1 in the rankings in Denver. As much as I went out on a limb with my picks in Norwalk, I'm still on the ground and have not even started climbing the tree with these picks. Allen has been to seven straight finals, winning five, at his sponsor's event. It's a no-brainer. Even though V. has really struggled with the new car, he really knows how to run at his home track, so I like his chances.
 
PRO STOCK MOTORCYCLE
Rank Driver Plus/minus
1. Andrew Hines NR
2. Hector Arana Jr. -1
3. Shawn Gann NR
Mike's notes: I could have put both Harley riders and both of the Aranas (Sr. and Jr.) in the rankings based on recent performances leading into the Swing and past performances in Denver. I picked Andrew based on momentum coming off the win in Norwalk and Jr. for holding the track e.t. record on the mountain. Shawn makes it based on his past performance in Denver. He has two wins and is the defending champion. And also, even though he has not had a great bike this year, he has had a good bike, so I do like his chances.