Frontstretch Staff · Wednesday April 24, 2013
It looks like the move to Joe Gibbs Racing has rejuvenated Matt Kenseth’s career. He is the league leader in laps led (482) and just won his second race of the season… and we’re only eight races into the year. To put it in perspective, Kenseth only had three wins in the entire 2012 season. There are no guarantees, but it looks like he is on his way to many more wins in 2013.
Kasey Kahne finished second to Kenseth, a carbon copy of the finish from Las Vegas earlier this season. Kahne has quietly become one of the most consistent drivers this year, finishing no worse than 11th in the past six races and rising to second in points behind his teammate Jimmie Johnson.
But perhaps Brad Keselowski put in the most impressive performance of the day at Kansas. After losing a lap repairing damage to the left rear caused by a lap one incident, Brad methodically drove his way up to a sixth-place finish.
Which of the trio impressed our voters the most this week? Before the tempers return, at Richmond let’s see how your driver ranks with our experts after Kansas.
How The Rankings Are Calculated: Frontstretch does our power rankings similar to how the Associated Press does them for basketball or football — our expert stable of NASCAR writers, both on staff and from other major publications will vote for the Top 20 on a 20-19-18-17-16-15… 3-2-1 basis, giving 20 points to their first place driver, 19 for their second, and so on. In the end, Michael Mehedin calculates the points, adds some funny one-liners, and … here you go!
|FRONTSTRETCH TOP 15 POWER RANKINGS: April 17th|
|Rank||Driver (First Place Votes)||Votes||Last Week|
|1||Jimmie Johnson (6)||156||2|
|Has to be feeling good that Keselowski is feeling some of the scrutiny that the champ’s car goes through every week. Mike Neff, Frontstretch.com|
|2||Kasey Kahne (2)||148||4|
|Kahne just can’t seem to beat Kenseth on 1.5-mile tracks. But he’s beating him everywhere else. Phil Allaway, Frontstretch.com|
|Was truly amazing to watch Keselowski’s performance Sunday. Everything that he was involved in somehow worked in his favor for a sixth-place finish. Kelly Crandall, SpeedwayMedia.com|
|Didn’t need ruby slippers to find his way home to Victory Lane Sunday; his hot rod was mad fast. Tony Lumbis, Frontstretch.com|
|Kyle just has no luck at Kansas. When’s the last time he crashed out two days in a row? Phil Allaway, Frontstretch.com|
|Still not out of the question to see Bowyer’s camo limo make an appearance at the banquet in Las Vegas. Dennis Michelsen, RaceTalkRadio|
|Got to be the quietest run to fourth in the standings we’ve seen in a while. Jeff Wolfe, Frontstretch.com|
|8||Dale Earnhardt, Jr.||102||8|
|Don’t count Junior out yet, especially heading into Richmond, where he has run well more times than not. Mike Neff, Frontstretch.com|
|One flip, a couple flops, and the rest solid if not that spectacular adds up to a decent season so far. Dennis Michelsen, RaceTalkRadio|
|10||Martin Truex, Jr.||86||11|
|Finding his form after the slow start. Jeff Wolfe, Frontstretch.com|
|Still so very quiet, yet so solid. He’s in the top 10 in points, but his hold on the spot is tenuous. Phil Allaway, Frontstretch.com|
|It’s sad to see the “lame duck” scenario take affect so early in the season. I was excited to see Kevin finish up his run with Richard Childress Racing on a high note. Michael Mehedin, Frontstretch.com|
|Sucking less than Montoya just might save his job. Mike Neff, Frontstretch.com|
|At times, he looked like The King out there on Sunday – and I mean more than just the paint scheme. Tony Lumbis, Frontstretch.com|
|Four-time is looking more like fourth-fiddle in the band at Hendrick these days. Mike Neff, Frontstretch.com|
|Dropped Out: Joey Logano (7), Brian Vickers (15).|
|Others Receiving Votes: Joey Logano (41), Ryan Newman (32), Ricky Stenhouse, Jr. (26), Mark Martin (23), Tony Stewart (21), Kurt Busch (20), Marcos Ambrose (7), Brian Vickers (6), Denny Hamlin (2), Danica Patrick (1).|
|Who Voted: Phil Allaway, Frontstretch.com; Kelly Crandall, SpeedwayMedia.com; Dwight Drum, Racetake.com; Tony Lumbis, Frontstretch.com; Michael Mehedin, Frontstretch.com; Dennis Michelsen, RaceTalkRadio.com; Mike Neff, Frontstretch.com; Jeff Wolfe, Frontstretch.com.|
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