The Frontstretch: NASCAR Writer Power Rankings: Top 15 After Talladega I by Frontstretch Staff -- Wednesday May 8, 2013

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NASCAR Writer Power Rankings: Top 15 After Talladega I

Frontstretch Staff · Wednesday May 8, 2013

 

Frontstretch Power Rankings
Well, how about that!? It was David and David against Goliath at Talladega and, much like the popular fairytale, David won. At a racetrack that produces unlikely winners, the Front Row Motorsports teammates didn’t disappoint, claiming the team's first win and sweeping the top two positions over the powerhouses of Hendrick, Gibbs and others. They said anyone can win at the restrictor plate racetracks, but you still have to be around on the final lap. David and David both avoided multiple “big ones,” a three-hour rain delay and made the right move coming off turn four of the final lap.

The day was marred by two multi-car wrecks which took out a majority of the field and a number of the strongest cars, the worst when Kurt Busch went end-over-end, landing on top of Ryan Newman. Matt Kenseth, once again, was the class of the field, leading 142 laps, but got shuffled out of the lead draft on the final lap to finish eighth. Other lesser-funded teams that had strong runs included Michael Waltrip (4th), Regan Smith (6th), Scott Speed (9th) and David Stremme (12th). 

NASCAR makes its only stop at the egg-shaped Darlington Speedway this coming Saturday under the lights. But before that, see how your favorite driver fared after Talladega. 
 
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: May 8th
RankDriver (First Place Votes)Votes Last Week
1Jimmie Johnson (6)1321
If this was the old season-long point system, they could start engraving the trophy. Don’t know when the 48 team has been better. Denny Darnell, Darnell Communications
2Matt Kenseth1143
A blown engine at Daytona took the win in the 500 away and the little engines that could – Front Row Motorsports – spoiled a potential win at Talladega. Kelly Crandall, SpeedwayMedia.com
3Carl Edwards1085
Not the biggest fan of Air Titan at the moment. Jeff Wolfe, Frontstretch.com
4Dale Earnhardt, Jr.99T – 7
You’d think he would be better than 17th on a plate track without getting in the big one. Jeff Wolfe, Frontstretch.com
5Clint Bowyer982
Has to be commended for managing to get through the rain delay without losing his mind. Though he did make a bit of a thing of Joe Gibbs Racing not sharing their corndogs. Summer Bedgood, Frontstretch.com
6Brad Keselowski949
Bitter, table for one please. Kelly Crandall, SpeedwayMedia.com
 7Martin Truex, Jr.9211
After a slow start, Truex and the No. 56 team is on the move. Wonder which “good luck charm” from fans he used last week? Denny Darnell, Darnell Communications
8Aric Almirola9110
Almirola has been one of the larger pleasant surprises of the season, sitting seventh in the standings right now. He may not be a championship contender, but we may well see the 43 car in the Chase this year. Summer Bedgood, Frontstretch.com
9Kasey Kahne774
Kasey Kahne has performed well this season. It’s suspected that not even a Kyle Busch misjudgment or an even rarer confession will stop this momentum. Dwight Drum, RaceTake.com
10Kyle Busch59T – 7
Caused the first “big one,” took blame like an adult. A side of Kyle I haven’t seen in a while. Too bad this Kyle isn’t around more often. Michael Mehedin, Frontstretch.com
T – 11Jeff Gordon4915
Test drive commercial is still pretty funny, even after seeing it about 100 times and though it’s staged. But still funny. Jeff Wolfe, Frontstretch.com
T – 11Paul Menard4912
At what point will people stop talking about the point when Paul will fall off and start dropping in points and start talking about his legitimacy in the series and the chances of him making the Chase? Michael Mehedin, Frontstretch.com
13Greg Biffle4711
Fell to tenth in the driver standings and is going to need to step up his performance if he has any shot of making the Chase. Michael Mehedin, Frontstretch.com
14Ricky Stenhouse, Jr.38NR
Is anyone else sick of hearing “Stenhouse, who is dating Danica Patrick” every time he is mentioned on track? Seriously, he’s two-time Nationwide Series Champion Ricky Stenhouse, Jr. who happens to be dating an overrated, bikini diva, who also happens to drive racecars. Why is he identified this way? It’s maddening. Summer Bedgood, Frontstretch.com
15Kevin Harvick376
Hero one week (winning in Richmond), a zero the next (crashing in ‘Dega). But he should understand, after all he noted on Friday that superspeedway racing was nothing to get upset about. Kelly Crandall, SpeedwayMedia.com
Dropped Out: Joey Logano (14).
Others Receiving Votes: David Ragan (30) (1), Kurt Busch (29), Michael Waltrip (29), Joey Logano (28), Regan Smith (27), Scott Speed (21), David Gilliland (20), Jamie McMurray (19), Marcos Ambrose (15), Mark Martin (15), Ryan Newman (15), David Stremme (10), Dave Blaney (7), Josh Wise (6), Bobby Labonte (5), Jeff Burton (4), Juan Pablo Montoya (2), Michael McDowell (2), Landon Cassill (1), Tony Stewart (1).
Who Voted: Phil Allaway, Frontstretch.com; Summer Bedgood, Frontstretch.com; Kelly Crandall, SpeedwayMedia.com; Denny Darnell, Darnell Communications; Dwight Drum, Racetake.com; Michael Mehedin, Frontstretch.com; Jeff Wolfe, Frontstretch.com.

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Carl D.
05/09/2013 03:29 PM
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You’re Greg Biffle. Your teammate from last year left Roush to go to JGR and is enjoying a banner season so far. You, you’re stuck in a slump while the organization’s “star” driver is doing backflips. You finished 36th in the last two races while the your rookie teammate finished 16th and 13th. Your contract runs through the end of 2014. Can it get any worse? Probably.

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