Frontstretch Staff · Wednesday May 8, 2013
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|
|Rank||Driver (First Place Votes)||Votes||Last Week|
|1||Jimmie Johnson (6)||132||1|
|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|
|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|
|Not the biggest fan of Air Titan at the moment. Jeff Wolfe, Frontstretch.com|
|4||Dale Earnhardt, Jr.||99||T – 7|
|You’d think he would be better than 17th on a plate track without getting in the big one. Jeff Wolfe, Frontstretch.com|
|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|
|Bitter, table for one please. Kelly Crandall, SpeedwayMedia.com|
|7||Martin Truex, Jr.||92||11|
|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|
|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|
|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|
|10||Kyle Busch||59||T – 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 – 11||Jeff Gordon||49||15|
|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 – 11||Paul Menard||49||12|
|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|
|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|
|14||Ricky Stenhouse, Jr.||38||NR|
|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|
|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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