The Frontstretch: NASCAR Writer Power Rankings: Top 15 After Pocono-I by Frontstretch Staff -- Wednesday June 12, 2013

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NASCAR Writer Power Rankings: Top 15 After Pocono-I

Frontstretch Staff · Wednesday June 12, 2013

 

Frontstretch Power Rankings
Jimmie Johnson was determined to bounce back from the controversial call that cost him the win last week in Dover, dominating the race and picking up his third win of the 2013 season. And a a bonus, he increased his lead over second place Carl Edwards to 51 points.  

Seems that Miles the Monster had a chat with someone at the Tricky Triangle. After a wreck at Dover, Kasey Kahne barely completed one lap before mechanical issues sent him behind the wall. Meanwhile, Matt Kenseth’s feast or famine season continued after a top 10 run was squandered when Juan Pablo Montoya spun him, resulting in a finish outside the top 20 for Kenseth. 

One driver that continues to get stronger is Tony Stewart. He always seems to be strongest in the summer months and this year is no different. After a win last week in Dover, Stewart finished in the top 10 this past weekend.  

As summer heats up, see if your driver is hot or cold in this week’s Power Rankings. Next up is the wide and fast Michigan International Speedway.  
 
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: June 12th
RankDriver (First Place Votes)Votes Last Week
1Jimmie Johnson (8)1601
Japanese Admiral Isoroku Yamamoto’s famous quote: “I fear all we have done is to awaken a sleeping giant” sums up the consequence of the snooker job at Dover. The giant is awake. The question in 2014 will be if he can match Petty and Earnhardt at seven. The 48 team is the class of the Sprint Cup. Denny Darnell, Darnell Communications
2Kyle Busch1374
Was pretty strong again at Pocono, but you know he would have liked some more horsepower near the end of the race. Jeff Wolfe, Frontstretch.com
3

Kevin Harvick

1256
Hard to believe, but Harvick has yet to finish outside the top-15 at an unrestricted racetrack this year. That’s something even Johnson, Kenseth and Busch can’t say. Tom Bowles, Frontstretch.com
T - 4Dale Earnhardt, Jr.1248
He was in desperate need of a solid run and got it at Pocono. Now the takes that momentum to Michigan. Hey, sounds a lot like last year and everyone remembers what happened in Michigan last year. Kelly Crandall, SpeewayMedia.com
T - 4Matt Kenseth1242
Did everything right at Pocono on Sunday, until he left the door open for Montoya going into the tunnel turn. Tony Lumbis, Frontstretch.com
6Clint Bowyer1153
Got a good starting spot thanks to points, then faded immediately. Still managed to keep his spot, but mainly because of his immediate competition. Phil Allaway, Frontstretch.com
 7Tony Stewart10010
Tony and team have quickly returned to top form. Stewart is known for warming up when the summer temperatures go up. Dwight Drum, RaceTake.com
8Kasey Kahne975
The way things have gone the last two races, the win at Bristol may turn out to be Kahne’s only ticket to the Chase. Denny Darnell, Darnell Communications
9Carl Edwards957
Starting to lean on his strong start a little too much with three straight finishes outside of the top 10. Tony Lumbis, Frontstretch.com
10Kurt Busch8612
Already has as many top-10 finishes with Furniture Row Racing in 20 starts as Regan Smith put up in the entire 2011 season. Some might say he’s a good driver. Tom Bowles, Frontstretch.com
11Brad Keselowski859
Ninth in the points with no wins…not the position the champions team expected to be in after 14 races this year. Denny Darnell, Darnell Communications
12Greg Biffle72NR
Fans may want to consider starting Twitter rumors every week that he is leaving Roush Fenway. It sure seemed to light a fire under the Biff. Tony Lumbis, Frontstretch.com
13Jeff Gordon6911
Fondly recalls the days when nobody could touch him at the Tricky Triangle. Tony Lumbis, Frontstretch.com
14Joey Logano6513
Dare I say it? Sliced Bread is looking a tad more polished than the reigning champion responsible for bringing him to Penske Racing right now. Tom Bowles, Frontstretch.com
15Denny Hamlin61NR
The race to the Chase is far from over. Hamlin isn’t going to stay down long and more solid runs like he had Sunday will get him into the top 20 soon enough. The question is, where and when will he win? Kelly Crandall, SpeedwayMedia.com
Dropped Out: Martin Truex, Jr., Paul Menard.
Others Receiving Votes: Ryan Newman (42), Martin Truex Jr. (32), Paul Menard (25), Juan Pablo Montoya (24), Aric Almirola (21), Jeff Burton (15), Jamie McMurray (10), Ricky Stenhouse Jr. (3), Mark Martin (2), Travis Kvapil (1).
Who Voted: Phil Allaway, Frontstretch.com; Tom Bowles, Frontstretch.com; Kelly Crandall, SpeedwayMedia.com; Denny Darnell, Darnell Communications; Dwight Drum, RaceTake.com; Tony Lumbis, Frontstretch.com; Michael Mehedin, Frontstretch.com; Matt Taliaferro, Athlon Sports; Jeff Wolfe, Frontstretch.com.

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