Frontstretch Staff · Wednesday June 19, 2013
Although Greg Biffle led a race-high 48 laps, he seemed the equivalent of Michigan's last man standing. Taking advantage of Rick Hendrick's misfortunes, with his fast four-car fleet dropping like flies Biffle emerged to take his second consecutive race in the Irish Hills -- also the 1,000th victory for Ford. Combined with a second-place finish at Pocono, Biffle now sits eighth in points with an all-important win towards a "wild card" berth (if needed).
Hendrick Motorsports, meanwhile had their worst combined race of the season. Jimmie Johnson finished a team-high 28th after a flat tire put him in the wall with two laps to go while running second. Jeff Gordon got caught up in an accident with Bobby Labonte only a few laps into the race, while Kasey Kahne blew a tire and wrecked hard while leading. Finally, Dale Earnhardt, Jr. blew an engine while leading as well, leading to the first time all cars ran outside the top 25 since way back in June 2005.
In other news, Tony Stewart’s hot streak continued with his third consecutive top-5 finish (including a win). His teammates also had a good day. Danica Patrick finished an impressive 13th and Ryan Newman finished 18th.
Next up is the 1.9-mile road course in Sonoma, California. But before your favorite driver turns right, see how he / she stacked up in this week’s Power Rankings.
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 19th|
|Rank||Driver (First Place Votes)||Votes||Last Week|
|1||Jimmie Johnson (8)||177||1|
|Just when conspiracy theorists were going nuts over the 48 getting all the equipment AND luck at Hendrick Motorsports… Tony Lumbis, Frontstretch.com|
|Five straight top-10 finishes with a team that doesn’t know if they’ll even stay together in five months. AND he’s won twice, despite leading just 34 laps. One-legged ducks around the world are quacking with pride. Tom Bowles, Frontstretch.com|
|While it’s unlikely he will fall out of the top 10, a trip to Victory Lane would be good medicine at MWR. Denny Darnell, Darnell Communications|
|T - 4||Kyle Busch (1)||139||2|
|Has nine top-10 finishes, same as Johnson. Reliability is the “iffy” in this winning formula. Denny Darnell, Darnell Communications|
|T - 4||Matt Kenseth||139||T - 4|
|Slow and steady is the new Toyota formula. Dennis Michelsen, RaceTalkRadio.com|
|T - 6||Carl Edwards||131||9|
|Made some mean comments about Greg Biffle not being a good teammate. I guess Carl has a short memory and doesn’t remember spinning Greg at Talladega a few years back. Michael Mehedin, Frontstretch.com|
|T - 6||Greg Biffle||131||12|
|Overlooked within his own team, don’t be fooled by Biffle’s cloak of invisibility. He may emerge by September as Ford’s best hope to stay relevant in the Chase. Tom Bowles, Frontstretch.com|
|Lobbying NASCAR to shorten their season and run it from June through August. Tony Lumbis, Frontstretch.com|
|9||Dale Earnhardt, Jr.||115||T - 4|
|Federal investigation underway on who threw the trash on the track that caused his Chevy to overheat. Dennis Michelsen, RaceTalkRadio.com|
|Maybe Hendrick and Gibbs stole the Miller Lite team’s setup and strategy for this race. Kelly Crandall, SpeedwayMedia.com|
|Fast cars but horrible luck; has the equipment and team to put together a serious run. Denny Darnell, Darnell Communications|
|Just 12 points out of tenth, the Chase can still be a reality for him. Jeff Wolfe, Frontstretch.com|
|13||Martin Truex, Jr.||77||NR|
|Able to relate to Phil Mickelson better than anyone else on the Cup circuit right now. Let’s leave it at that… Tom Bowles, Frontstretch.com|
|When this team can start putting together whole races, there should be little doubt they’ll be as feared as a team like Johnson’s. Kelly Crandall, SpeedwayMedia.com|
|How did this guy ever win four Championships? Dennis Michelsen, RaceTalkRadio.com|
|Dropped Out: Denny Hamlin (15).|
|Others Receiving Votes: Paul Menard (35), Ryan Newman (31), Jeff Burton (28), Aric Almirola (19), Denny Hamlin (14), Ricky Stenhouse, Jr. (13), Juan Pablo Montoya (10), Danica Patrick (9), Jamie McMurray (8), Austin Dillon (6), Trevor Bayne (2), AJ Allmendinger (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; Dennis Michelsen, RaceTalkRadio.com; Jeff Wolfe, Frontstretch.com.|
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