Frontstretch Staff · Wednesday July 3, 2013
Matt Kenseth is certainly taking advantage of his new opportunity with Joe Gibbs racing. A rejuvenated Kenseth collected his fourth win of 2013. This is his winningest season since he collected four win in 2006. Meanwhile, Brad Keselowski continues to struggle as the defending champion, a part of the largest wreck of the race, which collected Greg Biffle, Paul Menard, Dave Blaney and others. Denny Hamlin all but took himself out of the Chase after a right front tire blew sending him into the wall. He finished 35th and fell to 25th in points.
Jimmie Johnson dominated the day, leading the most laps. However, trouble on restarts and a late-race spin dropped him to a ninth-place finish. He and Dale Earnhardt, Jr. also had trouble early after he drove over the right front tire casing from Hamlin's car after it rolled onto the track while he was running second. Junior was able to salvage a 12th-place finish.
The Sprint Cup Series marks the halfway point of the season, returning to the high banks of Daytona for an Independence Day celebration. Before everyone chooses their ‘dancing partners’ see how your driver ranked this week after Kentucky.
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: July 3rd|
|Rank||Driver (First Place Votes)||Votes||Last Week|
|1||Jimmie Johnson (6)||158||1|
|So, in other words, if there were no restarts in NASCAR, Jimmie Johnson would never lose a Championship. Got it. Summer Bedgood, Frontstretch.com|
|Clint Bowyer and team continue to have top finishes race after race. They have a solid spot in the top five and could be close to a victory lane visit soon. Dwight Drum, RaceTake.com|
Matt Kenseth (2)
|That’s four out of six wins on 1.5 mile tracks for Kenseth. And with how they run on those tracks, and with how many are in the Chase, mark it down it’ll be Kenseth vs. Johnson for the title. Kelly Crandall, SpeedwayMedia.com|
|Kevin Harvick defended Danica Patrick after Kyle Petty tore her down over the weekend in Kentucky. Makes me wonder…was this genuine or is he perhaps defending his future teammate? Summer Bedgood, Frontstretch.com|
|He’s got two wins in the bank, which may be all he needs to make the Chase. Jeff Wolfe, Frontstretch.com|
|Edwards was looking good on Sunday. At least until his car decided to turn traitor. Phil Allaway, Frontstretch.com|
|7||Martin Truex, Jr.||113||6|
|Coming off a big win after a long drought, and had another top 10 run in Kentucky. If Truex and team snare another win, look for them to be hot in Chase territory. Dwight Drum, RaceTake.com|
|8||Dale Earnhardt, Jr.||104||8|
|In what alternative universe do we live that Earnhardt, Jr. was leading the race and hits an errant tire carcass ruining his day? Kelly Crandall, SpeedwayMedia.com|
|Like Sheryl Crow used to say, sometimes a Change Really Does Do You Good. Now, if he can just bring that quality mojo over to Mr. Keselowski’s side of the fence. Tom Bowles, Frontstreth.com|
|Kasey Kahne has scored more points at the 1.5 mile tracks this season than any other driver. A good luck streak could put Kasey right back in Championship contention come the Chase. Michael Mehedin, Frontstretch.com|
|In perfect position to surge right into the top 10 come Summer. Getting a win for added security would be extra nice, though. Tom Bowles, Frontstretch.com|
|Kurt’s doing great things with a team that he communicates with via Skype on weekdays. Phil Allaway, Frontstretch.com|
|Biff is on fire. The wrong kind of fire. Tom Bowles, Frontstretch.com|
|Finally reached the top 20 in points and is capable of getting a win to put himself in wild card contention. Jeff Wolfe, Frontstretch.com|
|How far into Summer do we have to get for Stewart to go on his summer stretch? Summer Bedgood, Frontstretch.com|
|Dropped Out: Brad Keselowski (13).|
|Others Receiving Votes: Brad Keselowski (34), Ryan Newman (32), Aric Almirola (26), Marcos Ambrose (21), Mark Martin (16), Paul Menard (16), Jeff Burton (6), Juan Pablo Montoya (6), Casey Mears (5), Ricky Stenhouse Jr. (5), AJ Allmendinger (1).|
|Who Voted: Phil Allaway, Frontstretch.com; Summer Bedgood, Frontstretch.com; Tom Bowles, 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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