Frontstretch Staff · Wednesday July 10, 2013
Jimmie Johnson dominated Daytona Saturday night, leading 94 laps and sweeping both Daytona races for the first time since Bobby Allison in 1982. If you tuned into the race with five laps to go, however, you might have seen a different story. Johnson was being challenged for the lead harder than he had been all night. Coming off turn two, he was on the outside of a three wide battle with Marcos Ambrose and Kasey Kahne, who had mirrored Johnson for a majority of the race. Ambrose bounced off Johnson and into Kahne, sending the latter nose first into the inside backstretch wall, ending his night.
That was one of many stories that ended on the wrecker Saturday night. As many people know, no one is ever safe at a restrictor plate race track. Denny Hamlin found himself involved in yet another wreck, spinning off turn four and taking out Martin Truex, Jr. and Juan Pablo Montoya. Jeff Gordon and Matt Kenseth were involved in a six car wreck in the tri-oval. Carl Edwards crashed out in the first of two wrecks during the green-white-checkered finish. And a majority of the remaining cars crossed the finish line sideways in one of the larger wrecks coming to the checkered flag.
Drivers head North to New Hampshire this weekend. See how your driver ranked this week after making it (or not making it) out of Daytona unscathed.
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 10th|
|Rank||Driver (First Place Votes)||Votes||Last Week|
|1||Jimmie Johnson (7)||140||1|
|I’m assuming the restarts were to your liking on Saturday night, Jimmie? Tony Lumbis, Frontstretch.com|
|Clint Bowyer and his No. 15 Toyota has taken Michael Waltrip Racing to a new level over the past two seasons and may be Johnson’s top contender come Chicago. Dwight Drum, RaceTake.com|
|Crazy fact for this restrictor plate expert; outside of Daytona and Talladega, Harvick’s finished in the top 15 at every race this season. Tom Bowles, Frontstretch.com|
|Kyle Busch has had some bad luck this year. Not as bad as Jeff Gordon, but he and the number 18 team are good at rebounding. Dwight Drum, RaceTake.com|
|5||Dale Earnhardt, Jr.||103||8|
|What happened to his plate track domination? Jeff Wolfe, Frontstretch.com|
|Jimmie and Matt are racking up the wins but it is Kurt and his No. 78 team that have everyone’s attention. Tony Lumbis, Frontstretch.com|
|Win on Friday, crash on Saturday. Not how Kenseth expected his weekend to go, but the way his season has gone, something tells me he’s not too worried about it. Kelly Crandall, SpeedwayMedia.com|
|He was a lap away from getting out of Daytona in one piece. Instead, another wrecked 99 car is headed back to Roush Fenway. Kelly Crandall, SpeedwayMedia.com|
|Always runs well at Daytona in the summertime. But oh, how much money he would give to have that happen in the winter instead. Tom Bowles, Frontstretch.com|
|10||Martin Truex, Jr.||70||7|
|Nothing like a restrictor plate race to kill some momentum. Tony Lumbis, Frontstretch.com|
|Roush Fenway Racing, one year removed from winning the Daytona 500 didn’t lead a single lap this year at the same track. How quickly fortunes can change in this sport. Tom Bowles, Frontstretch.com|
|Clinging to that win with wild-card hopes. Jeff Wolfe, Frontstretch.com|
|If the Chase started now, both Penske drivers would not make the Chase. Am I crazy to think Logano still has a better shot of making the Chase than Keselowski? Michael Mehedin, Frontstretch.com|
|The darkest of darkhorses when it comes to making the Chase – especially when he doesn’t even know if he’ll be employed next season. But a top 10 at Daytona, then heading to New Hampshire where he’s won several times in the past means he’s someone to keep an eye on. Tom Bowles, Frontstretch.com|
|Jeff now sits 14th in points with both wild card spots currently taken by Kahne and Truex. Looking at Jeff’s performance so far this season, he needs a miracle to make the Chase. Michael Mehedin, Frontstretch.com|
|Dropped Out: Jamie McMurray (14).|
|Others Receiving Votes: Jamie McMurray (40), Brad Keselowski (36), Mark Martin (19), Casey Mears (17), Ricky Stenhouse Jr. (13), Marcos Ambrose (12), Aric Almirola (9), Michael Waltrip (9), JJ Yeley (5), Danica Patrick (4), Jeff Burton (4), Paul Menard (4), Juan Pablo Montoya (2), AJ Allmendinger (1).|
|Who Voted: Phil Allaway, Frontstretch.com; Tom Bowles, Frontstretch.com; Kelly Crandall, SpeedwayMedia.com; Dwight Drum, RaceTake.com; Tony Lumbis, Frontstretch.com; Michael Mehedin, Frontstretch.com; Jeff Wolfe, Frontstretch.com.|
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