Frontstretch Staff · Wednesday August 21, 2013
Joey Logano decided to throw his name into the Chase conversation winning from the pole Sunday to claim his first victory as a Penske Racing driver. His performance launched him three positions in points to 13th and he now sits only seven points out of a wildcard position and 17 points out of 10th place.
With only three races left until the Chase, a number of drivers won’t get much sleep over the next few weeks. Defending champion Brad Keselowski sits eighth in points, still winless this season. Kurt Busch ran a strong third Sunday and is now ninth in points as he tries to give Furniture Row Racing their first Chase berth. With his two wins, Kasey Kahne is a virtual lock to make the Chase. However, three drivers (Martin Truex Jr., Joey Logano and Ryan Newman) with one win are vying for the final wildcard position. And that is if anyone currently in the top 10 with a win does not fall out. A crash at Watkins Glen and a 17th-place finish for Jeff Gordon has him in 14th place, without a win, and currently without a spot in the 2013 Chase.
Anything can happen this Saturday night at Bristol as a number of varying agendas will be jammed into the half-mile track. But before that, see where your driver falls 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: August 21st|
|Just like the points, since Jimmie has such a large lead combined with the fact that his closest competitors couldn’t pounce on his issues, he remains on top. Tony Lumbis, Frontstretch.com|
|The 15 team left the Irish Hills confused when a fuel mileage race didn’t end with them in victory lane. Tony Lumbis, Frontstretch.com|
|It’s been 18 years (1994) since Richard Childress sat at the head table at the Cup awards ceremony. Make that 19, but Harvick will give Childress a good seat as a going-away present. Denny Darnell, Darnell Communications|
|No race car at Joe Gibbs Racing kept the 2013 habit of crashing Kasey Kahne going at MIS, so Kahne performed like he has all season. Only five drivers have two or more wins so far and Kahne is among them. That bodes well for the No. 5. Dwight Drum, RaceTake.com|
|He can win, but can he be consistent when it counts? Jeff Wolfe, Frontstretch.com|
|Slow and steady wins the race and with those in points in front of Edwards encountering their own stumbles, the quiet consistency that Edwards is putting together might be the winning strategy in the Chase. Kelly Crandall, SpeedwayMedia.com|
|T - 7||Matt Kenseth||95||9|
|Three DNFs in 23 races or an average of one every 7.67 races. Matt can’t afford a DNF in the 10-race Chase. Denny Darnell, Darnell Communications|
|T - 7||Kurt Busch||95||10|
|Does anyone else find themselves cheering a little harder for Kurt and his Furniture Row Racing team to make the Chase? It’d be a great boost for the sport as a whole. Michael Mehedin, Frontstretch.com|
|I still can’t believe this kid still doesn’t have a win yet, and is barely holding on to a Chase spot. Since the Chase was introduced in 2004, no driver has failed to make the Chase the season following a Championship win. Michael Mehedin, Frontstretch.com|
|10||Dale Earnhardt, Jr.||87||6|
|After this year, he may need to find another “lucky track.” Tony Lumbis, Frontstretch.com|
|Thanks Joey, simply for making the wild card race much more interesting than it had been. Kelly Crandall, SpeedwayMedia.com|
|Thanks to no DNFs, still in the Chase. Denny Darnell, Darnell Communications.com|
|13||Martin Truex, Jr.||52||11|
|After finally breaking the winless streak, Truex, Jr. is hoping to get both MWR cars into the Chase for the first time. Currently on the edge in 12th with the all-important win in his back pocket. Michael Mehedin, Frontstretch.com|
|Bristol will determine the team’s fate. A win and Gordon has a chance of getting in the Chase. A finish outside the top 10 and the team will wonder what might have been without five DNFs. Denny Darnell, Darnell Communications|
|In the Chase conversation with his one win. However, I think this will be the first time we won’t see a Stewart-Haas Racing driver in the Chase since the team’s inception. Michael Mehedin, Frontstretch.com|
|Dropped Out: none.|
|Others Receiving Votes: Juan Pablo Montoya (28), Jamie McMurray (19), Ricky Stenhouse Jr. (8), Aric Almirola (5), Casey Mears (5), Marcos Ambrose (5), Paul Menard (5), AJ Allmendinger (4), Max Papis (1).|
|Who Voted: Phil Allaway, Frontstretch.com; Kelly Crandall, SpeedwayMedia.com; Denny Darnell, Darnell Communications; Dwight Drum, RaceTake.com; Tony Lumbis, Frontstretch.com; Michael Mehedin, Frontstretch.com; Jeff Wolfe, Frontstretch.com.|
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