The Frontstretch: NASCAR Writer Power Rankings: Top 15 After Sonoma by Frontstretch Staff -- Tuesday June 25, 2013

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NASCAR Writer Power Rankings: Top 15 After Sonoma

Frontstretch Staff · Tuesday June 25, 2013


Frontstretch Power Rankings
The streak is finally over. Martin Truex Jr. went six years and 218 races since his first win at Dover. Since then he’s changed teams, moving from Earnhardt Ganassi Racing in 2010 to the then newly-formed Michael Waltrip Racing. Sunday’s win marked his second Sprint Cup win and first for the number 56 MWR team.

Truex stayed out during the final caution flag on lap 82 and used the fuel gamble knowing that tire wear was not an issue. Regretfully the fuel gamble did not pay off for Juan Pablo Montoya. He stayed out during the same caution and restarted second but ran out with two laps to go, coasting to a 34th place finish.

Hendrick Motorsports bounced back after all four drivers failed to finish last week in Michigan. Jeff Gordon showed flashes of the Jeff of old, driving through the field with fresh tires and finishing second. Kasey Kahne ran up front all day and finished sixth. Jimmie Johnson finished ninth and Dale Earnhardt Jr., finished just outside the top 10 in 12th.

See if your driver was able to succeed turning left and right in this week’s Power Rankings before they head to Kentucky Speedway this weekend. 
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!
RankDriver (First Place Votes)Votes Last Week
1Jimmie Johnson (5)1561
Johnson still continues to maintain a stranglehold on the points lead, and without the points reset we might already be watching the beginning of a six pack. Then again, has the Chase ever really stopped Johnson from winning the Championship? Summer Bedgood,
2Clint Bowyer
Michael Waltrip Racing owns Sonoma…said no one ever; until this past weekend. Michael Mehedin,

Carl Edwards

138T - 6
Hitting Kyle is just one of those racin’ deals. Sadly, I don’t think it’ll turn out that way once he’s sitting against the outside wall at Martinsville this Fall. Thomas Bowles,
4Kevin Harvick
Comfortably in the Chase at this point. Now, the only challenge is to keep the “lame” out of “lame” duck when it’s time to go for all the marbles. Thomas Bowles,
Greg Biffle
118T - 6
Welcome to the game Biff, we’ve been waiting for your arrival. Denny Darnell, Darnell Communications
6Martin Truex, Jr.
Martin Truex Jr. snapped a 218 race winless streak last weekend in Sonoma. His last win came before the iPhone was even released. So, yea, it had been a while. Summer Bedgood,
 7 Matt Kenseth 115T - 4
Apparently, when Joe Gibbs Racing crew told him to save fuel they also said “and drive like you’re an 80-year old, going 45 on the highway in the left lane.” That didn’t help matters much. Thomas Bowles,
8Dale Earnhardt, Jr.
Kept the car in one piece, ran amongst the leaders during one portion of the race, did some off-roadin’ and came home with a solid top 15 finish. For Dale Earnhardt, Jr., that is mission accomplished at a road course. Kelly Crandall,
9Jeff Gordon
Starting to show some life and just 12 points out of 10th place. Jeff Wolfe,
10Kasey Kahne
Kasey really needed that sixth place finish at Sonoma after three weeks of strong runs and poor finishes. Still sits outside the top 10 in points though. Needs a second win in case he runs into another tough streak of finishes. Michael Mehedin,
11Kyle Busch 80T - 4
The only good thing that came from Kyle on Sunday was how he lit up Twitter after the race with his comments toward Juan Pablo Montoya and Carl Edwards. Then decided to respond to all the haters. Pure gold. Kelly Crandall,
12Kurt Busch
Never a winner on radio but it’s not radio competition, it’s racing. I still think he will get a win in the next 10 races and compete for a Chase wild card. Denny Darnell, Darnell Communications
13Brad Keselowski
Brad Keselowski said on Jimmy Kimmel that he wants to buy a Hellcat, a World War II tank. Someone tell Keselowski that doing burnouts in that thing would be awfully difficult. Summer Bedgood,
14Joey Logano
Logano may not be running as well as he was at the beginning of the season, but he is still way above where he was at Joe Gibbs Racing. So far, so good for Logano at Penske. Summer Bedgood,
15Tony Stewart
Time is really tough when a guy like Stewart, on a road course, can’t keep things on track and finishes outside the top 25. Kelly Crandall,
Dropped Out: None.
Others Receiving Votes: Ryan Newman (33), Paul Menard (30), Marcos Ambrose (26), Aric Almirola (21), Mark Martin (18), Juan Pablo Montoya (6), Brian Vickers (5), Casey Mears (4), Denny Hamlin (4), Jamie McMurray (4), Jeff Burton (4), Ricky Stenhouse, Jr. (4), Travis Kvapil (1).
Who Voted: Phil Allaway,; Summer Bedgood,; Tom Bowles,; Kelly Crandall,; Denny Darnell, Darnell Communications; Dwight Drum,; Michael Mehedin,; Jeff Wolfe,

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Today on the Frontstretch:
Did You Notice? … Breaking Down A Sprint Cup Season Eight Races In
Beyond the Cockpit: Ricky Stenhouse, Jr. on Growing Up Racing and Owner Loyalties
The Frontstretch Five: Flaws Exposed In the New Chase So Far
NASCAR Writer Power Rankings: Top 15 After Darlington
NASCAR Mailbox: Past Winners Aren’t Winning …. Yet
Open Wheel Wednesday: How Can IndyCar Stand Out?


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