The Frontstretch: NASCAR Writer Power Rankings: Top 15 After Chicago by Frontstretch Staff -- Wednesday September 18, 2013

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NASCAR Writer Power Rankings: Top 15 After Chicago

Frontstretch Staff · Wednesday September 18, 2013

 

Frontstretch Power Rankings
It took a more than five-hour rain delay to determine the winner of week one of the Chase, but in the end Matt Kenseth proved why he is the points leader, winning his sixth race of the season. His Joe Gibbs Racing teammate Kyle Busch finished second, and the two now sit atop the standings.

Ten of the top 12 finishers were Chase contenders. Jeff Gordon made the biggest jump, finishing sixth and vaulting six positions to seventh in points. Joey Logano and Dale Earnhardt Jr. had the roughest night of the Chase contenders. Both blew engines and dropped to 12th and 13th in points respectively.

Brad Keselowski and Ricky Stenhouse Jr. broke up the Chase brigade at the front, finishing seventh and eighth. Keselowski is still looking for that elusive first win of 2013 in an attempt to salvage his season, while Stenhouse looks to claim the Rookie of the Year title.

Only nine races left as drivers look to ride the wave of momentum from Chicago or leave the wet track in the rearview mirror as the Cup series heads to New Hampshire 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!
FRONTSTRETCH TOP 15 POWER RANKINGS: September 11th
RankDriver (First Place Votes)Votes Last Week
1Matt Kenseth (5)1161
Kenseth starts out his Chase in his typical fashion for 2013, a dominating win. Which leaves most of NASCAR nation to wonder, “Who is this guy and what did he do with Mr. Quiet Consistency!?” Tony Lumbis, Frontstretch.com
2Kyle Busch
1092
Hopes to win the championship so he won’t be the answer to the trivia question 30 years from now, “Who won more races in NASCAR history without winning a Cup title?” Dennis Michelsen, RaceTalkRadio.com
3Kevin Harvick (1)
1046
If Harvick runs this well as a “lame duck,” imagine how he’ll be with a new ride at SHR in 2014. Michael Mehedin, Frontstretch.com
4Jimmie Johnson
1035
Ah yes, Jimmie Johnson overcomes two mishaps for a strong finish, all is back to normal in the NASCAR world. Tony Lumbis, Frontstretch.com
5
Kurt Busch
957
The underdog story lives on after the first race of the Chase. A solid performance for the 78 team who have become known for their pit road problems. Kelly Crandall, SpeedwayMedia.com
6Carl Edwards
833
Since it takes jumping a restart to get a flip out of this guy, I don’t like his Chase chances. Dennis Michelsen, RaceTalkRadio.com
7Jeff Gordon
7712
After the week that was, expect fans to accuse Hendrick of purposely blowing up Junior’s engine when Jeff Gordon desperately needed a caution. Tony Lumbis, Frontstretch.com
T-8Clint Bowyer
764
In typical fashion for this season, he didn’t lead a lap but still finished ninth. Jeff Wolfe, Frontstretch.com
T-8Kasey Kahne
7610
Had a mishap on pit road and couldn’t get a handle on the track after it cooled off but was still able to finish 12th and is still a championship contender. Michael Mehedin, Frontstretch.com
10Ryan Newman
6711
Ryan made the most of all the drama from the past week and made significant gains in the points. Wouldn’t that be interesting if he won the championship? Michael Mehedin, Frontstretch.com
11Dale Earnhardt, Jr.
628
Any belief or hope that this team would win the championship went up in smoke on Sunday night. Kelly Crandall, SpeedwayMedia.com
T-12Greg Biffle
5513
Another mid-pack performance and significant drop in points. I just do not see Greg being a factor in this Chase at all. Will be battling for position in the bottom third of the points. Michael Mehedin, Frontstretch.com
T-12
Joey Logano
559
Racing Karma introduced herself to the team at Chicagoland Speedway. Dennis Michelsen, RaceTalkRadio.com
14Brad Keselowski
45NR
A little late for Brad to show up and have a strong run and finish. He’s going to try to go out and win the next nine races and will take chances the Chase drivers can’t take. Needs some momentum going into the off-season. Michael Mehedin, Frontstretch.com
15Ricky Stenhouse, Jr.
30NR
No longer worried about losing his ride…but still doesn’t want to be shown up by a teenager next season. Needs strong runs to finish the season. Michael Mehedin, Frontstretch.com
Dropped Out: Jamie McMurray, Martin Truex Jr.
Others Receiving Votes: Aric Almirola (29), Jamie McMurray (24), Martin Truex Jr. (15), Marcos Ambrose (10), Juan Pablo Montoya (8), Paul Menard (8), Jeff Burton (5), Mark Martin (5), AJ Allmendinger (3)
Who Voted: Phil Allaway, Frontstretch.com; Dwight Drum, RaceTake.com; Tony Lumbis, Frontstretch.com; Michael Mehedin, Frontstretch.com; Jeff Wolfe, Frontstretch.com, Kelly Crandall, Speedwaymedia.com.

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