The Frontstretch: NASCAR Writer Power Rankings: Top 15 After Kansas II by Michael Mehedin -- Tuesday October 8, 2013

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NASCAR Writer Power Rankings: Top 15 After Kansas II

Michael Mehedin · Tuesday October 8, 2013


Frontstretch Power Rankings
It’s been said time and time again, but Kevin Harvick is still not getting the hang of his “lame duck” title. Kevin won the pole for Sunday’s race and, much like he did the last two times he won the pole position this season, went on to win the race. Kevin now sits third in points, the only RCR driver in the Chase, and seems to be peaking at the right time to win Richard Childress his first Sprint Cup championship since the late Dale Earnhardt in 1994.

Jimmie Johnson continued his strong Chase performance, finishing five positions ahead of Matt Kenseth and closing the gap to a mere three points. Kyle Busch and Ryan Newman both ran into issues Sunday, crashing out and dropping to fifth and 12th respectively. A new tire from Goodyear made the drivers uneasy throughout the day, and contributed to the record-high 15 cautions.

The drivers head home for the last night race of the season in Charlotte. But before the cool weather surely brings the speeds to record levels, see how your driver ranked this week.
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 (4)1372
If his engine would have let go a lap earlier, it would have been a big points disaster for five-timer. Is that just part of the luck it takes to win in the Chase? Jeff Wolfe,
2Matt Kenseth (3)
Not exactly the best time to be having problems when Jimmie Johnson seems to be getting warmed up. Kelly Crandall,

3Kevin Harvick
Has turned his “lame-duck” season as RCR into “speeding-falcon” performances with another 2013 win and a Chase spot. Now just 25 points from leader Kenseth. Dwight Drum,
4Jeff Gordon1184
Was this week’s highest finisher non-Chaser…oh wait, that’s right, the whole Brian France power move…forget about that. Tony Lumbis,
Dale Earnhardt, Jr.
NASCAR’s Most Popular Runner-Up at Hendrick Motorsports. But doesn’t he look pretty finishing behind Jimmie Johnson every week? Thomas Bowles,
6Kurt Busch
Much needed quiet, solid day to move back toward title contention if the leaders slip. And with Talladega still out there, perfect time for Busch to strike with his Ricky Bobby themed car. Kelly Crandall,
7Kyle Busch
Kansas was a horrible weekend. For fans of Kyle, let’s just hope he doesn’t completely implode for the rest of the season. Phil Allaway,
T-8Greg Biffle
He is showing he deserves to be in the Chase, but not quite good enough to stay up front, even after his good qualifying efforts the last two weeks. Jeff Wolfe,
T-8Joey Logano
May actually be performing better now during this Chase knowing the pressure’s off and the championship’s near impossible after Chicagoland. Thomas Bowles,
T-10Carl Edwards
Got a sneaky feeling we’re going to get to Homestead and he’ll really, really, really want that DNF at Chicagoland back. Thomas Bowles,
T-10Clint Bowyer
The way this Chase has gone so far, along with the last month you better believe there’s a certain last 10 laps at Richmond he wants back. Thomas Bowles,
12Jamie McMurray
McMurray has been the strongest of the non-Chasers since the cutoff. Yes, this year was technically a contract year, but he’s already resigned with Earnhardt-Ganassi Racing. This form might have some staying power. Phil Allaway,
13Ryan Newman
Has showed to be a worthy Chase competitor, but a wrong place at the wrong time accident ended already slim title hopes he had. Jeff Wolfe,
14Kasey Kahne
I keep thinking one of these years this team will put it all together and be a serious title contender right down to the final laps of the season, but maybe not. Jeff Wolfe,
15Brad Keselowski
Bad Brad isn’t intimidated by anyone and he doesn’t forget either. Keep an eye on he and Busch the rest of the year, no matter which series it is. Kelly Crandall,
Dropped Out: Martin Truex, Jr.
Others Receiving Votes: Paul Menard (30), Aric Almirola (28), Martin Truex Jr. (27), Jeff Burton (22), Marcos Ambrose (22), AJ Allmendinger (3), Casey Mears (2), Juan Pablo Montoya (1), Ricky Stenhouse Jr. (1)

Who Voted: Phil Allaway,; Tom Bowles,; Kelly Crandall, Speedwaymedia.comTony Lumbis,; Dwight Drum,;Michael Mehedin,; Jeff Wolfe,,.

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10/09/2013 01:41 AM

Very odd assessment of Logano seeing he has run this way all year..and his first race in The CHASE was due to a blown engine, nothing to do with him “running”.