A weekend in Las Vegas turned out lucky for Jimmie Johnson, who took a four-tire gamble on the last pit stop and rode it to victory number two in as many weeks. Just like that, second-place Kevin Harvick saw the race slip away – along with his hold on the top spot in our power rankings poll.
But just because JJ’s number one again doesn’t mean everyone else stood still in amazement. There was plenty of movement up and down the top 15 this week, with Jeff Gordon’s Vegas domination making him the poll’s biggest gainer. Just how high did he climb? And how far did our Daytona 500 winner tumble after pulling the ultimate sin in Sin City – taking out his own teammate? Read this week’s top 15 rankings to find the answers.
How The Rankings Are Calculated: Frontstretch does our power rankings somewhat similar to how the Associated Press does them for basketball or football — writers on staff 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, Mike Neff calculates the points, adds some funny one-liners, and … voila! You have one batch of power rankings to serve to our fans.
|FRONTSTRETCH TOP 15 POWER RANKINGS: MARCH 3rd|
|Rank||Driver (First Place Votes)||Votes||Last Week|
|1||Jimmie Johnson (8)||214||2|
|Could Johnson be going after one of the few records he hasn’t set yet – 13 wins in a single season? He’s on pace for 24.|
|2||Kevin Harvick (2)||204||1|
|Better be careful talking about Johnson’s golden horseshoe, or he might find something stuck in his rear end.|
|With Danica getting so much airtime the last three weeks, it’s only fair to ignore Mark’s car in order to balance it out. But now that he’s up to third in points, that’s getting harder and harder…|
|4||Matt Kenseth||168||T – 6|
|Crew chief change sounded stupid at first, but Roush looks pretty smart right now.|
|Do you know a Cheerios-sponsored car has never won in Cup? But the way things are going for Bowyer, that drought won’t be lasting much longer.|
|6||Jeff Gordon (1)||147||14|
|After six wins and 30 Top 10’s in 2007, Gordon fans were ready to crown Steve Letarte their new king; now, they want to crucify him instead. Loyalty knows no bounds in NASCAR.|
|Plans to announce his Senate bid the second he sits at the head table in Vegas. No wonder why people think he could retire this year…|
|8||Greg Biffle||136||T – 6|
|Hoping NASCAR’s next rule change means he never has to pit. Because every time he does, it’s not a matter of if he’s going to lose the race … but how.|
|Apparently, no one bothered to tell Tony it’s the regular season again – he doesn’t have to run behind the Hendrick cars anymore.|
|Back-to-back top 6 finishes for the first time in his Cup career. If that’s his version of “sophomore slump,” watch out…|
|Still having trouble knowing Quack.|
|12||Kurt Busch||104||T – 6|
|Crossed off Target and Bass Pro Shops from his Christmas shopping list already this year.|
|When the only place you’re going too fast is down pit road, you know you’re off to a rocky start.|
|The most unsung Top 10 driver you will ever not hear of this season.|
|You know it’s a bad day at the track when your teammate’s wife Tweets a clown could do a better job driving a car than you.|
|Dropped Out: None.|
|Also Receiving Votes: Dale Earnhardt, Jr. (52), Kasey Kahne (43), Scott Speed (43), Juan Pablo Montoya (38), Paul Menard (33), Brian Vickers (25), Denny Hamlin (20), Ryan Newman (11), A.J. Allmendinger (8), Sam Hornish, Jr. (5), Martin Truex, Jr. (3), Regan Smith (3), David Ragan (2), Marcos Ambrose (1), Dave Blaney (1).|
|Writer Voting Panel: Phillip Allaway, Brock Beard, Thomas Bowles, Bryan Keith, Tony Lumbis, Mike Neff, John Potts, Vito Pugliese, Mike Ravesi, Kurt Smith, and Matt Taliaferro.|
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