The No. 2 car of Kurt Busch managed to win a race, but it was two other stories that stole the show this weekend at Atlanta. Carl Edwards made payback on superspeedways an acceptable behavior, while Goodyear once again brought a tire to the track that failed to perform as expected for nearly one-third of the field. The tire problems and the melee during the first green/white/checkered finish managed to jumble up the field, making life hard on our experts to settle on a solid order this week.
Fortunately for Busch, the one thing our poll voters agreed on was his win deserved a reward – causing a higher-than-normal bump in the standings. Just how far up the ladder did Busch climb? How far did the RCR trio fall after an awful week? And did Jimmie Johnson give up his spot atop the poll after a 12th place finish? Check out this week’s top 15 rankings to see if your driver made the right moves or fell victim to some bad skins.
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 10th|
|Rank||Driver (First Place Votes)||Votes||Last Week|
|1||Jimmie Johnson (7)||209||1|
|Even when the entire Hendrick organization has bad luck, Johnson still has that four-leaf clover attached to his hip.|
|2||Kevin Harvick (4)||200||2|
|For someone whose nickname is Happy, check out his driver photo on NASCAR.com. It’s the most annoying look we’ve ever seen for a guy who’s leading the points in both the Cup and Nationwide series.|
|From diaper training to hard liquor 101 – Kenseth seen taking Carl Edwards into his hauler for some primary sponsor sampling after Atlanta.|
|Four top 10 finishes in four races, and still, no one’s talking about him. Looks like he’s going to have to flip a driver, fire a crew chief, or both to get noticed at Roush.|
|T – 5||Mark Martin||142||3|
|Suffered two blown tires and restarted in 32nd twice, then drove it back up into the Top 10 only to get plowed into and stuffed head on into the wall with three to go. Kenseth had his old school paint scheme – Martin had his old school luck back.|
|T – 5||Kurt Busch||142||12|
|In typical big brother fashion, Kurt can now brag to Kyle that Steve likes him better.|
|Proving once again his car runs faster on Cheerios.|
|Out of everyone inside the sport, we’re positive he’d have handled the Keselowski situation a little bit differently…|
|Wonders why Carl didn’t just slap a reporter to take out his frustration.|
|His fans this week will have to stop burning Steve Letarte effigies – time to take after their role model and burn up their own set of Goodyear tires instead.|
|11||Juan Pablo Montoya||97||NR|
|Secret, never-before-seen Tweet after Juan saw the Carl-Brad fracas: “Crazy Americans!!!”|
|Can’t believe he finished 4th and only gained 10 points on Paul Menard.|
|Can’t finish in the top 10 EVERY race… geesh, who does this teenager think he is? Jeff Gordon?|
|Running considerably better since he had whatever that was on his chin removed.|
|15||Dale Earnhardt, Jr.||70||NR|
|Actually salvaged a good day out of a bad one for a change. Small steps …|
|Dropped Out: Carl Edwards (11), Kyle Busch (13), David Reutimann (14), Jamie McMurray (15).|
|Also Receiving Votes: Carl Edwards (67), Kyle Busch (66), Scott Speed (65), David Reutimann (34), Jamie McMurray (25), A.J. Allmendinger (24), Ryan Newman (21), Brian Vickers (19), Marcos Ambrose (18), Brad Keselowski (14), Denny Hamlin (13), Sam Hornish, Jr. (4), Martin Truex, Jr. (1), Regan Smith (1), David Gilliland (1), Bill Elliott (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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