Surprise, surprise. After Jimmie Johnson scored his first ever win at Bristol Motor Speedway, you can guess where he ended up in our power rankings this week. With three wins in five races and seven in the last 14, people may be getting sick of seeing the same driver in Victory Lane – but bad feelings are hardly enough to stop his reign atop the charts.
But while JJ stood pat at #1, his supporting cast got blasted by the bolt of lightning otherwise known as Thunder Valley. Wrecks, tire problems, and shocking DNFs led to a dozen spots within our poll changing hands this week – in other words, “the usual” happened after 500 laps at the World’s Fastest Half-Mile.
So where did your favorite fall when the madness stopped? Read this week’s top 15 to find out after another wacky weekend at Bristol.
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 24th|
|Rank||Driver (First Place Votes)||Votes||Last Week|
|1||Jimmie Johnson (10)||217||1|
|He’s gotten so bad for NASCAR viewership, the CDC is considering labeling him an official disease.|
|11th at a short track he once dominated? We wouldn’t say that makes you a “bad person,” Kevin … just mediocre.|
|3||Kurt Busch||190||T – 5|
|So Kurt’s really upset he’s losing to Johnson. Umm … join the club? Where have you been the last five years, Kurt? Just an FYI: that blue Chevy lapping you since 2006 isn’t the Extenze car.|
|4||Matt Kenseth (1)||184||3|
|Yoohoo!! Over here!! Remember me? 2003 Cup Champion!!|
|Looking more and more likely that he’ll be able to list his 2010 location on the U.S. Census as “Sprint Cup Chase.”|
|Still fifth in points after his typical slow start to the season. Will this “spoiler” be the extra boost he needs to get back to Victory Lane?|
|And that would be another top 11 finish – four out of five.|
|8||Dale Earnhardt, Jr.||111||15|
|He’s back in the top 10 in points without looking like a threat to win. That means the unthinkable has happened: Junior is now Juan Pablo Montoya.|
|When your car only runs worth a damn without half its sheetmetal, you know there’s major problems brewing over at Gibbs.|
|T – 10||Jeff Gordon||92||10|
|Hard to envision a Drive For Five when the other guy going for it has won 60% of the races so far this year.|
|T – 10||Paul Menard||92||14|
|Nobody thought he’d be here… and even fewer thought he’d stay here.|
|T – 12||Mark Martin||86||T – 5|
|Knock, knock. Who’s there? Greg. Greg who? Greg … Greg … I don’t know. I can’t see anything but your car in the outside wall!|
|T – 12||Carl Edwards||86||NR|
|A top 10 finish at a short track? Now that’s the way to “flip” a bad season around!|
|Blew up faster than David Reutimann… which is saying something.|
|Highest finishing non-Hendrick Chevrolet is worth some love this week.|
|Dropped Out: Juan Pablo Montoya (11), Kasey Kahne (12), Joey Logano (13).|
|Also Receiving Votes: Juan Pablo Montoya (55), Brad Keselowski (54), Scott Speed (49), Kasey Kahne (37), Joey Logano (33), Brian Vickers (25), Martin Truex, Jr. (21), A.J. Allmendinger (17), Ryan Newman (11), Marcos Ambrose (10), Sam Hornish, Jr. (10), David Reutimann (9), Denny Hamlin (7), David Gilliland (4), Elliott Sadler (3), Casey Mears (2), Bobby Labonte (1), Terry Cook (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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