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Frontstretch Staff · Wednesday May 26, 2010
The All-Star Race saw Kurt Busch go from zero to hero, charging by feuding JGR teammates Kyle Busch and Denny Hamlin in the final laps to score his first career victory in NASCAR’s $1 million exhibition. Behind him, chaos reigned, as everyone from his brother, to Jimmie Johnson, to Carl Edwards shot themselves in the foot by failing to keep their car pointed in the right direction.
Some might say that doesn’t matter, with a poor finish meaningless when you’re not racing for points. But did our panel of experts agree? And how much did the elder Busch’s charge give him a boost on what’s the equivalent of a championship off week? Read the top 15 to find out which drivers had this Saturday’s “practice” put them in perfect position to gain momentum heading into this weekend’s Coca-Cola 600.
|FRONTSTRETCH TOP 15 POWER RANKINGS: MAY 26th|
|Rank||Driver (First Place Votes)||Votes||Last Week|
|1||Kyle Busch (3)||184||1|
|Don’t you wonder what would have really happened if no one got in between Kyle and Denny Saturday night?|
|T – 2||Kevin Harvick (3)||179||2|
|It’s so easy to sign a contract extension with your current team when both Shell and Tony Stewart give you a one-word answer: “No.”|
|T – 2||Denny Hamlin (2)||179||3|
|It’s a cardinal rule of racing: the guy in front owns the road, and the car behind has to figure out how to get by.|
|4||Jimmie Johnson (1)||175||4|
|Winning segments two and three doesn’t mean squat in the All-Star Race, although it does bode well for the 600 this Sunday.|
|Hmm. Anti-climactic. Gordon fans waited approximately 15 seconds before blaming the lap one wall slam on Steve Letarte.|
|You’d think Penske might spend part of that $1 million in painting Kurt Busch’s car a natural color. But with Pennzoil coming aboard next year, those God-awful yellow wheels aren’t going away anytime soon.|
|Missing out on the All-Star Race shows you all the consistency in the world doesn’t replace the glory of a trip to Victory Lane.|
|Amazing that running a Roush car on an intermediate oval is now a curse instead of a benefit.|
|Staying out on tires might have worked when the best drivers weren’t in the field, but it won’t work on Sunday.|
|10||Martin Truex, Jr.||104||13|
|For the first time in history, the NAPA car is heading to Charlotte with a chance to win. Are we sure the world’s not ending by Sunday?|
|If you can’t be good, be popular. Carl said he’d drive like an idiot to get to the front … was late to the wreck in segment three, but still got there in time to validate his Fan Vote thank you. Mission accomplished.|
|Ran like he was caught inside of a tornado on Saturday night.|
|Thanking God Joe Gibbs didn’t ask him to play mediator between Denny and Kyle Saturday night.|
|At least he didn’t finish 21st.|
|Trying his best to give Burger King a Whopper of a reason to sponsor his car more frequently in 2011.|
|Dropped Out: David Reutimann (15).|
|Also Receiving Votes: David Reutimann (48), Juan Pablo Montoya (42), Jamie McMurray (41), Brad Keselowski (29), Clint Bowyer (25), A.J. Allmendinger (25), Dale Earnhardt, Jr. (24), Kasey Kahne (11), Paul Menard (6), David Ragan (5), Regan Smith (1), David Stremme (1).|
|Writer Voting Panel: Phillip Allaway, Brock Beard, Thomas Bowles, Bryan Keith, Tony Lumbis, Mike Neff, Vito Pugliese, Mike Ravesi, Kurt Smith, and Matt Taliaferro.|
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Recent articles from Mike Neff:
Special Winter Sprint Car Series set for January debut at Cocopah Speedway
Beyond the Cockpit with Ben Rhodes
Kroger 250 postponed until Sunday afternoon
Denny Hamlin out of the car for the race at Auto Club Speedway
Nationwide Breakdown – Drive to Stop Diabetes 300
Want to find out more about Mike Neff? Maybe see all the articles he's written here at the Frontstetch? Check out his article archive and bio page then!