The Frontstretch: Sprint Cup Power Rankings: Top 15 After Pocono by Frontstretch Staff -- Wednesday June 9, 2010

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Sprint Cup Power Rankings: Top 15 After Pocono

Frontstretch Staff · Wednesday June 9, 2010


Frontstretch Power Rankings

They call it the Tricky Triangle for a reason, and a serious last-lap melee involving eight cars was the latest Pocono pitfall that knocked out a number of top contenders late. Among those taking hits on the track and in the power rankings included Jeff Gordon, Mark Martin, Kasey Kahne, and Martin Truex, Jr., creating a long line of crumpled machines and hurt feelings at the end of Sunday’s 500-mile marathon.

Steering clear of those issues and a Twilight Zone-style ending, Denny Hamlin once again showed his skills on a flat track by scoring his fourth win of the year and the fourth of his career in the Pocono Mountains. Was assuming the series lead in wins enough to edge him into the lead in this week’s Power Rankings? Or was Kyle Busch’s best finish ever at Pocono, runner-up, enough for him to hold first place in the poll? There’s also the small matter of their tough-talking teammate, Joey Logano. After an on-track brouhaha turned off-track shouting match with Kevin Harvick, does he get extra votes for showing the fire that burns deep inside after the end of the race? Read this week’s top 15 to see if our experts gave the Gibbs boys their just reward after a wacky final few miles up in northeast Pennsylvania.

Rank Driver (First Place Votes) Votes Last Week
1 Kyle Busch (4) 189 1
Not only had a great day at Pocono, but wasn’t the JGR driver pointing fingers and yelling obscenities after the checkered flag. New Kyle Busch, anyone?
2 Denny Hamlin (1) 180 4
No wonder he struggles in the Chase. He’s used to winning on tracks with three turns instead of four.
3 Kurt Busch (2) 179 2
So out to lunch at Pocono, he took a detour to central Jersey before coming back just in time to score a sixth-place finish. That’s how you contend for a championship.
4 Kevin Harvick (2) 173 3
Bet that wasn’t the first time Kevin has been reminded that DeLana wears the firesuit in the family.
5 Jimmie Johnson (1) 143 7
Yep, Jimmie’s really struggling alright – and he’s got the wins and top-5 finishes to prove it.
6 Matt Kenseth 136 6
Following the new Ford slogan to a T: Sell on Monday, Suck on Sunday.
7 Jeff Gordon 127 5
If he’d been running worth a crap, he wouldn’t have been apologizing to Kasey Kahne for running into him at the end of the Big One.
8 Jeff Burton 116 8
So happy that Kim doesn’t wear a firesuit.
9 Clint Bowyer 90 14
Joey Logano wasn’t the only person Kevin Harvick shook up on Sunday. Quoth Bowyer on the radio: “What are teammates for?” after letting the No. 29 mess up his rhythm, and his chance at a shocking upset evaporated when he hit the wall moments later.
10 Tony Stewart 81 NR
Don’t look now, but Summer is almost here; and where there’s Summer, there’s Smoke.
11 Mark Martin 78 10
2012 can’t get here soon enough.
12 Joey Logano 76 NR
After 20 years of being pre-programmed to say the right thing, it had to feel good to turn into an R-Rated movie-turned-heavyweight fighter all at once. All we were missing was one scary moment of nudity, and Logano would have suddenly turned NC-17.
13 Ryan Newman 74 12
Phillips 66 sign on American Pickers: $500. Tearing up your car on the last lap at Pocono: $50,000. Making it to the finish rimriding the wall with no steering: Priceless.
T – 14 Jamie McMurray 73 9
Every time the Chase discussion starts to come about, he mails in another stinker.
T – 14 David Reutimann 73 11
Every Michael Waltrip Racing car spun at least once on Sunday. That’s not the track record you want to set at the tricky triangle…
Dropped Out: Martin Truex, Jr. (13), Greg Biffle (15).
Also Receiving Votes: Martin Truex, Jr. (71), Carl Edwards (69), Greg Biffle (48), Paul Menard (33), Juan Pablo Montoya (33), A.J. Allmendinger (26), Dale Earnhardt, Jr. (10), Kasey Kahne (9), Brad Keselowski (5), Regan Smith (5), Sam Hornish, Jr. (2), 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.

Contact Mike Neff

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Today on the Frontstretch:
Championship Caliber? What Does That Even Mean?
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06/09/2010 01:45 PM

I’m pretty sure McMurray was in the top 15 when Ragan decided to take a right turn into his bumper. Not exactly mailing in a stinker.

Keeping It REAL
06/09/2010 04:43 PM

1) Stop talking about N-KB. Same guy, same attitude, just slightly restrained by sponsor/owner threats. If you call that a new personality I call you on it. Ain’t real, folks.

6) Yep, 4th in points is sure terrible. Poor Matt.

12) Drop the “y”, leave daddy at home, and stop insulting women and maybe you, Joe Logano, will someday be a man.

14) Matt nailed it above – JM was FINE for 97% of the race. Don’t say he’s mailing in a stinker just because of an accident at the end. Way to beat on somebody when they are down!

Evan in WV
06/09/2010 07:30 PM

Keeping It Real,

Is Tony Stewart less of a man because he goes by Tony not Anthony?

Is Davey Allison less of a racer because he went by Davey, and not David or Dave?

Or Donnie Allison, for that matter…

How about Bobby or Terry Labonte?

Or hell, even Jamie McMurray.

What a silly argument you’ve made about Joey’s name.

Keeping It REAL
06/09/2010 08:19 PM

Evan – fine, if you like the Y, my other two points still stand. His daddy needs to let his boy fight his own battles and rather than finding some way, some time to talk to Harvick he makes fun of his wife for wearing a fire suit. I don’t care who you are, your beef is with the other driver, not his wife. That’s uncalled for and immature. Having daddy cover your ying-yang every time you have conflict is also immature. Go ahead and cut up those arguments if you like, points made.

Evan in WV
06/10/2010 10:15 AM

I comnpletely agree with you on the daddy subject, Keeping It Real. There’s no reason for Tom to be anywhere near the confrontation. I think Stewart put it best when he referred to him as “Soccer Dad”.

But it was hardly an insult on women as you so avidly state, it was one attack that was rather funny that I’m sure a lot of people have thought about. And look at it now: it benefited into t-shirts being sold for charity. So what argument is there? He wasn’t insulting women as you claim.

So you are right on one point you’ve made. One out of three? Well done.

Keeping it REAL
06/10/2010 09:56 PM

Evan – we’ll have to agree to disagree on the wife insulting / attacking. When you’re at a bar and you get into an argument with some guy and he walks away and then makes what can be interpretted as insults about your wife, other than being pissed off are you going to think that guy is a mature and real man? Think not.


Contact Mike Neff

Recent articles from Mike Neff:

Special Winter Sprint Car Series set for January debut at Cocopah Speedway
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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!