Daytona lived up to its wild reputation Saturday night, triggering another classic “Big One” that shook up the 43-car field faster than your local bingo caller before calling out a number. By the time the spinning stopped, 19 cars – including a host of the top runners – were taken out in the melee, and by the end of the race there were only about 12 cars left undamaged. That’s the type of chaos that will jumble up a rankings chart, and the voters didn’t disappoint, with virtually everyone inside the top 15 making drastic jumps up and down the list this week.
Avoiding that roller coaster type of night was point leader Kevin Harvick, scoring his second victory in the last two plate races to cement a place atop the standings. But did the voters give him credit for winning a race that’s often compared to a 400-mile lottery? Read this week’s rankings to see if Harvick moved up the ladder or Jimmie Johnson, 3-for-3 on restrictor plate DNFs this season, didn’t have that ugly stat held against him and clung to the number one spot.
|FRONTSTRETCH TOP 15 POWER RANKINGS: JULY 7th|
|Rank||Driver (First Place Votes)||Votes||Last Week|
|1||Kevin Harvick (7)||195||2|
|If not for green-white-checkered finishes and restrictor plate mayhem, he would still be winless since 2006. But nice job so far in 2010.|
|2||Jimmie Johnson (2)||182||1|
|Another irrelevant race for him. At this point, if you’re the No. 48 team, if it isn’t a win, who cares?|
|T – 3||Kurt Busch (1)||177||3|
|Finally, lessons learned from that Jimmy Spencer fight come in handy! The last thing Busch needed Saturday night was another first-round TKO at the hands of Carl Edwards.|
|T – 3||Jeff Gordon||177||4|
|Managed to get through a race without angering somebody or getting put on his lid. Perhaps the worst has passed?|
|The Mayor ignited The Big One at Daytona? Said he may or may not have been at fault. Well… technically, that is correct. He truly does have a career ahead of him in politics.|
|Having the most inconsistent five-win season anyone’s ever seen.|
|Apparently, Kyle thinks the new movie The Last Airbender is based on Juan Pablo Montoya.|
|Rumors confirmed: it actually was the King from the Burger King commercials driving the car Saturday night.|
|9||Dale Earnhardt, Jr.||118||10|
|The paint job may have been his father’s on Friday night, but that beard on Saturday was straight up Hillbilly Jim. Or Zach Wylde. Whatever it is, it appears to be working.|
|Got a familiar feeling when in the middle of Daytona’s Russian Roulette style of restrictor plate racing… and then remembered that’s how Roush picks his new crew chief every three months.|
|Poor Ford. Kahne’s becoming like the ex-girlfriend you broke up with, but still lives rent-free in your apartment for the next six months.|
|He came within literally a combined lap of winning both the Daytona 500 and Coke Zero 400 at Daytona this year. Add that whole upside down, on fire, and flinging sod experience from three years ago, and suffice it to say this track might owe him one.|
|Maybe there is something to this green car jinx. Or maybe Roush’s cars are just slow.|
|Got the finish he needed to stop the bleeding. But does Edwards and Co. have enough speed left in the tank to start healing?|
|Could possibly assist pseudo-Hendrick teammate Tony Stewart with his upcoming shift at Burger King: Flame Broiling on demand with the No. 5 car.|
|Dropped Out: Joey Logano (11), A.J. Allmendinger (14), Ryan Newman (15).|
|Also Receiving Votes: Joey Logano (45), David Reutimann (37), Ryan Newman (30), Jamie McMurray (25), Reed Sorenson (23), A.J. Allmendinger (21), Martin Truex, Jr. (13), Elliott Sadler (7), Brad Keselowski (7), Juan Pablo Montoya (6), Steve Park (6), Marcos Ambrose (5), Mike Bliss (5), Bobby Labonte (5), Sam Hornish, Jr. (5), Robby Gordon (3), Paul Menard (1), Kevin Conway (1), Scott Speed (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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