After an awkward race for a few of the championship contenders at Dover, all of them rolled through Kansas like a tornado last weekend and made the track their own personal playground. No playoff participant finished lower than 21st Sunday, and the top-7 finishers were all Chasers – although one in particular launched himself into a whole other time zone by the time the checkered flag flew. Greg Biffle proved for the second time this year that Ford actually can win a race, cruising to his second and perhaps first legitimate victory out in what drivers call the Midwestern version of Fontana. And speaking of that snooze-inducing track, Jimmie Johnson continued to lull fans to sleep, shaking off his bad run at New Hampshire while taking over the point lead with a second-place finish. It was all rival Denny Hamlin could do to finish 12th, hanging on by a thread while Mike Ford summoned Dorothy to click her heels and go, “There’s no place like Martinsville … there’s no place like Martinsville…”
That didn’t work for Hamlin in the Chase system, but how about in our own Top 15? Or did Johnson’s second strong week give him enough of a push to climb into the top spot in the rankings in both places? Looking a little further back, was Biffle’s second victory of the year enough of an impetus to at least move him into the top half of the standings from his 14th slot last week? And did David Reutimann successfully use his Aaron’s Dream Machine to knock Kyle Busch out of our poll? Read on and find out how the experts voted with just seven races left in NASCAR’s season.
|FRONTSTRETCH TOP 15 POWER RANKINGS: OCTOBER 5th|
|Rank||Driver (First Place Votes)||Votes||Last Week|
|1||Jimmie Johnson (8)||210||2|
|For those who honestly doubted the No. 48 midseason, let us quote Michael Corleone: “Oh, who’s being naïve, Kay?”|
|2||Kevin Harvick (2)||200||4|
|Rebounded from rough weekend at Dover with a third in Kansas… and Denny Hamlin’s rendition of “Hello?” by Lionel Richie on his cell phone. Creepy.|
|3||Denny Hamlin (1)||185||1|
|Thanks for leading, Denny; now sit back and watch how a championship is won.|
|Becoming the master at finishing inside the top 5 each week. But even the AFLAC Duck can answer this trivia question: the sport has never had a winless champion. Cousin Carl needs to snag one, and soon.|
|The way things are starting to work out, Jimmie Johnson is like Ari on Entourage and poor Jeff is becoming his personal assistant. What does JJ have on JG to let him steal his Drive For Five like that?|
|Had he just took it easy at Loudon and Dover, he’d literally and statistically be leading the points right now. Would have helped 2011 sponsor search as well.|
|Biff aggressive. Biff take win! Biff not consistent. Biff tank at California! Biff enjoy his 15 minutes of fame, though…|
|Seen throwing his Aaron’s Rents LCD TV out the front door of his Lake Norman home on Sunday evening.|
|Top 10-ing it will not cut it in the 2010 Chase Field. Neither will Top 18-ing it.|
|With radio chatter that sounds like a recreation of R. Lee Ermey in Full Metal Jacket, spins, and speeding penalties, you can always count on an eventful day out of the Blue Deuce.|
|Probably sitting there wishing they cheated in August and September to make the Chase like Clint, because they’d be doing one heck of a job within it.|
|Had he not blown the fender off his car missing pit road at Dover, might actually have a shot at it. But he didn’t. So he doesn’t. And he won’t.|
|As Kasey Kahne so sadly discovered Sunday, all the best cars and all the best luck go to A.J. in the Richard Petty camp now.|
|There’s never been a “feast or famine” season in NASCAR quite like this one, don’t you think?|
|Tried to make one final appeal to the Cheerios honeybee, but was denied; NASCAR said in a statement the only favoritism on the panel can come from people they handpick. Tough break.|
|Dropped Out: None.|
|Also Receiving Votes: Paul Menard (66), Mark Martin (42), Joey Logano (31), Juan Pablo Montoya (22), David Reutimann (11), Kasey Kahne (10), Martin Truex, Jr. (8), David Ragan (8), Dale Earnhardt, Jr. (6), Brad Keselowski (6), Scott Speed (3), Regan Smith (1), Patrick Carpentier (1).|
|Writer Voting Panel: Phillip Allaway, Brock Beard, Thomas Bowles, Bryan Keith, Tony Lumbis, Mike Neff, Vito Pugliese, Mike Ravesi, Kurt Smith, Garrett Horton, and Matt Taliaferro.|
NEW YEAR? NEW NEWSLETTER. LOOKING FOR THE INFO YOU NEED ABOUT NASCAR IN 2013 – SENT RIGHT TO YOUR EMAIL INBOX?
Well, you’ve come to the right place. The Frontstretch Newsletter gives you more of the daily news, commentary, and racing features from your favorite writers you know and love. Don’t waste another minute – click here to sign up and get all the information you need. We’re here to make sure you stay informed … so make sure you jump on for the ride!
©2000 - 2008 Frontstretch Staff and Frontstetch.com. Thanks for visiting the Frontstretch!