The Frontstretch: Sprint Cup Power Rankings: Top 15 After Kansas by Frontstretch Staff -- Wednesday October 6, 2010

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Sprint Cup Power Rankings: Top 15 After Kansas

Frontstretch Staff · Wednesday October 6, 2010


Frontstretch Power Rankings

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.

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.
4 Carl Edwards 175 5
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.
5 Jeff Gordon 170 8
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?
6 Tony Stewart 163 9
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.
7 Greg Biffle 154 14
Biff aggressive. Biff take win! Biff not consistent. Biff tank at California! Biff enjoy his 15 minutes of fame, though…
8 Kyle Busch 147 3
Seen throwing his Aaron’s Rents LCD TV out the front door of his Lake Norman home on Sunday evening.
9 Jeff Burton 118 7
Top 10-ing it will not cut it in the 2010 Chase Field. Neither will Top 18-ing it.
10 Kurt Busch 115 6
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.
11 Ryan Newman 112 10
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.
12 Matt Kenseth 105 15
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.
13 A.J. Allmendinger 90 11
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.
14 Jamie McMurray 76 13
There’s never been a “feast or famine” season in NASCAR quite like this one, don’t you think?
15 Clint Bowyer 73 12
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.

Contact Mike Neff

Wednesday on the Frontstretch:
Did You Notice? … Can Childress Still Get The Last Laugh?, South Park Blues, And Eight Month Evolution
The Chase, Take III: Who’s In, Who’s Out, Who Will Win, And Those I Doubt
Beyond the Cockpit: Brian Scott on Leaving Braun, 2011 Prospects, and The New CoT
Mirror Driving: Settling Bayne, Biffle, And Busch Questions Once And For All
Top 10 Entitlements for Chase Drivers
The Frontstretch Foto Funnies! Kansas, October 2010
Carey And Coffey: Closest Points Battle Yet

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Today on the Frontstretch:
Swan Racing Announces Restructuring, No. 26 & No. 30 ‘Sold’ Off
Tech Talk with Tony Gibson: Taking Stock Of Danica Patrick In Year Two
Vexing Vito: Three Drivers In Need of a Role Reversal
Going By the Numbers: Top-10 NASCAR Variety Hard To Come By In…
Truckin’ Thursdays: Lessons Learned Just Two Races In
Fantasy Insider: Team Revelations For NASCAR’s Short Tracks



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Chris in TX
10/06/2010 10:31 PM

“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.”

Seriously? Was it all that good luck that AJ had at Dover, but losing 2 laps to a flat tire while demolishing the field? Whew…good thing he gets all the good luck!

Oh, that and the 43 was pretty junky for Friday, Saturday and about 300 miles on Sunday. Looks like they just did a good job adjusting and finally getting it hooked up at the end.

It was nice to see that team finish better than they started for a change.

Better cars? Maybe. Better luck? I dunno about that.

10/07/2010 12:18 AM

The “better cars” comment is pretty BS about Allmendinger…

He’s driving the same chassis now that he’s had all year. He hasn’t had any new cars or anything.


Contact Mike Neff

Recent articles from Mike Neff:

Thinkin' Out Loud – The Off Week Season Review
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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!