The Frontstretch: Sprint Cup Power Rankings: Top 15 Through Charlotte-2 by Mike Neff -- Wednesday October 20, 2010

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Sprint Cup Power Rankings: Top 15 Through Charlotte-2

Mike Neff · Wednesday October 20, 2010


Frontstretch Power Rankings

The NASCAR circus rolled into its hometown city and when it was over, Jamie McMurray was taking the title of Homecoming King. Behind the No. 1 car’s surprising third win this season, it was Jimmie Johnson distancing himself a little further from Denny Hamlin and Co., cutting the drivers with a realistic shot at the title to three. Jeff Gordon and Tony Stewart took major hits, while Kyle Busch did all he could and was only able to gain 10 points on Johnson. That means while Martinsville and Talladega could certainly throw a monkey wrench into the positions within the top 12, they are more than likely going to solidify who is the odds-on favorite to win the title. If Hamlin and Johnson perform as usual this Sunday, it could very well be a two-horse race going forward.

Did Johnson’s rebound from a spin to finish third impress the voters enough to stretch his lead in the rankings even further? Or was Busch’s impressive run the impetus to move up to threaten for the top spot? A little further back in the poll, have Kevin Harvick’s pit road issues caused the regular season point leader to slip away from a chance at challenging Johnson for #1? Read this week’s Top 15 to find out.

Rank Driver (First Place Votes) Votes Last Week
1 Jimmie Johnson (10) 213 1
Spinning without hitting anything off Charlotte’s treacherous Turn 2? Even God at this point has returned all his “Drive For Five” Jeff Gordon gear and bought some for the No. 48.
2 Denny Hamlin 199 2
Hamlin’s best shot at title will be at the next two tracks; he’s nails at Martinsville and he’s turned into a pretty competent plate racer. If the 48 gets involved in something at Talladega, the final few weeks will get really interesting.
3 Kevin Harvick (1) 194 5
When is Depends going to come out with an award for the driver who pisses and moans the most about their pit crew each week?
4 Kyle Busch 176 7
Looking like he’s going to be as cursed at Charlotte as Dale Earnhardt was at Daytona.
5 Tony Stewart 156 3
One of two things is going to happen with Tony during the final five races: explosion or implosion. We vote for the latter…
6 Jeff Gordon 153 4
Gordon fans rejoice! No, not because The Drive for Five is alive, but because they have yet another opportunity to pile on Steve Letarte.
7 Jamie McMurray 145 13
Has actually done more for himself and sponsors by not making The Chase and winning than he would have by making The Chase.
8 Carl Edwards 133 6
With five races left, not the championship but the winless streak now has to be foremost in Cousin Carl’s mind. Who would have thought the 2008 championship runner-up would then go the next two seasons without a victory?
9 Greg Biffle 130 11
Anything can happen, but the odds of gaining 225 points and leapfrogging seven drivers in five weeks are pretty slim.
10 Matt Kenseth 109 15
Quite possibly the quietest sixth-place finish by a Chase driver in the Chase in recorded history.
11 Kurt Busch 86 9
Pretty sure he could give Harvick a run for his money for that Depends award if it ever comes around.
12 Mark Martin 85 NR
Once again, going to the Dale Earnhardt, Jr. school of race strategy. Took a top-5 car for most of the first 220 laps and brought it home 14th.
13 Jeff Burton 84 12
Mr. Consistency has become Mr. Consistently Crappy.
14 Clint Bowyer 81 10
Just think if he had won that California race. He’d have 40% of the Chase wins, and be only 285 points out of first.
15 Ryan Newman 68 8
Had Ryan Newman made the Chase…well…now he’d be out of it, too.
Dropped Out: A.J. Allmendinger (14).
Also Receiving Votes: Joey Logano (66), David Reutimann (49), A.J. Allmendinger (36), Juan Pablo Montoya (36), Regan Smith (32), Paul Menard (18), David Ragan (13), Kasey Kahne (12), Martin Truex, Jr. (11), Scott Speed (9), Reed Sorenson (6), Brad Keselowski (3), David Gilliland (3), Dale Earnhardt, Jr. (2), Bobby Labonte (2).
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? … NASCAR’s Blown Call, Its New Short Track King, And Time To Kahne And Disable
Mirror Driving: Non-Chase Rewards, France Fantasies, And Faking The Truth
How Jamie McMurray Has Single-Handedly Invalidated the Chase
Beyond The Cockpit: A.J. Allmendinger on Consistency, 2011 Daytona 500, More
Top 10 Reasons Kasey Kahne Left the Track Early on Saturday Night
The Frontstretch Foto Funnies – Charlotte, October 2010

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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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10/20/2010 06:38 PM

Randy Goldman- Bobby got his votes from being a parking past champion.


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