For the second week in a row the Cup series race came down to fuel mileage; only this time, the car in front was able to make his fuel last. Brad Keselowski made his tank stretch for 56 laps, in total to score his first victory since that Talladega flip-to-win in April, 2009. Dale Earnhardt Jr. followed Keselowski to the line for a second-place result, making it to the end on one less stop but falling just short of Victory Lane a second straight week. Right behind them, with Denny Hamlin coming home in third, the other three manufacturers on the circuit officially beat Ford to the finish with Carl Edwards crossing the finish line in fifth.
That running order allowed Edwards to keep a mammoth point lead intact; is that enough to give him the number one slot in our Frontstretch poll, too? Or since Earnhardt came so close to a win, again, will the pollsters reward him with enough votes to overtake the top spot? And after Keselowski took his second Cup series win, how far did he rise in the eyes of our pollsters? Read this week’s Top 15 to find out if your favorite driver left the Heartland filled with momentum for the sport’s upcoming summer stretch.
|FRONTSTRETCH TOP 15 POWER RANKINGS: JUNE 8th|
|Rank||Driver (First Place Votes)||Votes||Last Week|
|1||Carl Edwards (5)||117||1|
|Happy to be leading the points, excited to be headed back to Pocono – a track that’s always been good to him – but most of all, relieved that someone else’s fight has finally gained more notoriety than a certain Atlanta flip.|
|2||Dale Earnhardt, Jr. (1)||111||3|
|The cup half full would say to Junior, “You’re putting yourself in position to win.” The cup half empty? “You’re finding every way possible to lose.”|
|“There’s no place like the Chase… there’s no place like the Chase… there’s no place…”|
|Still unsure to be ecstatic or embarrassed that his 65-year-old owner threw punches.|
|5||Matt Kenseth||84||T – 5|
|A clothing sponsor for Kenseth? What’s next – a karaoke machine sponsor for Martin Truex, Jr.?|
|Post-It Notes and Prescriptions on the hood could lead to some interesting medicine dosing options.|
|Quietly climbing into Chase contention at the perfect time for his annual Pocono Victory Tour through Pennsylvania.|
|8||Kyle Busch||76||T – 5|
|Speeding tickets, fights with NASCAR’s grand… er, Godfather, and yet he still might walk away from Homestead with the championship trophy. Doesn’t there seem to be something inherently wrong with that?|
|Check under bipolar in the dictionary and they had a picture of Kurt Busch running around Kansas this weekend.|
|T – 10||Tony Stewart||68||NR|
|Bobby Hutchens paid the price for Smoke’s Prelude to the Dream distraction. If only he could have lasted a few more weeks…|
|T – 10||Jeff Gordon||68||NR|
|Spent Sunday morning pitching AARP to Richard Childress after he saw what little damage the old man did to Kyle Busch’s face.|
|Drove it like he stole it, from the long line at the gas station.|
|For a Midwestern guy, Bowyer never seems to get it exactly right in his hometown. Maybe it was the whole car owner embroiled in a heavyweight fight thing this year.|
|Still may not end up in this car next season but boy, is he putting up a better fight than anyone could have ever expected.|
|Let us get this straight; from the Allstate girls to a pile of horse manure and tractor commercials? Not exactly what we had in mind for this teen heartthrob’s sponsor…|
|Dropped Out: Marcos Ambrose (10), A.J. Allmendinger (11), Joey Logano (13), Regan Smith (14).|
|Others Receiving Votes: Ryan Newman (25), Marcos Ambrose (20), A.J. Allmendinger (17), Regan Smith (13), Mark Martin (12), Joey Logano (11), Brian Vickers (8), Martin Truex, Jr. (7), Paul Menard (6), David Reutimann (5), Juan Pablo Montoya (3), Justin Allgaier (1).|
|Writer Voters Include: Phillip Allaway, Bryan Keith, Tom Bowles, Tony Lumbis, Mike Neff and Garrett Horton. (No Vito Pugliese this week)|
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