Frontstretch Staff · Wednesday October 12, 2011
The Sprint Cup Series just wrapped up with the Jimmie Johnson Casino 400. OK, so that race name isn’t quite accurate but it should have been, because Johnson owned the race this weekend, leading 197 laps on the way to an easy victory. Kasey Kahne gave Johnson a run for his money but wound up second, while both Carl Edwards and Kevin Harvick pulled off miracle comebacks to wind up fifth and sixth.
With his 1-2 finishes the last two weeks, is Johnson finally going to slide back into the top spot in the rankings? How much credit did the pollsters give to Edwards’ past performance over his terrible weekend in Kansas – and was it enough to stay in the number one position? Further back, another poor finish for Jeff Gordon has probably signaled the death knell for his title hopes… but did that knock him out of our poll? Check the Top 15 Power Rankings this week to see where your favorite driver resides with six races left.
|FRONTSTRETCH TOP 15 POWER RANKINGS: OCTOBER 12th|
|Rank||Driver (First Place Votes)||Votes||Last Week|
|1||Carl Edwards (2)||114||1|
|Making so many furious, late-race comebacks he’s on the verge of stealing that “Closer” nickname from Kevin Harvick. But you can only come from behind so many times…|
|Chase wins this season: 0. Top-5 finishes: one in four races. Laps Led: 11. Points Position: second. Now explain that one to us again?|
|3||Jimmie Johnson (3)||101||4|
|Rumor has it the 2011 Chase trophy was already sent to be engraved for Homestead. The blacksmith was offering a 35% early discount on Groupon…|
|Remember Scrappy Doo? That’s kind of like Brad so far in this Chase. Came in really late in the Scooby Doo Series, had his moments but no one was ever quite sure what to make of him. We just knew he wasn’t going to end up the main character on the show…|
|5||Tony Stewart (1)||87||3|
|There’s no sliding in NASCAR! Only baseball… but in both sports, when you make a bad one it’s embarrassing, you’re out by a mile and there’s no turning back. Signed, Tony Stewart’s 2011 Chase for the Cup.|
|If you thought a speeding ticket was something special, wait until you see what happens once Busch gets officially knocked out of Chase contention. We see it coming at Charlotte this weekend, so stay tuned… and other drivers, stay aware…|
|Cousin Carl got all of the pre-race pub but Kenseth was the first Roushketeer across the finish line.|
|T – 8||Jeff Gordon||76||5|
|Patiently waiting his turn for Rick Hendrick to return the No. 24 to proper glory with A+ equipment. It’ll be awhile… Johnson’s not even on title six of eight straight.|
|T – 8||Kurt Busch||76||7|
|Another couple of weeks before we have primates practicing intercourse with swine hide sports implements on the No. 22 radio again.|
|Got a nice thank you card and little box of candy from owner Rick Hendrick for that final restart. Had a nice little P.S., too: “Don’t worry, Kasey. I’ll let you win a race sometime during the regular season in 2013… just wait your turn!”|
|T – 11||Dale Earnhardt, Jr.||55||11|
|Pretty much out of the picture now. Time to focus on the win at Talladega.|
|T – 11||Clint Bowyer||55||12|
|The way this team is running, Bowyer should have put on that “lame duck” hat, told his team to screw off and professed his 2012 love for Michael Waltrip three months ago. They’d be fighting for the championship right now!|
|T – 13||Ryan Newman||35||14|
|Quietly fading away into Chase obscurity… as everyone pretty much expected from Day 1.|
|T – 13||Marcos Ambrose||35||NR|
|Like Australia, where summertime is in December Ambrose needs to wait until September to start heating up.|
|T – 13||Greg Biffle||35||NR|
|Not sure when Biffle is going to go on a winning spree again but it can’t happen soon enough.|
|Dropped Out: A.J. Allmendinger (13), Brian Vickers (15).|
|Others Receiving Votes: Brian Vickers (28), A.J. Allmendinger (23), David Ragan (21), Paul Menard (11), Regan Smith (9), Juan Pablo Montoya (8), Jeff Burton (8), Martin Truex, Jr. (4), Joey Logano (3), Landon Cassill (2).|
|Writer Voters Include: Phillip Allaway, Tom Bowles, Bryan Keith, Tony Lumbis, Mike Neff and Garrett Horton.|
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