The Frontstretch: Sprint Cup Power Rankings: Top 15 After Charlotte-2 by Frontstretch Staff -- Wednesday October 19, 2011

Go to site navigation Go to article

Sprint Cup Power Rankings: Top 15 After Charlotte-2

Frontstretch Staff · Wednesday October 19, 2011


Frontstretch Power Rankings

The Chase has reached its midway point and the primary players in this year’s title hunt have now come to the forefront. Conspicuous by his omission is five-time defending champion Jimmie Johnson, whose violent wreck relegated him to a 34th place finish and all but ended his title hopes for this season. The four drivers who most likely are going to be vying for the title at Homestead are Carl Edwards, Kevin Harvick, Matt Kenseth and Kyle Busch. The other drivers are more than 20 points out and will have a very difficult time making it to the top spot. Kenseth took the win from Busch on Saturday night and emerged from the shadows of the Chase into true contender status.

Will Johnson’s wreck and precipitous fall in the point standings hurt his ranking? Is Kenseth going to make it to the top spot in the poll thanks to his third win of the season? Did Edwards hang onto the top spot in the ranks by virtue of his third place finish Saturday night? Read this week’s Top 15 Power Rankings to find out if your driver shined under the lights at Charlotte or if his bulb fizzled.

Rank Driver (First Place Votes) Votes Last Week
1 Carl Edwards (5) 119 1
Heading to Talladega in the driver’s seat for a Sprint Cup title. Needs to leave there without the Ricky Bobby impression, flipping over or starting a 20-car wreck to keep it that way… and considering he’s done all of that, repeatedly in the last three years at ‘Dega it won’t be easy.
T – 2 Kevin Harvick 111 2
Might be second in points but better start threatening to win if he is going to take home the big check at the end.
T – 2 Matt Kenseth (1) 111 7
That “sponsor wanted” interview disguised as a Victory Lane chat is the most animated Kenseth has been in years. Now, if he can only do that the next five weeks a championship will be right around the corner…
4 Kyle Busch 100 6
In the best position he’s ever been at the halfway point of the Chase. Now if he can just survive Talladega this could get interesting.
5 Tony Stewart 91 5
Wins are nice, but schizophrenia doesn’t earn you a Chase championship. It’s been proven; can Smoke start churning out the consistency he needs to contend?
6 Jimmie Johnson 85 3
He was 29 points out after two races, and made most of it back up in two weeks. Yet, some people still think that being 35 markers out with five races left means he is done for sure this time.
7 Kasey Kahne 78 10
Three straight top-5 finishes shows he’s doing everything possible to get a Red Bull investor to rip up 150 pink slips.
8 Brad Keselowski 77 4
Providing the giant championship tease teams that are one year away from the title are wont to do.
9 Marcos Ambrose 70 T – 13
Making it look like RPM has really started to get a handle on this thing again. He just might snag a win before the season wraps up.
10 Kurt Busch 62 T – 8
Wanted: Full-time crew chief for cantankerous, moody 30-something on the downside of his career. Must be able to handle frequent shouting matches, unpredictable mood swings and an ego the size of China. Oh, and your salary will always be one-tenth of the driver you work with. Who says you can’t get a job in this economy?
11 Ryan Newman 58 T – 13
With all the Silly Season craziness, easy to forget Newman is a 2011 free agent. His team? Still searching for sponsorship.
12 Jeff Gordon 55 T – 8
Woulda, shoulda, coulda, but in the end it just wasn’t meant to be his year.
13 A.J. Allmendinger 46 NR
Still looking like a threat to win a race and when his teammate is running well, too, the possibility seems even greater.
14 Dale Earnhardt, Jr. 41 T – 11
The stars are lining up for Earnhardt to be the top finishing Hendrick driver in the Chase. Who saw that coming?
15 Denny Hamlin 39 NR
Hamlin could win two consecutive races with every other Chaser dropping out on the pace laps and most likely would still not be leading the points.
Dropped Out: Clint Bowyer (T – 11), Greg Biffle (T – 13).
Others Receiving Votes: Greg Biffle (38), David Ragan (29), Clint Bowyer (16), Juan Pablo Montoya (8), Joey Logano (6), Jeff Burton (5), Paul Menard (4), Regan Smith (3), Martin Truex, Jr. (3), Trevor Bayne (2), J.J. Yeley (1), Dan Wheldon (1).
Writer Voters Include: Phillip Allaway, Tom Bowles, Bryan Keith, Tony Lumbis, Mike Neff and Garrett Horton.

Contact Mike Neff

The Frontstretch Newsletter, back in 2014 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 now. We’re here to make sure you stay informed … so make sure you jump on for the ride!

Today on the Frontstretch:
Championship Caliber? What Does That Even Mean?
Mirror Driving: Winning Vs. Points, Needing a Boost, and The Lady’s Last Dance?
Nuts for Nationwide: The Curious Case of Elliott Sadler
Happiness Is…Arrogance, Less, Next, and the Outdoors
Frontstretch Foto Funnies: It’s Not Gonna Fit…


©2000 - 2008 Frontstretch Staff and Thanks for visiting the Frontstretch!


Contact Mike Neff

Recent articles from Mike Neff:

Special Winter Sprint Car Series set for January debut at Cocopah Speedway
Beyond the Cockpit with Ben Rhodes
Kroger 250 postponed until Sunday afternoon
Denny Hamlin out of the car for the race at Auto Club Speedway
Nationwide Breakdown – Drive to Stop Diabetes 300

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!