Frontstretch Staff · Wednesday November 9, 2011
And now, it is down to two. While there are still nine drivers mathematically eligible to win the Sprint Cup Championship, it is realistically a two-horse race barring a calamity of epic proportions befalling both Tony Stewart and Carl Edwards. The top two drivers in the point standings finished first and second in the AAA Texas 500 and distanced themselves from the rest of the Chasers. Matt Kenseth’s misfortune at Martinsville, followed by the good runs by the top two at Texas has killed his hopes while Kevin Harvick’s learned top 10s are not good enough. And of course, while the clarity was coming to the top, the most talked about story of the weekend was Kyle Busch being parked for his shenanigans in the Truck Series.
Did Stewart’s victory give him more separation from the field in the rankings as well? Is Edwards still within striking distance of the top spot? How far did Busch drop after his lack of judgment on Friday night? And who is the highest rated non-Chase driver eight races in? Check out this week’s Top 15 Power Rankings to see if your favorite driver was able to keep his six shooters loaded or if they fired all of their rounds two weeks early.
|FRONTSTRETCH TOP 15 POWER RANKINGS: NOVEMBER 9th|
|Rank||Driver (First Place Votes)||Votes||Last Week|
|1||Tony Stewart (4)||118||1|
|Since Stewart's "dead weight" removal – four wins, eight races, three points away from his first championship since 2005. Man, that ex-girlfriend must have been really heavy.|
|2||Carl Edwards (2)||116||2|
|This past weekend was quite similar to the year Edwards won at Atlanta and then realized Johnson finished second… he looked like he really expected to have a big lead leaving Texas.|
|Changing his diet in order to help his racing: Peanut M&M's, Snickers, Twix, and Starburst for dinner. Are you listening, Mars?|
|And the light at the end of the tunnel gets dimmer and dimmer.|
|T – 5||Jeff Gordon||88||8|
|Using the end of this Chase as a building block for the following year. But how many times have we said that lately about a four-time champ whose chances for number five are slipping away?|
|T – 5||Kasey Kahne||88||T – 11|
|For the team, desperation is a powerful motivator. For the driver, knowing he's leaving for the best ride possible has to give him a little extra boost. Two different motives… but one clear goal to win a race. It could still happen.|
|Has to be a weird feeling to be out of it at this point in the season for the first time in six years.|
|8||Dale Earnhardt, Jr.||72||T – 11|
|Who would have ever thought that the highest-finishing Hendrick driver in the Chase could be Junior? One more slip-up from J.J. and it's possible.|
|Has to be feeling good about this year even though he is going to come up short of the big prize.|
|Interesting that Biffle, not in the Chase never seems to have sponsor concerns while they are a constant for Kenseth.|
|Still looking like one of these days he might break through with a win… but we’ve been saying that for awhile now.|
|T – 12||Clint Bowyer||51||15|
|Karma can be a bitch; hope Bowyer doesn’t have a flat screen from Aaron’s!|
|T – 12||Marcos Ambrose||51||NR|
|The stars just might be lining up for Ambrose to take his first win on an oval, even though some folks call it a roval down in Phoenix.|
|14||Martin Truex, Jr.||45||NR|
|Don’t look now, Martin, but a bad year appears to put you out of your seat at Michael Waltrip Racing.|
|Shouldn’t the elder statesman at Gibbs pull the young Busch aside and bitch slap some sense into him?|
|Dropped Out: Jeff Burton (9), Ryan Newman (10), Kurt Busch (13), Kyle Busch (14).|
|Others Receiving Votes: Ryan Newman (36), Jeff Burton (26), David Ragan (23), Paul Menard (15), Kyle Busch (14), Kurt Busch (14), Trevor Bayne (14), Regan Smith (3), Casey Mears (1), Juan Pablo Montoya (1).|
|Writer Voters Include: Phillip Allaway, Tom Bowles, Bryan Keith, Tony Lumbis, Mike Neff and Garrett Horton.|
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