The Frontstretch: NASCAR Sprint Cup Power Rankings: Top 15 After Homestead by Frontstretch Staff -- Wednesday November 21, 2012

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NASCAR Sprint Cup Power Rankings: Top 15 After Homestead

Frontstretch Staff · Wednesday November 21, 2012


Frontstretch Power Rankings
Th-th-th-that's all, folks! For the second year in a row, we are talking about someone not named Jimmie Johnson winning the championship. For the first time since 2005, someone not named Tony Stewart or Jimmie Johnson finally took the trophy home. But who would have thought that out of all the experienced, talented, and qualified drivers out there, that it would be Brad Keselowski? Not that there could have been a better driver considering his outreach on social media, but still .. he beat Carl Edwards, Kyle Busch, and Denny Hamlin when it came to winning their first titles. I get the feeling that this dude is going to be around for a while.
By the way, where did that Jimmie Johnson guy wind up in our final Power Rankings? Did Bowyer leap frog over him in our standings too? Continue reading to find out and have a wonderful holiday season! 

How The Rankings Are Calculated: Frontstretch does our power rankings somewhat similar to how the Associated Press does them for basketball or football -- our expert stable of NASCAR writers, both on staff and from other major publications will vote for the Top 20 on a 20-19-18-17-16-15... 3-2-1 basis, giving 20 points to their first place driver, 19 for their second, and so on. In the end, Summer Bedgood calculates the points, adds some funny one-liners, and ... here you go!

Rank Driver (First Place Votes) Votes Last Week
1 Brad Keselowski (4) 97 1
In a year where the sport and its fans endured fuel mileage races, long monotonous green flag runs and low ratings, perhaps a fresh face holding the Sprint Cup trophy, belonging to someone who speaks his mind, tweets from his car and shows up buzzed on Sports Center is just what this sport needed to spark some excitement heading into 2013. Tony Lumbis,
2 Clint Bowyer (1)93 4
For all those who doubted his move to MWR - ha ha ha ha!! Amanda Ebersole,
3 Jimmie Johnson 82 3
The "take it easy and play it conservative" approach hasn't been working out so well lately. Though, in fairness, the engine playing on the same strategy at Homestead didn't help their cause. Summer Bedgood,
4 Kyle Busch 79 8
Going to attend the Kevin Harvick School of winning races in the off-season because leading the most laps just doesn't do it for this team. Tony Lumbis,
5 Greg Biffle76 T-6
Roush Fenway was sorely missing from the championship hunt this season, especially after coming so close with Carl Edwards last year. For a while it looked like Biffle might be carrying that torch, but he quickly fizzled out once the Chase started. Maybe having this year's champion winning team on their side next season with Penske switching to Ford will bring both Biffle and Edwards back to the top. Summer Bedgood,
6 Jeff Gordon75 10
In a world that is fair and good, Clint would have caught the No. 24 and dumped him on the final lap, preventing Gordon from winning his first race at HMS. But alas, that is not the kind of world we live in. Tony Lumbis,
7 Kasey Kahne702
I've been pretty hard on Kahne this year. To be fair he's done well in his first season with Hendrick Motorsports and it's hard to shine when you're racing against superstars. Are all you Kahne fangirls happy now? Summer Bedgood,
8 Matt Kenseth63 T-6
Ended his tenure at Roush with a very pedestrian 18th-place finish at HMS. Ironically, it is the same finishing position the other Roush icon, Mark Martin ended with in his final hurrah with the "cat in the hat" in 2006. Tony Lumbis,
9 Kevin Harvick609
I have always been curious, why is he called Happy Harvick? His on track performance is anything but... Amanda Ebersole,
10 Ryan Newman52 12
Now none of us have an excuse to go to Outback Steakhouse. Summer Bedgood,
11 Martin Truex, Jr. 51 13
No wins yet again but still a season to be proud of. Amanda Ebersole,
12 Denny Hamlin 47 5
After his engine laid down on him at HMS, the Martinsville debacle must not seem so bad anymore. Tony Lumbis,
13 Carl Edwards 31 NR 
If it's any consolation, Carl, your runner-up finish was more fun to watch than Clint Bowyer's. Summer Bedgood
T-14 Kurt Busch 30 15
Three consecutive top-10 finishes is pretty good for the 2004 champ considering most were expecting him to wreck more cars and well, be mean to more people with his new team. Tony Lumbis,
T-14 Tony Stewart 3011
All Tony wants for Christmas is a year like 2011!! Amanda Ebersole,
Dropped Out: Paul Menard (14th).
Others Receiving Votes:  Dale Earnhardt Jr. (28), Aric Almirola (26), Paul Menard (19), Joey Logano (13), Mark Martin (13), Marcos Ambrose (6), Jeff Burton (5), Sam Hornish Jr. (1). 
Who Voted: Summer Bedgood,; Amanda Ebersole,; Dustin Long, Athlon Sports; Tony Lumbis,; Matt Taliaferro, Athlon Sports.

Contact Summer Bedgood

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11/21/2012 03:27 PM

Nope, that “robot-human” (Bowles’ words) conservative strategy sure didn’t work out…except Jimmie got the most top 5’s of anyone and led the most laps all year and was ahead of Jeff Gordon, who won the race before the lug nut/engine issue, and very likely would have won the championship as well. What a has-been, huh?