The Frontstretch: NASCAR Writer Power Rankings: Top 15 After Phoenix II by Frontstretch Staff -- Wednesday November 13, 2013

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NASCAR Writer Power Rankings: Top 15 After Phoenix II

Frontstretch Staff · Wednesday November 13, 2013


Frontstretch Power Rankings
If you would have told us that Matt Kenseth was going to finish 23rd in Phoenix and stay far, far away from the front of the pack for most of the day, we would have sent you to the nearest pyschiatric ward. After all, Kenseth has been Jimmie Johnson's main competitor all season and was only seven points behind him when the green flag flew. Now, heading into Homestead, the championship is all but tied up with Johnson holding a 28 point margin over Kenseth heading into the final race of the season. Though the possibility still remains that something could happen to Johnson this week--port-a-potty plot from Kevin Harvick notwithstanding--Johnson all but has a sixth title locked up.
With that said, there was some movement in our rankings besed on Harvick's win and Kenseth's surprisingly poor performance at Phoenix. Continue reading to see where our writers placed your favorite driver this week: 

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 Jimmie Johnson (5) 100 1

Can a melted bead strike twice? If not, it will be number six for Johnson. Tony Lumbis, 

2 Kevin Harvick94 3
Going out with a strong showing at Childress, whether he likes the Dillons or not. Jeff Wolfe,
3 Dale Earnhardt, Jr. 88 4
Wouldn't be another Cup race if the 88 team wasn't battling back from something. Kelly Crandall, 
4 Matt Kenseth 81 2
Kenseth needed to hold serve on Sunday. Unfortunately, his team laid an egg. Now, instead of fighting Johnson straight-up for the title, he has to fight just to hold on to second in points. Summer Bedgood,
5 Kyle Busch77 5
He won't be in contention for the Sprint Cup Series championship, but Busch's most avid fans can still watch him race for the owner's title on Saturday in the Nationwide Series. Summer Bedgood, 
6 Jeff Gordon70 6
The late Chase addition proved he belonged, but that fifth title remains elusive. Jeff Wolfe,
7 Joey Logano668
Based on his performance down the stretch, many will expect him to fully resurrect his career from burnt toast back to sliced bread in 2014. Tony Lumbis,
8 Kurt Busch59 11
One last race with Furniture Row Racing and then he will begin his tenure with Stewart Haas Racing, however long that lasts. Perhaps the hearing of the No. 78 team members will improve next year with the lack of explosive rants during the course of a race. Summer Bedgood, 
9 Greg Biffle569
A regular Chaser, but also a regular non-contender once he's in. Jeff Wolfe,
T-10 Kasey Kahne5415
Oh, that's right, there is a fourth Hendrick car in this battle. Tony Lumbis,
T-10 Brad Keselowski 54 10
This will be Brad Keselowski's final week with the title "reigning Sprint Cup Series champion." Just to add insult to injury, he also can't say "2013 Chase contender" either. Summer Bedgood,
12 Clint Bowyer 46 7
He can say what he wants, but SpinGate really ended his momentum. Jeff Wolfe, 
13 Ryan Newman 45 13
If Newman is taking notes, he will begin his tenure with RCR by announcing his departure and calling the Dillon boys a bunch of punk ass kids. That strategy has certainly paid off for Harvick this year. Tony Lumbis,
14 Carl Edwards 37 12
The irony shouldn't escape anyone that one of the best drivers at saving fuel in NASCAR not only ran out of fuel, but did so on the last lap. Kelly Crandall,
15 Martin Truex Jr. 32NR
The Chase started out darkly for the soon-to-be former MWR pilot. However, Truex improved his form in recent weeks. Plus, he has his current pit crew for next year at Furniture Row, so that won't necessarily be the team's Achille's heal anymore. Phil Allaway,
Dropped Out: Jamie McMurray.
Others Receiving Votes: Jamie McMurray (28), Juan Pablo Montoya (18), Paul Menard (16), Ricky Stenhouse, Jr. (16), Jeff Burton (6), Aric Almirola (3), Mark Martin (3), Bobby Labonte (1). 
Who VotedTony Lumbis, Frontstretch.comPhil Allaway, Frontstretch.comKelly Crandall, SpeedwayMedia.comJeff Wolfe, Frontstretch.comSummer Bedgood, 

Contact Summer Bedgood

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Today on the Frontstretch:
Did You Notice? … Breaking Down A Sprint Cup Season Eight Races In
Beyond the Cockpit: Ricky Stenhouse, Jr. on Growing Up Racing and Owner Loyalties
The Frontstretch Five: Flaws Exposed In the New Chase So Far
NASCAR Writer Power Rankings: Top 15 After Darlington
NASCAR Mailbox: Past Winners Aren’t Winning …. Yet
Open Wheel Wednesday: How Can IndyCar Stand Out?


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Chris in TX
11/13/2013 10:35 PM

WRT the hearing of the #78 team: I just hope they find jobs since the crew from the #56 will be the crew of the #78 in 2014.