The Frontstretch: NASCAR Sprint Cup Power Rankings: Top 15 After Richmond by Frontstretch Staff -- Wednesday May 2, 2012

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NASCAR Sprint Cup Power Rankings: Top 15 After Richmond

Frontstretch Staff · Wednesday May 2, 2012


Frontstretch Power Rankings
Richmond was a race of surprises, with two of NASCAR’s most competitive drivers--Greg Biffle and Martin Truex, Jr.--suffering miserable performances, while Kyle Busch snagged a victory in an otherwise quiet season. Oh, yeah, and some guy named Dale Earnhardt, Jr. came close to breaking a long winless streak, but no one cares about that right?

Simply put, Richmond shook up the Sprint Cup Series standings and the same can be said for this week’s Power Rankings. Did Biffle’s performance--or lack thereof--knock him off the top of our rankings? Did Busch’s win move him inside the top 5? Continue reading to find out: 

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 Dreyer calculates the points, adds some funny one-liners, and ... here you go!

Rank Driver (First Place Votes) Votes Last Week
1 Dale Earnhardt, Jr. (4) 172 6
A guy can only come close so many times before he seals the deal. If only there was some sort of restrictor plate race coming up … Oh wait! Summer Dreyer,
2 Greg Biffle (3)167 1
Petitioning the Chase to remove all tracks a mile or less from the schedule. Hey, they already have five 1.5-milers... why not do all ten! Tom Bowles,
3 Jimmie Johnson (2) 162 3
Comes out on top during the week nobody wanted to be No. 1. Tony Lumbis,
4 Denny Hamlin 148 4
It was a little bit … Scratch that, it was VERY surprising that Hamlin left Richmond without leading one lap, especially one week after winning at Kansas Speedway. In other words, rare off day for Hamlin at his home track. Either that, or Hamlin and Kyle Busch swapped rides when no one was looking. Summer Dreyer,
5 Matt Kenseth137 5
Not exciting but championship material all the way. Dennis Michelsen,
6 Tony Stewart134 8
Entire pit crew reported to have called out sick every day this week. They're still waiting for Smoke to calm down. Tom Bowles,
7 Carl Edwards1189
Jack Roush has instructed the No. 99 team to answer any direction from NASCAR with "Is that your FINAL answer?" Tony Lumbis,
8 Martin Truex, Jr.116 2
His signature was the second on the petition to remove Richmond from the schedule, right under Greg Biffle. Tony Lumbis, 
9 Kyle Busch11410
Best weekend ever? Oh, no, we don’t mean for Busch. His haters finally have a relevant case when they refer to him as “Crybaby” after choking up in Victory Lane over the weekend. Summer Dreyer,
10 Kevin Harvick98
We can only sarcastically refer to Harvick as “Happy” so many times before it becomes mundane. Seriously, what’s up with him lately? Five top 10s in nine races looks good on paper, but he’s been lacking severely in the “wow factor” this season. Summer Dreyer,  
11 Brad Keselowski 86 11 
Small, moral victory when the engine actually goes the distance. How much longer until Penske switches to Ford again? Tom Bowles,
12 Clint Bowyer 83 13 
5-Hour Energy gave more money, but the boost hasn't translated into Victory Lane quite yet. Tom Bowles,
13 Kasey Kahne 65 15 
Will he start Raising Kahne and continue rising in the standings? Dennis Michelsen,
14 Ryan Newman 58 12 
Ryan Newman heads to his favorite most hated track on the schedule this weekend, where I’m sure he’ll have many nice things very strong words on what’s wrong with restrictor plate racing. Summer Dreyer,
15 Mark Martin 54NR 
Knows how to go fast for one lap. Put it together for all the laps, and he'll be the oldest winner in NASCAR Sprint Cup history. Tom Bowles,
Dropped Out: Joey Logano
Others Receiving Votes: Juan Pablo Montoya (41), Paul Menard (41), Jeff Gordon (28), A.J. Allmendinger (23), Jamie McMurray (20), Joey Logano (9), Landon Cassill (3), Marcos Ambrose (3), Jeff Burton (2), Casey Mears (2), Regan Smith (1).
Who Voted: Phil Allaway,; Tom Bowles,; Carolyn Brewster, NASCAR Illustrated; Toby Christie, Sicknissfied.comSummer Dreyer, Frontstretch.comTony Lumbis,; Dustin Long, Athlon Sports; Dennis Michelsen,; Matt Taliaferro, Athlon Sports.

Contact Summer Dreyer

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Today on the Frontstretch:
NASCAR Easter Eggs: A Few Off-Week Nuggets to Chew On
Five Points To Ponder: NASCAR’s Take-A-Breath Moment
Truckin’ Thursdays: Top Five All-Time Truck Series Drivers
Going By the Numbers: A Week Without Racing Can Bring Relief But Kill Momentum


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old farmer
05/02/2012 11:04 AM

Tony Stewart should have won the race, had not NASCAR taken it away w/ a bogus caution, and Kyle Busch did win. So they’re 6th and 9th? What’s that all about?

Summer Dreyer
05/02/2012 11:35 AM

Old farmer,

I can’t speak for all the writers since they all vote differently, but I’ve noticed they tend to vote by consistency, finishing position, and performance. Earnhardt has been consistently strong the past few weeks while this was Busch’s best performance all year.

05/04/2012 01:42 PM

Jr. is #1 in this ranking but he is still winless!