Richmond is considered by many fans to be the best track on the schedule. Well, the race this week didn’t really provide much excitement for the first 382 laps, but boy, did it make up for it in the final 28. Denny Hamlin dominated the race from the drop of the green flag before a flat tire proved to be his undoing.
Then, fan favorite Dale Earnhardt Jr. was on his way to breaking his winless streak when “one of those racin’ deals” knocked him out of contention – a wreck that came courtesy of contact with Bad Boy Kyle Busch. All the while, Clint Bowyer was taking it all in, just waiting for his opportunity to steal the victory. The twists and turns of the race gave our panel a plethora of reasons to move people up and down the rankings… read on to see if you agree or disagree with the latest choices by the Frontstretch writers.
How the Rankings Are Calculated: Frontstretch does their power rankings somewhat similar to how the Associated Press does them for basketball or football – writers on our staff 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, Mike Neff calculates the points, adds some funny one liners, and… voila! You have the Power Rankings from our dedicated staff.
|Rank||Driver (First Place Votes)||Points||Last Week|
|1||Kyle Busch (4)||165||2|
|It may be sacrilegious to some, but this kid is the closest thing to the Intimidator yet.|
|2||Jeff Burton (2)||164||1|
|Slow and steady may win the race, but slow is not going to keep Burton at the top of the point standings..|
|3||Denny Hamlin (1)||154||3|
|Is Hamlin walking like a 70-year-old because he injured his hip – or because he aged about 40 years or so after that heartbreaker?|
|His fortune cookie this week must have read ‘To finish first you must first finish.’|
|5||Dale Earnhardt Jr.||144||4|
|What cruel irony; the son of the Intimidator gets taken out by the kid who’s starting to drive like one.|
|6||Carl Edwards (1)||133||8|
|He’s now got $6 million reasons to keep that Leave It To Beaver attitude parked at Roush each Sunday.|
|7||Tony Stewart (1)||131||7|
|You’d think with all the money he’s being offered, Stewart would have no problem buying a better battery for his racecar.|
|Charlotte cannot get here soon enough.|
|Joins Stewart in the “Only driver not to win on my team” club. Ever think we’d see that a few years ago?|
|Continues to the be the flag bearer for the Dodges, although the flag is more like an old dirty sheet on a stick.|
|Currently looking over Edwards’ contract with a fine-toothed comb.|
|Sucked early, but in classic Gordon fashion, salvaged a top 10.|
|Each and every solid run sends Jamie McMurray further into the Roush Fenway basement… er, soon to be unemployment line.|
|14||Martin Truex Jr.||51||NR|
|Running strong just in time to announce his intentions to leave DEI.|
|15||Juan Pablo Montoya||44||10|
|Honest! He was actually in the top 12 last week.|
Falling out of the rankings: Brian Vickers (15)
Also receiving votes: Mark Martin (43), Kasey Kahne (35), David Gilliland (27), Matt Kenseth (26), Brian Vickers (21), Travis Kvapil (18), Bobby Labonte (18), Casey Mears (15), Jamie McMurray (10), Kurt Busch (8), Paul Menard (4), David Reutimann (2), Scott Riggs (1)
Writers voting this week: Tom Bowles, Cami Starr, Mike Neff, Tony Lumbis and Bryan Davis Keith
About the author
What is it that Mike Neff doesn’t do? The writer, radio contributor and racetrack announcer coordinates the site’s local short track coverage, hitting up Saturday Night Specials across the country while tracking the sport’s future racing stars. The writer for our signature Cup post-race column, Thinkin’ Out Loud (Mondays) also sits down with Cup crew chiefs to talk shop every Friday with Tech Talk. Mike announces several shows each year for the Good Guys Rod and Custom Association. He also pops up everywhere from PRN Pit Reporters and the Press Box with Alan Smothers to SIRIUS XM Radio. He has announced at tracks all over the Southeast, starting at Millbridge Speedway. He's also announced at East Lincoln Speedway, Concord Speedway, Tri-County Speedway, Caraway Speedway, and Charlotte Motor Speedway.
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