Race Weekend Central

Frontstretch NASCAR Power Rankings: Top 15 After the 2010 Shelby American at Las Vegas

A weekend in Las Vegas turned out lucky for Jimmie Johnson, who took a four-tire gamble on the last pit stop and rode it to victory number two in as many weeks. Just like that, second-place Kevin Harvick saw the race slip away – along with his hold on the top spot in our Power Rankings poll.

But just because JJ’s number one again doesn’t mean everyone else stood still in amazement. There was plenty of movement up and down the Power Rankings this week, with Jeff Gordon‘s Vegas domination making him the poll’s biggest gainer. Just how high did he climb? And how far did our Daytona 500 winner tumble after pulling the ultimate sin in Sin City – taking out his own teammate? Read this week’s Power Rankings rankings to find the answers.

How the Rankings Are Calculated: Frontstretch does our power rankings somewhat similar to how the Associated Press does them for basketball or football – writers on 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 one batch of Power Rankings to serve to our fans.

Rank Driver (First-Place Votes) Votes Last Week
1 Jimmie Johnson (8) 214 2
Could Johnson be going after one of the few records he hasn’t set yet – 13 wins in a single season? He’s on pace for 24.
2 Kevin Harvick (2) 204 1
Better be careful talking about Johnson’s golden horseshoe, or he might find something stuck in his rear end.
3 Mark Martin 183 3
With Danica Patrick getting so much airtime the last three weeks, it’s only fair to ignore Mark’s car in order to balance it out. But now that he’s up to third in points, that’s getting harder and harder.
4 Matt Kenseth 168 T-6
Crew chief change sounded stupid at first, but Roush looks pretty smart right now.
5 Clint Bowyer 151 5
Do you know a Cheerios-sponsored car has never won in Cup? But the way things are going for Bowyer, that drought won’t be lasting much longer.
6 Jeff Gordon (1) 147 14
After six wins and 30 top 10s in 2007, Gordon fans were ready to crown Steve Letarte their new king; now, they want to crucify him instead. Loyalty knows no bounds in NASCAR.
7 Jeff Burton 142 4
Plans to announce his Senate bid the second he sits at the head table in Vegas. No wonder why people think he could retire this year.
8 Greg Biffle 136 T-6
Hoping NASCAR’s next rule change means he never has to pit. Because every time he does, it’s not a matter of if he’s going to lose the race, but how.
9 Tony Stewart 127 12
Apparently, no one bothered to tell Tony it’s the regular season again – he doesn’t have to run behind the Hendrick cars anymore.
10 Joey Logano 126 13
Back-to-back top-six finishes for the first time in his Cup career. If that’s his version of “sophomore slump,” watch out.
11 Carl Edwards 109 10
Still having trouble knowing Quack.
12 Kurt Busch 104 T-6
Crossed off Target and Bass Pro Shops from his Christmas shopping list already this year.
13 Kyle Busch 84 11
When the only place you’re going too fast is down pit road, you know you’re off to a rocky start.
14 David Reutimann 71 15
The most unsung top-10 driver you will ever not hear of this season.
15 Jamie McMurray 56 9
You know it’s a bad day at the track when your teammate’s wife tweets a clown could do a better job driving a car than you.
Dropped Out: None
Also Receiving Votes: Dale Earnhardt Jr. (52), Kasey Kahne (43), Scott Speed (43), Juan Pablo Montoya (38), Paul Menard (33), Brian Vickers (25), Denny Hamlin (20), Ryan Newman (11), AJ Allmendinger (8), Sam Hornish Jr. (5), Martin Truex Jr. (3), Regan Smith (3), David Ragan (2), Marcos Ambrose (1), Dave Blaney (1)
Writer Voting Panel: Phil Allaway, Brock Beard, Thomas Bowles, Bryan Davis Keith, Tony Lumbis, Mike Neff, John Potts, Vito Pugliese, Mike Ravesi, Kurt Smith and Matt Taliaferro


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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