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NASCAR Race Weekend Central

Frontstretch NASCAR Power Rankings: Top 15 After the 2010 Goody’s Fast Pain Relief 500 at Martinsville

Fans had to wait an extra day for one of the most exciting finishes in awhile, but it was definitely worth it. Denny Hamlin was once again victorious in his home state, good enough to move him back into the Power Rankings just before he goes under the knife for a torn ACL. Back in the garage, Kevin Harvick’s burnt up brakes cost him the lead in the points while an old familiar name assumed that spot. But with a shocking ninth-place finish at Martinsville (after winning five of the last eight races there), did Jimmie Johnson do enough for our experts to vote him number one on our list?

That’s just one of many questions after a crazy 500-lapper, with blown tires, bad brakes (and breaks), along with a wild ending shaking up both the Sprint Cup standings and our poll. Read below to find out which drivers were able to push their way through the field to the top of our Power Rankings, and which ones fell victim to the madness of Martinsville’s Monday matinee.

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.

RankDriver (First-Place Votes)VotesLast Week
1Jimmie Johnson (10)2171
Chad Knaus instructed his driver not to worry about speeding, since he couldn’t get caught in the sector near his pit box. Makes you wonder what else is on the No. 48 that can’t get caught….
2Matt Kenseth1914
18th in the race, but number one in the Jeff Gordon hater club.
3Kevin Harvick1802
Luck hasn’t been the same at Martinsville ever since his styrofoam caught on fire.
4Greg Biffle1615
Top 10s coming out like a Pez dispenser for the No. 16.
5Jeff Gordon159T – 10
Gordon might feel bad about slamming into Kenseth after he looks at the tape and sees Hamlin tagged the No. 17. That, or he might just shove him with his helmet on again like he did at Bristol in ’06.
6Kurt Busch (1)1563
There’s just something about rural Virginia that seems to turn Kurt back into the whiny little brat he used to be.
7Jeff Burton1547
Flat tire while running second with less than 10 laps to go? The perfect step in his training routine to be NASCAR’s next “Mark Martin” once Mark retires.
8Clint Bowyer12114
Bowyer’s the equivalent of this year’s “Forgotten Man;” no one ever mentions him, but there he is finishing in the top 10 every week. Is that why he’s suddenly forgotten to cut his hair, too?
9Tony Stewart1146
The No. 14 at Martinsville reminded many of the old saying, “Couldn’t find his ass with both hands.”
10Mark Martin89T – 12
Spoilers not the only throwback from a bygone era that’s returned. Martin’s horrific luck is center stage, and exploding temporal vein poised to make comeback as well.
11Carl Edwards88T – 12
Left Martinsville without threatening to punch someone – a good day for his second race on double secret probation.
12Dale Earnhardt Jr.878
McGrew seen coming out of Barnes and Noble after the Martinsville race with “Top-100 Insults” book after failing to motivate Earnhardt to the top 10 this weekend.
13Joey Logano84NR
Being the most recent driver in the field to have actually played “Follow the Leader” actually paid off this weekend.
14Paul Menard82T – 10
Found out the best way to stick inside the Chase is to knock all the drivers in front of him out of the way. It’s a very effective strategy… until you realize they’re your own teammates.
15Denny Hamlin71NR
Why did he drive like a madman on Monday? When Casey Mears is going to be your sub, you know to collect as many points as possible before going under the knife.
Dropped Out: Kyle Busch (9), Jamie McMurray (15)
Also Receiving Votes: Kyle Busch (62), Brian Vickers (42), Martin Truex Jr. (41), Ryan Newman (39), Brad Keselowski (36), Juan Pablo Montoya (32), Jamie McMurray (29), Kasey Kahne (18), Marcos Ambrose (16), Scott Speed (14), Sam Hornish Jr. (11), David Reutimann (8), AJ Allmendinger (3), David Gilliland (2), Casey Mears (2), Terry Cook (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.


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