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NASCAR Race Weekend Central

Sprint Cup Power Rankings: Top 15 After Michigan

Frontstretch Power Rankings

The Sprint Cup boys spent the whole day running from the top to the bottom of Michigan International Speedway … and everywhere in between. That led to several fantastic battles up front, but when they threw the black and white flag, Kevin Harvick was the first one across the line for his first victory on a track that didn’t require restrictor plates since 2006. Denny Hamlin spent the entire day complaining about his Toyota yet still wound up second, while Carl Edwards was the fastest car again at the end of the race but ran out of laps to seal the deal.

With Harvick taking the win, the voters took a real shine to the soon-to-be Budweiser Chevrolet. Check out the Top 15 this week to see just how well Harvick made out, as well as the real battle that unfolded further down the list. At the center of it all is Jack Roush, who put three cars inside the top 5 at Michigan; was that enough for all of them to make moves toward the top of the rankings? And while Kurt Busch done blowed up, was that lack of horsepower enough to send him tumbling out of the poll? This week’s NASCAR Power Rankings reveals all the movers and shakers after the year’s final trip to the Irish Hills.

*FRONTSTRETCH TOP 15 POWER RANKINGS: AUGUST 18th*
*Rank**Driver (First Place Votes)**Votes**Last Week*
*1**Kevin Harvick (10)*2191
We’ve been waiting three months to say this: Kevin, This Bud’s For You.
*2**Tony Stewart (1)*2004
He told us two months ago he was going to start making some highlight reels; turns out he meant through his finishes on the racetrack. And we just thought he was talking about turning somebody! Well, someone other than Boris Said…
*3**Jeff Gordon*1763
Sunday Race Review: Took off like he was shot out of a cannon, then finished up like he was shot by one.
*4**Carl Edwards*1757
Two of the last five races, he’s ended them the fastest car on the racetrack. With that type of track record, Victory Lane isn’t far away…
*5**Denny Hamlin*16311
It took two months, a handful of wrecks, a Twitter fine, and some awkward moments, but on August 15th at Michigan, Denny finally Got His Groove Back. Whoopi Goldberg guest stars in the movie version, out in Chase theaters this Fall…
*6**Jeff Burton*1625
Now that Richard Childress’ future is secure with Kevin Harvick, why does it feel like the next announcement coming out of his stables is Jeff Burton’s retirement to run for public office?
*7**Greg Biffle*15510
If not for plain old dumb luck, he’d have won three of the last four races. Really…
*8**Jimmie Johnson*1466
“Whatcha doing, Jimmie?” “Just waiting for the Chase, Chad.”
*9**Kurt Busch*1242
All of a sudden, barely 200 points ahead of 13th place. He cannot afford any more blown engines or contact with “Pretty Boys…” or ugly ones, for that matter.
*10**Matt Kenseth*11614
Woke up just in time to save his spot in the Chase. But is just making the list of 12 a success when you know there’s no chance you’ll win the title?
*11**Clint Bowyer*10713
Seen slipping David Reutimann a $100 bill before Michigan… Coincidence?
*12**Kyle Busch*94T – 8
Kyle’s crew should get to scream at HIM on the radio after silly driving mistakes cause their lightning fast pit stops to mean absolutely nothing. Then, and only then, may the New Kyle finally come out every week…
*13**Juan Pablo Montoya*8312
Juan Pablo angry. Juan Pablo want wins. Juan Pablo have clearance rack $15 sunglasses with crazy colors. You get outta Juan Pablo’s way at Bristol, or else!
*14**Kasey Kahne*73NR
Red Bull better give him wings, ‘cause Bud has him 130 out of the Chase.
*15**Jamie McMurray*59T – 8
After winning Brickyard, said he didn’t care if he made The Chase. Thank God he won’t be upset, because subsequent finishes of 22nd, 6th, and 20th will ensure that happens.
*Dropped Out*: Mark Martin (15).
*Also Receiving Votes:* Martin Truex, Jr. (53), Mark Martin (46), A.J. Allmendinger (28), Joey Logano (28), Ryan Newman (27), Marcos Ambrose (18), Elliott Sadler (13), David Reutimann (12), David Ragan (11), Dale Earnhardt, Jr. (8), Paul Menard (8), Regan Smith (5), Tony Raines (1).
*Writer Voting Panel:* Phillip Allaway, Brock Beard, Thomas Bowles, Bryan Keith, Tony Lumbis, Mike Neff, Vito Pugliese, Mike Ravesi, Kurt Smith, Garrett Horton, and Matt Taliaferro.

Wednesday on the Frontstretch:
“Beyond The Cockpit: Ryan Newman Speaks Out On Logano Feud, Chase Chances”:https://frontstretch.com/dturnbull/30835/
“Did You Notice… NASCAR Driving Is A Day Job, Ambrose Is Saved, And Sponsor Cutbacks”:https://frontstretch.com/tbowles/30860/
“Mirror Driving: Bad Boys In Bristol, NASCAR In Canada, And A Lady’s Future”:https://frontstretch.com/md/30830/
“What A Difference A Year Makes For Budweiser … And Kevin Harvick, Too”:https://frontstretch.com/vpugliese/30865/
“Top Ten Reasons Extenze Decided To Leave Front Row Motorsports”:https://frontstretch.com/jmeyer/30857/
“The Frontstretch Foto Funnies! Michigan, August 2010”:https://frontstretch.com/fotofunnies/30834/
“Carey And Coffey: Joey Log-Oh-No”:https://frontstretch.com/podcasts/30879/

“Contact Mike Neff”:https://frontstretch.com/contact/14354/