Race Weekend Central

Sprint Cup Power Rankings: Top 15 Post-Texas

Big hats, a trophy with giant boots, fireballs in Victory Lane and an overestimated crowd are just par for the course down in Fort Worth since everything is bigger in Texas. The win for Matt Kenseth was really big, too, considering it snapped a 76-race victory drought that had lasted since late February, 2009. A dominating performance – he led 169 of 334 laps – has people talking about Ford’s dominance overall, although Clint Bowyer might have had something to say about that had he not run into a backmarker while leading. On the championship side of things, Carl Edwards turned stomach problems into third-place motivation while Kyle Busch had a loose wheel, which let Cousin Carl back into the top spot in the point standings.

So was Kenseth able to ride the momentum from his first win in two years to the number one slot in the rankings? How much was Mr. Where Did He Come From Kevin Harvick dinged for being Mr. Where The Heck Is He This Week? And what happened to Tony Stewart’s poll position after another week of pit road miscues? Check out this week’s Top 15 to see how your favorite driver sits after making his primetime debut down in the Lone Star State.

*Rank* *Driver (First Place Votes)* *Votes* *Last Week*
*1* *Carl Edwards (3)* 117 6
If an upset stomach gets you third place, can Carl Edwards’ mom cook a little something up for us, too?
*2* *Matt Kenseth (2)* 108 T – 4
OK, Robbie Reiser. It’s been three-and-a-half years, but I think this week Matt may finally stop asking you to come back.
*3* *Jimmie Johnson* 104 3
Looks like the No. 48 team is going to invert the season this year; they’ll just win all of their races during the final 10.
*4* *Kyle Busch* 97 2
Tire problems always suck, Kyle, but look on the bright side: at least you pitted in time so we wouldn’t be subjected to DW singing, “You found a fine time to leave me, loose wheel…”
*5* *Dale Earnhardt, Jr.* 96 T – 4
The governor of Alabama better have those State of Emergency papers handy; a Dale Jr. win at Talladega might cause a riot all the way through Birmingham.
*6* *Clint Bowyer* 85 T – 10
Don’t look now, but after a slow start Bowyer has three straight top-10 finishes as we head to Talladega, where he happens to be the most recent winner.
*7* *Kevin Harvick (1)* 83 1
His crew should put cheese in the car every week to go with his whine…
*8* *Kurt Busch* 75 T – 10
Speaking of, Kurt is officially waiting for the Most Whining Driver voting to begin to see if he can beat out Harvick. It’s gonna be close!
*9* *Juan Pablo Montoya* 64 7
Remember when Jamie Mac was the EGR driver to watch this year?
*10* *Paul Menard* 62 NR
He already has as many top 5’s this year as he did his entire career – two. Think moving to RCR was the right decision?
*11* *Greg Biffle* 61 NR
See what the Biff can do when he gets a full tank of fuel to work with? Betcha that’s making him a little extra in contract negotiations…
*12* *Tony Stewart* 56 13
It’s going to be fun to see which volcano will erupt first this season: Mt. Smoke Filled With Frustration or Mt. Old Kyle In Disguise.
*13* *Ryan Newman* 50 9
The Department of Defense budget wasn’t slashed on Capitol Hill. So why is this team running on seven cylinders all of a sudden?
*14* *David Ragan* 47 NR
Nice weekend at Texas BUT… if he doesn’t win at least once this year, he still won’t keep his job whether he’s winning poles or not.
*15* *Marcos Ambrose* 35 NR
Panning for gold in the Cup series is paying off as well as it does in Kannapolis.
*Dropped Out*: Jeff Gordon (8), Mark Martin (12), A.J. Allmendinger (14), Jamie McMurray (15).
*Also Receiving Votes:* Jeff Gordon (25), A.J. Allmendinger (23), Denny Hamlin (21), Jeff Burton (17), Kasey Kahne (13), Trevor Bayne (9), Brad Keselowski (6), Mark Martin (3), Martin Truex, Jr. (1), Joey Logano (1), Casey Mears (1).
*Writer Voters Include:* Phillip Allaway, Bryan Keith, Tom Bowles, Tony Lumbis, Mike Neff and Garrett Horton. (No Vito Pugliese this week)

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

Wednesday on the Frontstretch:
“Did You Notice?… A Chaser In Trouble, Business Propositions And Quick Hits”:https://frontstretch.com/tbowles/33628/
“Full Throttle: Sometimes, It Doesn’t Pay To Be Fast”:https://frontstretch.com/mneff/33624/
“Three Teams on The Verge of Victory and Utter Panic”:https://frontstretch.com/vpugliese/33625/
“Mirror Driving: Ford’s Fight, Two-Car ‘Dega Drafts And Dale Jr. To Victory Lane?”:https://frontstretch.com/md/33623/
“Top 10 Reasons Why Michael Waltrip Won’t Retire”:https://frontstretch.com/article/33626/
“The Frontstretch Foto Funnies! Texas, April 2011”:https://frontstretch.com/fotofunnies/33618/

“Intermediate Masters”:http://www.athlonsports.com/columns/nascar-monday-recap/intermediate-masters

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