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Sprint Cup Power Rankings: Top 15 After Infineon

Frontstretch Power Rankings

The twists and turns of Infineon Raceway saw drivers coming, going, in the dirt and on top of tires while Kurt Busch ran away and hid from the entire field. While Jeff Gordon finished one spot short of adding to his road course victory record Joey Logano surprised everyone by not only winning the pole but also coming home in sixth place. Denny Hamlin tried to follow up his first win of the season with another at Sonoma but after leading early he was forced behind the wall for an extensive period and limped home in 37th place. Carl Edwards decided not to fly across country to run in the Nationwide race at Road America in order to make his Cup car better which resulted in a third place finish and an increase in his point standings lead.

Is Edwards lead in the poll growing like his lead in the point standings after another strong run while his closest pursuers had bad days? Has Kurt Busch’s latest surge moved him up in the rankings? How much did the hole in Dale Earnhardt Jr.’s engine cost him when the votes were counted this week? Check out the Top 15 this week to find out if your favorite driver was able to navigate the turns and elevation changes of Infineon like a road course ringer or ended up on top of the tire barrier when the checkered flag flew.

*Rank* *Driver (First Place Votes)* *Votes* *Last Week*
*1* *Carl Edwards (5)* 119 1
The decision to stay in Infineon, skipping the Nationwide Series led to a career-best finish on that road course. Coincidence? We think not.
*2* *Kyle Busch* 102 2
Called up and thanked Tony Stewart Sunday night for finally deflecting attention off his antics.
*3* *Kurt Busch (1)* 98 7
In hindsight the monkey comment at Richmond was just what this team needed to turn things around.
*4* *Jimmie Johnson* 93 6
Still 10 races of experimentation left before the No. 48 team turns it on for another title.
*5* *Kevin Harvick* 92 5
Ready to gear up for another run at a plate race. But will the RCR engines hold up this time around?
*6* *Jeff Gordon* 91 9
Finished second without wrecking anyone on a road course – go figure.
*7* *Matt Kenseth* 87 4
When the No. 17 team discovered Crown Royal wasn’t sponsoring them next year, the liquor company immediately lost out on business. Why? The team switched over to Jack Daniel’s instead when drinking their sorrows away at the bar.
*8* *Clint Bowyer* 77 11
Can we get an elementary school rhyme up in here? Bowyer and Childress, sitting in a tree, PRET-E-N-D-I-N-G. First comes Red Bull, then comes their closure, now both sides tryin’ to smooth things over…
*9* *Dale Earnhardt, Jr.* 74 3
Quote of the weekend: “A hole in the side of the engine is never good.”
*10* *Denny Hamlin* 61 8
Took care of his “wild card” status last weekend… which means the No. 11 team can promptly fall back asleep until the Chase.
*11* *Ryan Newman* 42 10
The way things are heading, it won’t be long before he has to win to make the Chase.
*12* *Tony Stewart* 40 T – 12
He needed puntin’.
*13* *Joey Logano* 37 NR
After a sixth-place finish at Infineon that pole position doesn’t look like such a surprise after all.
*T – 14* *Marcos Ambrose* 35 NR
Finished in the top 5 but never really felt like he was going to threaten to win. Missed opportunity here.
*T – 14* *Brad Keselowski* 35 NR
The Penske revival might be enough to save Keselowski’s career… because it wasn’t looking so good before.
*Dropped Out*: Greg Biffle (T – 12), Paul Menard (14), Mark Martin (15).
*Others Receiving Votes:* Martin Truex, Jr. (31), Paul Menard (28), Greg Biffle (23), A.J. Allmendinger (23), Regan Smith (17), Kasey Kahne (14), Mark Martin (13), Brian Vickers (7), Robby Gordon (6), David Gilliland (5), Landon Cassill (3), David Ragan (3), Trevor Bayne (2), Juan Pablo Montoya (2).
*Writer Voters Include:* Phillip Allaway, Bryan Keith, Tony Lumbis, Vito Pugliese, Mike Neff and Garrett Horton (no Tom Bowles this week).

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