Race Weekend Central

Top 15 Power Rankings

Leaving right where he left off after November 2011, you would think defending champion Tony Stewart would be atop the standings based upon his performance recently. However, Biffle’s consistency—a string of third place finishes in the first three races—has him leading the charge for the first time since 2005.

Was Stewart’s victory enough to impress our writers and put him atop the rankings, or has Biffle’s consistency gave him the edge? Keep reading to find out!

*How The Rankings Are Calculated:* Frontstretch does our power rankings somewhat similar to how the Associated Press does them for basketball or football — our expert stable of NASCAR writers, both on staff and from other major publications 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, Summer Dreyer calculates the points, adds some funny one-liners, and … here you go!

1. Greg Biffle (5) 173 – 3
“If Biffle can average a third place finish all year the only thing that will beat him is Stewart winning half of them.” _Mike Neff, Frontstretch.com_
2. Tony Stewart (3) 159 – 13
“I guess Darian Grubb winning last week made Tony a bit jealous! Sorry Tony but Denny and Darian did it first!” _Amanda Ebersole, SkirtsandScuffs.com_
3. Kevin Harvick 153 – 2
Harvick is quietly hanging out in second place in the points standings, just 10 points behind leader Biffle. I know Matt Kenseth is known to be more of the “silent assassin”, but I think it’s high time Harvick took over that role.
4. Matt Kenseth 139 – 5
If Edwards is to be believed, he felt “terrible” about the issue with teammate Kenseth at the end of the race. If Kenseth is to be believed … well, we don’t know. Kenseth left the track before the two were able to speak.
5. Carl Edwards (1) 134 – 10
“Wanted to see Kenseth come up to Edwards during the post race interview and fake a punch.” _Mike Neff, Frontstretch.com_
6. Jimmie Johnson 133 – 11
“Not sure how well he’ll do this Sunday after Chad Knaus spent all week writing love notes to a certain National Stock Car Racing Commissioner. Those flowers in the shape of a C-Post were sure hard to find…” _Tom Bowles, Frontstretch.com_
7. Dale Earnhardt Jr. 129 – 9
He was strong at the beginning, and faded slowly throughout the race. Haven’t we seen this movie before?
8. Denny Hamlin 96 – 1
“Fans needed a FedEx tracking code in order to locate Denny at the track on Sunday. He was hardly seen or heard from all day, more like what we’ve used to seeing from him at this point in the season.” _Tony Lumbis, Frontstretch.com_
9. Ryan Newman 91 – NR
Newman’s fourth-place finish meant a free Bloomin’ Onion appetizer at Outback Steakhouse on Monday. Rumor has it that Newman’s owner Tony Stewart ate them all before anyone else had a chance.
10. Paul Menard 81 – NR
“Running well during the first half of the season, where have we seen this before from Menard?” _Mike Neff, Frontstretch.com_
11. Mark Martin 80 – 6
“ Earned extra points this week for actually getting mad at someone trying to run him over. Happens about once a decade; but for a guy who looked washed up last year, that’s a very good sign.” _Tom Bowles, Frontstretch.com_
12. Martin Truex Jr. 71 – 7
Bowyer is into karaoke, and Truex is lip-syncing about NAPA. Mark Martin had better get out while he can before MWR forces him to sing the National Anthem during pre-race. Though, of course, with the “performers” we’ve seen lately, how bad could he really be?
13. Jeff Gordon 69 – 14
“Brian Vickers is hoping that Jr. remembers there is a new driver in the 55 car at Bristol this week. Actually, he probably also hopes that Matt Kenseth still thinks its Mark.” _Tony Lumbis, Frontstretch.com_
14. Kyle Busch 63 – 4
No one was happier to be leaving Las Vegas than Busch. On the flip side, no one is looking forward to Bristol more than he is either.
15. Joey Logano 62 – 12
Been there, done that. Logano has had short bursts of relevance throughout his career. Now it’s time to make it last, or JGR and his sponsors might cut the “learning curve” a few years short.

*Dropped Out:* Jeff Burton, Brad Keselowski
*Others Receiving Votes:* Clint Bowyer (59), Jeff Burton (47), Marcos Ambrose (33), Jamie McMurray (28), Brad Keselowski (24), Regan Smith (20), Trevor Bayne (19), Kasey Kahne (14), Bobby Labonte (8), Dave Blaney (3), A.J. Allmendinger (2)
*Who Voted:* Tom Bowles, Tony Lumbis, Mike Neff, Phillip Allaway, Kelly Crandall, Amanda Ebersole, Carolyn Brewster, Dustin Long, Summer Dreyer

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