Race Weekend Central

Top 15 Power Rankings: Fontana

Mother Nature just couldn’t seem to make up her mind on Sunday. While the day started off with sunshine and perfect temperatures, it ended with a steady downpour that even NASCAR couldn’t be optimistic about. Stewart was, though, and the rain brought about what looked to be inevitable for him anyway—a victory. Clearly the fastest car all day, Stewart beat out the Joe Gibbs Racing pair of Kyle Busch and Denny Hamlin who were two of the pre-race favorites.

Was Stewart’s second victory in five races enough to propel him to the top of our Power Rankings? Or did Biffle’s quiet yet consistent run keep him atop the standings? Continue reading to find out:

1. Tony Stewart (6) 211 – 7
“If Stewart doesn’t heat up until summer will anyone else even have a chance this season?” _Mike Neff, Frontstretch.com_
2. Greg Biffle (3) 204 – 1
The new “Mr. Consistency” is still quietly atop the standings, but that famished “win” column is going to need some fuel to keep him there. _Summer Dreyer, Frontstretch.com_
3. Kevin Harvick (2) 193 – 3
“Showing well at all different types of tracks, but not overdoing it while clearly building for the postseason. Is this the Jimmie Johnson model at work over at RCR?” _Tom Bowles, Frontstretch.com_
4. Dale Earnhardt Jr. 175 – 6
“I hate to admit it, but Jr. is leading the way for Hendrick so far. Are we living in an alternate universe?” _Amanda Ebersole, SkirtsandScuffs.com_
5. Jimmie Johnson 170 – 4
“Look past “Five Time” at your own peril” _Dennis Michelson, RaceTalkRadio.com_
6. Matt Kenseth 148 – 2
“Suddenly finds himself as the guy with the win but inconsistent finishes otherwise, at Roush-Fenway Racing.” _Tony Lumbis, Frontstretch.com_
7. Carl Edwards 145 – 12
Struggling to get a top-5 finish at a track that’s his bread and butter? Third-best in points among the three Roush Fenway cars? Where is the real Carl Edwards? Did they trap him inside one of his old Nationwide cars they threw away by mistake? _Tom Bowles, Frontstretch.com_
8. Denny Hamlin 142 – 10
Looked like the one to beat until it really mattered. Oh, and it was that way this weekend in Fontana too. _Summer Dreyer, Frontstretch.com_
9. Kyle Busch 142 – 14
Is it just me, or does the season seem oddly quiet without a Kyle Busch blowup? Though it seems even quieter with his brother’s newfound calm.
10. Martin Truex Jr. 142 – 5
“My how times have changed when an eighth place finish causes Truex to lose a place in the standings.” _Mike Neff_
11. Clint Bowyer 106 – 9
MWR has impressed me this season and if you do not see the changes and count them as drivers to watch, your loss. _Amanda Ebersole, SkirtsandScuffs.com_
12. Ryan Newman 97 – N/A
There are worse things in life than playing second fiddle to the defending champion and current hottest driver in the series. _Summer Dreyer, Frontstretch.com_
13. Brad Keselowski 90 – 7
The only reason people have even taken notice to him lately is because of his devotion to his Twitter followers. You know how he could really gain some more? Win a race. _Summer Dreyer, Frontstretch.com_
14. Paul Menard 57 – 11
Menard is starting to get back to regular form—running mediocre with a multi-million dollar sponsor. Those top 10 runs look to be, once more, nothing but an early season fluke. _Summer Dreyer, Frontstretch.com_
15. Mark Martin 55 – N/A
If Mark Martin wants to run such a limited schedule and still be competitive, maybe he should look into the Truck Series. They haven’t run since Daytona, and are just returning this weekend. Then again, he seems to be doing just fine right where he is. _Summer Dreyer, Frontstretch.com_

*Dropped Out:* Jeff Burton (13), Joey Logano (14).
*Others Receiving Votes:* Jeff Burton (38), Kurt Busch (36), A.J. Allmendinger (34), Jeff Gordon (32), Joey Logano (30), Kasey Kahne (23), Juan Pablo Montoya (21), Regan Smith(16), Marcos Ambrose (2), Jamie McMurray (1).
*Who Voted:* Tony Lumbis, Frontstretch.com; Mike Neff, Frontstretch.com; Phil Allaway, Frontstretch.com; Kelly Crandall, SpeedwayMedia.com; Amanda Ebersole, SkirtsandScuffs.com; Carolyn Brewster, NASCAR Illustrated; Dustin Long, Athlon Sports; Dennis Michelson, RaceTalkRadio.com; Matt Taliaferro, Athlon Sports; Summer Dreyer, Frontstretch.com.

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