Race Weekend Central

Top 15 Power Rankings

Ryan Newman may not have been on everyone’s mind heading into Martinsville, but sometimes just surviving is all it takes at a track like Martinsville. Clint Bowyer and him make a pretty nice tag team, though Hendrick Motorsports teammates Jeff Gordon and Jimmie Johnson might slightly disagree. Meanwhile, fan favorite Dale Earnhardt Jr. snuck out of the paper clip with a solid finish, and now sits second in points behind the new “Mr. Consistency” Greg Biffle.

Was Newman’s win enough to vault him to the top of our Power Rankings? Or was Biffle’s consistency enough to impress our writers? Continue reading to find out:
1. Dale Earnhardt Jr. (3) 181 – 4
“That’s right; Junior’s number one in a voting survey that doesn’t involve the words “Most Popular Driver” or “Overrated.” It’s been a long time coming. Now, the question is whether he can earn the “#1 label” that he’s been seeking for the last four years and drive into Victory Lane.” _Tom Bowles, Frontstretch.com_
2. Tony Stewart (4) 174 – 1
FUN FACT: Stewart-Haas Racing has won 9 of the past 16 races in Sprint Cup Series competition, a testament to momentum if there ever was one. Maybe Carl Edwards and Mark Martin have it all wrong. Maybe _not_ having a thorough workout regimen is what counts. _Summer Dreyer, Frontstretch.com_
3. Greg Biffle (2) 160 – 2
“Finished ahead of the guy who led 328 laps, for what that’s worth.” _Mike Neff, Frontstretch.com_
4. Jimmie Johnson (1) 156 – 5
“This guy can’t catch a break. With his current luck, the Easter Bunny will hop right past his house on Sunday.” _Carolyn Brewster, NASCAR Illustrated_
5. Matt Kenseth 152 – 6
Can’t help but to think that Matt had a little smile on his face after seeing the 24 get wrecked during a G-W-C, after suffering the same fate from Jeff’s bumper a few year back in 2010. _Tony Lumbis, Frontstretch.com_
6. Martin Truex Jr. 141 – 8
Hard to vote against the guy who makes MWR look viable. _Dennis Michelson, RaceTalkRadio.com_
7. Denny Hamlin 138 – 8
Martinsville is his home, he has more clocks then I can count on one hand yet a 6th place finish was the best Hamlin could do thanks to a new setup. _Amanda Ebersole, SkirtsandScuffs.com_
8. Ryan Newman 134 – 12
Hello Newman indeed. But goodbye Newman from the Bowyer and Hendrick Motorsports Christmas card list. _Kelly Crandall, SpeedwayMedia.com_
9. Kevin Harvick 122 – 3
Should’ve raced the truck in the Cup race. _Tony Lumbis, Frontstretch.com_
10. Clint Bowyer 114 – 11
Lost any chance of winning the race with a bold move on the next-to-last restart, then his beloved Jayhawks lost in the NCAA basketball championship the next night. This off week couldn’t have come at a better time for Bowyer. _Summer Dreyer, Frontstretch.com_
11. Carl Edwards 97 – 7
“Pretty sure Cousin Carl would not miss a wink of sleep if they announced Martinsville was coming off of the schedule.” _Mike Neff, Frontstretch.com_
12. Brad Keselowski 96 – 13
Insert random Twitter joke here since Keselowski hasn’t done anything impressive in the past couple of weeks._Summer Dreyer, Frontstretch.com_
13. Jeff Gordon 86 – NR
“Pretty sure Cousin Carl would not miss a wink of sleep if they announced Martinsville was coming off of the schedule.” _Mike Neff, Frontstretch.com_
14. A.J. Allmendinger 82 – NR
“Easier to vote against a guy who is still winless.” _Dennis Michelson, RaceTalkRadio.com_
15. Aric Almirola 50 – NR
“Found out early that racing for the King doesn’t exactly mean top-10 finishes roll off the red carpet. But he’s learning.” _Tom Bowles, Frontstretch.com_
*Dropped Out:* Kyle Busch, Paul Menard, Mark Martin
*Others Receiving Votes:* Jeff Burton (37), Kyle Busch (33), Regan Smith (30), Marcos Ambrose (26), Paul Menard (20), Joey Logano (19), Mark Martin (16), Kasey Kahne (12), Brian Vickers (9), Juan Pablo Montoya (9), Bobby Labonte (6)
*Who Voted:* Tom Bowles, Tony Lumbis, Mike Neff, Phil Allaway, Kelly Crandall, Amanda Ebersole, Carolyn Brewster, Dennis Michelson, Dustin Long, Summer Dreyer

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