Race Weekend Central

NASCAR Sprint Cup Power Rankings: Top 15 After Talladega

Frontstretch Power Rankings
It was a wild weekend in Talladega and just about every car left the track with some damage. However, it wasn’t just cars that were damaged on Sunday, as poor results in the race damaged the egos of many of today’s frontrunners. Crapshoot or not, Talladega still counts for the same amount of points as any other race and several of the competitors will be happy to cross it off their list until October.
Did Sunday’s wild race at ‘Dega cause a shake-up of this week’s Power Rankings? Was Dale Earnhardt Jr.’s eighth-place run enough to keep him at the top of our leaderboard? 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!

Rank Driver (First Place Votes) Votes Last Week
1 Greg Biffle (6) 158 2
The Carl Edwards of 2012. Stick with the Biff but add that extra point somewhere and we have our 2012 champion! Amanda Ebersole, SkirtsandScuffs.com
2 Dale Earnhardt, Jr. 145 1
At least his engine lasted to the finish. That was the only highlight for the No. 88 this weekend. Mike Neff, Frontstretch.com
3 Matt Kenseth (2) 144 5
Found out that being up front at the end of a restrictor plate is ok, it's just being waaayyy up front that is a problem. Tony Lumbis, Frontstretch.com
4 Brad Keselowski 124 11
Brad's last-lap move to pull away from Kyle Busch had Busch going from being an ass to looking like one. Kelly Crandall, SpeedwayMedia.com
5 Kyle Busch 116 9
Anyone else really hoping that if Brad Keselowski keeps getting the best of Busch that the "Old Kyle Busch" will come back? That guy was so much fun. Kelly Crandall, SpeedwayMedia.com
6 Denny Hamlin 105 4
AJ Allmendinger “apologized” about the fifth and final caution by saying, “If Hamlin was already there, I’m sorry.” Unconfirmed reports that Hamlin used the same line when he “accidentally” backed into Allmendinger’s personal car in the drivers' lot post-race. Summer Dreyer, Frontstretch.com
7 Clint Bowyer 95 12
Would have won the race if he had Auburn on the hood. Mike Neff, Frontstretch.com 
Tie-8 Kasey Kahne 85 13
Avoided as many wrecks on Sunday as he has been in the entire year. Tony Lumbis, Frontstretch.com 
Tie-8 Tony Stewart 85 6
All comments withheld, as no amount of sarcasm from our writers could possibly top Stewart’s post-race interview. We are not worthy… Summer Dreyer, Frontstretch.com
10 Jimmie Johnson 84
Pretty sure Jimmie is going to be voting for the plate tracks to be dropped from the 2013 Cup schedule. Mike Neff, Frontstretch.com 
11 Kevin Harvick 78 10 
Really can’t blame the No. 29 team for running out of gas with the price of fuel these days. Mike Neff, Frontstretch.com
12 Martin Truex, Jr. 67
This team seems like they prefer the dark horse role. Before Kansas: People were skeptical but the No. 56 team kept performing. After Kansas: People starting believing and the team turned in finishes of 25th and 28th. Tony Lumbis, Frontstretch.com
13 Carl Edwards 63
Someone needs to tell Edwards that tying for the championship in 2011 doesn’t mean he gets to take the year off. Summer Dreyer, Frontstretch.com 
14 AJ Allmendinger 42 NR 
What a post-race interview AJ! Don't let the No. 22 go to your head buddy! Amanda Ebersole, SkirtsandScuffs.com
Tie-15 Paul Menard 38 NR 
Hasn’t completely started the summer free-fall to 20th place, but it is just around the corner. Mike Neff, Frontstretch.com
Tie-15 Jamie McMurray 38 NR 
I wouldn’t be surprised to hear McMurray’s spotter was MIA at the exact moment Ryan Newman lost his engine. Whose bright idea was it to have identical cars on track, anyway?! Summer Dreyer, Frontstretch.com
Dropped Out: Ryan Newman, Mark Martin
Others Receiving Votes: Jeff Gordon (25), Jeff Burton (24), Kurt Busch (24), Michael Waltrip (23), Ryan Newman (20), Aric Almirola (19), Trevor Bayne (15), Mark Martin (15), Marcos Ambrose (13), David Ragan (8), Joey Logano (8), Juan Pablo Montoya (8), David Gilliland (6), Casey Mears (5)
Who Voted: Phil Allaway, Frontstretch.com; Kelly Crandall, SpeedwayMedia.com; Summer Dreyer, Frontstretch.com; Amanda Ebersole, SkirtsandScuffs.com; Tony Lumbis, Frontstretch.com; Dustin Long, Athlon Sports; Mike Neff, Frontstretch.com; Matt Taliaferro, Athlon Sports.

Contact Summer Dreyer

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