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NASCAR Sprint Cup Power Rankings: Top 15 after Pocono

Frontstretch Power Rankings
Hendrick Motorsports has shot out of a rocket ship, winning every race — including the Sprint Showdown and All-Star Event — since May 12th. Wasn’t it just a few weeks ago we were talking about how HMS was struggling early on in the season? My, how time flies! But if the standings are any indication, they have quite a bit of competition on their hands for the championship, in particular from the Roush Fenway Racing duo of Matt Kenseth and Greg Biffle. 
Which team is our team of NASCAR web experts more impressed with this week? Did wins or consistency determine the top spot in our rankings? 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 Bedgood calculates the points, adds some funny one-liners, and … here you go!

RankDriver (First Place Votes)VotesLast Week
1Dale Earnhardt Jr. (2)1513

Looks like the No. 88 team may need a sports psychologist to help them get over last year's Coca-Cola 600 finish, which obviously still haunts them as Sunday's pit strategy would suggest. _Tony Lumbis, Frontstretch.com_ 

1Matt Kenseth (3)1512

This year's Daytona 500 winner and Sprint Cup point leader; so naturally, he's running unsponsored this weekend at Michigan. Earth to NASCAR Business Model… hello??? Don't you see a problem here? _Tom Bowles, Frontstretch.com_ 

3Jimmie Johnson (3)1481

Hoping to one-up his Pocono performance, Johnson will attempt three consecutive pass through penalties for a spot in the Guinness Book of World Records. _Carolyn Brewster, NASCAR Illustrated_ 

4Denny Hamlin13211

Still hasn’t fully rebounded from a guy named Ford working on his Toyota. _Mike Neff, Frontstretch.com_ 

5Greg Biffle1174

While it has been at Biffle’s expense, if the Chase standings are as competitive as they have been during the regular season, we’re in for a very 2011-esque championship! _Summer Bedgood, Frontstretch.com_ 

6Tony Stewart 10112

Third for the third time in six races, but the real issue developing here is sponsorship for that "third team." Rumor is, Ryan Newman is good as gone, and does Smoke really want to head into 2013 with only Danica Patrick as his teammate? That's a GoDaddy, unrated disaster drama in the making. _Tom Bowles, Frontstretch.com_ 

7Kevin Harvick975

Once again turning into Mr. Where Did He Go instead of Mr. Where Did He Come From? _Mike Neff, Frontstretch.com_ 

8Clint Bowyer9510

It’s been said before, but MWR’s supposed star driver has been outrun and outpaced by his part-time teammate. Shouldn’t it have been Bowyer that Logano knocked out of the way? _Summer Bedgood, Frontstretch.com_ 

9Martin Truex Jr.826

Brownie points for salvaging his car after being involved in a wreck not of his making. Bundle of nerves in knowing all of a sudden, over the past month good speed has been replaced by mediocrity. _Tom Bowles, Frontstretch.com_ 

10Joey Logano75NR

For his first Sprint Cup Series win Logano needed mother nature. For this one, he needed half the field to be penalized on pit road. _Kelly Crandall, SpeedwayMedia.com_ 

10Carl Edwards    75 14

Don’t look now, but Cousin Carl is still on the outside of the Chase looking in. _Mike Neff, Frontstretch.com_ 

12Kasey Kahne738

Even with the victory in Charlotte, Kahne can’t quite dig himself out of this hole. Two steps forward, one step back. However, it could be worse. He could be Jeff Gordon. _Summer Bedgood, Frontstretch.com_ 

13Paul Menard63NR

 Three spots ahead of Kasey Kahne with no wins, no top 5s and three fewer top 10s. Yeah, this point system rewards running up front…..NOT _Mike Neff, Frontstretch.com_ 

14Brad Keselowski627

Probably the most adamant about the pit road speeding _problems_, Keselowski took to Twitter (as usual) to plead his case. The only thing missing was a detailed picture of the particular area on pit road that so apparently screwed his day. _Summer Bedgood, Frontstretch.com_ 

15Kyle Busch599

She done blowed up……..again. _Mike Neff, Frontstretch.com_ 

Dropped Out: Ryan Newman, Jeff Gordon
Others Receiving Votes:  

Mark Martin (58), Ryan Newman (42), Marcos Ambrose (35), Jeff Gordon (27), Jamie McMurray (16), Jeff Burton (7), Regan Smith (4), A.J. Allmendinger (3), Aric Almirola (3), Juan Pablo Montoya (3), David Reutimann (1). 

Who Voted: Phil Allaway, Frontstretch.comKelly Crandall, SpeedwayMedia.com; Summer Bedgood, Frontstretch.com; Tom Bowles, Frontstretch.comDustin Long, Athlon Sports; Tony Lumbis, Frontstretch.com; <a href="http://www.twitter.com/mneffshorttrack">Mike Neff, Frontstretch.com

Contact Summer Bedgood


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