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NASCAR Race Weekend Central

NASCAR Sprint Cup Power Rankings: Top 15 After Daytona

Frontstretch Power Rankings

To tandem or not to tandem – that is the question. Right now, the answer seems to be tandem, with a rather dull race up until the final few laps Saturday night in Daytona. Don’t tell Matt Kenseth, though, as his dominant run—yes, dominant at Daytona!—had him up front for 89 circuits of the 160 lap race. But when the "Smoke" cleared, during a wild green-white-checkered finish it was Tony Stewart who wound up in Victory Lane. Yes, that Tony Stewart, the man who is still advocating for those infamous figure-eight tracks instead of riding around with the plates stuck on those engines. And he came from the back of the field – 42nd place – to do it! 

Was Stewart’s Victory Lane vitriol worth a few first place votes? Or did Matt Kenseth’s dominant run impress our writers? 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!

Rank Driver (First Place Votes) Votes Last Week
1 Matt Kenseth (6) 139 1
Meet the new Mr. Restrictor Plate. Kelly Crandall, SpeedwayMedia.com
2 Tony Stewart 126 12
Stewart put on quite a show Saturday night, coming from 42nd to the win on the last lap. Just another victory at Daytona that continues to come in the wrong month. Kelly Crandall, SpeedwayMedia.com
2 Dale Earnhardt Jr. (1) 126 12
Someone with the last name of "Earnhardt" said he didn't like the current rules package at Daytona. In other words, back to the drawing board! Summer Bedgood, Frontstretch.com
4 Greg Biffle 111 6
"The Biff" and Kenseth were a great combo. Too bad they hung their teammate out to dry in the process! Amanda Ebersole, SkirtsandScuffs.com
5 Brad Keselowski 102 4
Looking once again like he is going to go "Stewart" on the field once again this summer. Tony Lumbis, Frontstretch.com
6 Carl Edwards 85 14
Ragan doesn't sound like such a bad idea now, does he? Summer Bedgood, Frontstretch.com
7 Kasey Kahne 80 7

Top finisher among the Hendrick brigade, for what it was worth. Mike Neff, Frontstretch.com

8 Jimmie Johnson 74 2
Part of the job of being a championship driver is to ensure the SAFER barriers are installed correctly for the safety of others. See: Charlotte last year and both Daytona races this year. Tony Lumbis, Frontstretch.com 
9 Joey Logano 73 NR
If Logano could run like this at track others than restrictor plates and … Pocono, he might not be attempting to save his own hide. Summer Bedgood, Frontstretch.com
10 Kevin Harvick  72 8
Even though he crashed on both Friday and Saturday, Harvick didn't have too much time to dwell on it. Sunday morning, wife DeLana gave birth to their son Keelan. Unfortunately, after months of everyone being used to "Baby Otis" no one had any idea what Harvick meant when he said Keelan had arrived. Kelly Crandall, Speedwaymedia.com
11 Denny Hamlin 65 5
Won’t be long before his affinity for golf is blamed for his back. Mike Neff, Frontstretch.com    
12 Ryan Newman 63 NR
The U.S. Army has withdrawn their sponsorship for Newman for 2013, throwing yet another monkey wrench into Silly Season. Will that be the one that also loosens Newman's ties with SHR… for good? Summer Bedgood, Frontstretch.com
13 Jeff Gordon 62 10
The folks at Pepsi had to be disappointed that they didn’t win the Coke Zero 400. Mike Neff, Frontstretch.com    
14 Clint Bowyer 55 8
Want to know how competitive this series can be? Bowyer went from Victory Lane to Chase bubble in a matter of three weeks. Tony Lumbis, Frontstretch.com 
15 Martin Truex Jr. 49 11
Truex's season has had everything except for…. oh, gosh, I forget. What was it again? Well whatever it was, I know it will put him at a disadvantage once the points are reset. Summer Bedgood, Frontstretch.com
Dropped Out: A.J. Allmendinger, Kyle Busch
Others Receiving Votes: Kyle Busch (40), Paul Menard (33), Jeff Burton (26), Jamie McMurray (22), Marcos Ambrose (21), Michael Waltrip (13), Bobby Labonte (12), Kurt Busch (8), Dave Blaney (5), David Reutimann (5), Juan Pablo Montoya (2), Aric Almirola (1).

Who VotedKelly Crandall, SpeedwayMedia.com; Summer Bedgood, Frontstretch.com; Amanda Ebersole, SkirtsandScuffs.com; Dustin Long, Athlon Sports; Tony Lumbis, Frontstretch.com; Matt Taliaferro, Athlon Sports; Mike Neff, Frontstretch.com

Contact Summer Bedgood

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