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NASCAR Sprint Cup Power Rankings: Top 15 After Loudon

Frontstretch Power Rankings
BREAKING: Wins really do matter! Kasey Kahne's victory in New Hampshire practically signed, sealed, and delivered a wild card spot to the Hendrick Motorsports driver. It came at the expense, however, of dominant driver of the day Denny Hamlin, whose four tire mix up with crew chief Darian Grubb cost them a near sure trip to Victory Lane. I guess there is always September! 
Did Kasey Kahne's "stolen" victory bump him up in our rankings? Did Hamlin and Grubb's flub knock them down? Continue 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 Dale Earnhardt Jr. (3)  93 2

Will Earnhardt Nation still be happy if their driver kills with consistency all the way to the championship with only one win? Tony Lumbis, Frontstretch.com

2 Jimmie Johnson 92 8
 Relatively sure 5-time does not buy into Bruton Smith’s late race caution plan. Mike Neff, Frontstretch.com        
3 Matt Kenseth 89 1
Based upon his performance last week at Loudon, it appears Kenseth was celebrating the off-week a bit early. Summer Bedgood, Frontstretch.com
4 Brad Keselowski 81 5
  Keselowski put the kibosh on Penske Racing's ongoing negotiations with any nutritional supplement companies for future sponsorship. Mike Neff, Frontstretch.com    
5 Greg Biffle 76 4
If Biffle could translate early season dominance into midseason victories, we might be looking at history with Biffle earning one championship in each national series. Of course, we'd be looking at history if one of the Cope twins actually finished on the lead lap, so I guess it's in the eye of the beholder. History, that is. Summer Bedgood, Frontstretch.com
6 Denny Hamlin (1) 72 11
Next time Hamlin might want to consider giving Darian the Cliffs Notes version of what he wants from this car, in other words, 2 or 4. Tony Lumbis, Frontstretch.com
7 Tony Stewart 69 2
12th place at Loudon was making lemonade out of lemons. Mike Neff, Frontstretch.com 
8 Clint Bowyer 64 14
This just in: Michael Waltrip to open a new amusement park, featuring a rollercoaster ride called "2012 Sprint Cup Season." Bowyer and teammate Martin Truex Jr. to play a starring role. Summer Bedgood, Frontstretch.com
9 Kevin Harvick 61 10
Keelan's dad is probably very pleased that his first born was not a daughter that that they named Amber. Mike Neff, Frontstretch.com
10 Kasey Kahne 59 7
Your move, Jeff Gordon. Summer Bedgood, Frontstretch.com
11 Jeff Gordon 53 13
This team could be in prime position to play spoiler if they miss the Chase and race the last 10 events with nothing to lose (See Tony Stewart, 2006). Tony Lumbis, Frontstretch.com
12 Kyle Busch 41 NR
The engine woes have been overcome so now the team is shooting themselves in the foot. Mike Neff, Frontstretch.com
12 Martin Truex Jr.  41 15
Now that he's back to running mediocre, days like Kansas in the spring don't sound so bad. Summer Bedgood, Frontstretch.com
14 Ryan Newman 38 12
Past performance is no guarantee of future success. Mike Neff, Frontstretch.com
15 Carl Edwards 31 6
Chad Norris jokes aside, Edwards and his team need a swift kick in the pants to get back to 2011 form. Chad Norris can do that, right? Darn right. Pants bend over to be kicked by Chad Norris! Summer Bedgood, Frontstretch.com
Dropped Out: Joey Logano. 
Others Receiving Votes: Joey Logano (30), Paul Menard (27), Marcos Ambrose (18), Jeff Burton (7), Jamie McMurray (6), Bobby Labonte (2).
Who Voted: Phil Allaway, Frontstretch.comSummer Bedgood, Frontstretch.comDustin Long, Athlon Sports; Tony Lumbis, Frontstretch.com; Mike Neff, Frontstretch.com.

Contact Summer Bedgood

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