It seems that, based on Jeff Gordon’s performance to this point, everyone has been asking not “if” he will win, but “when” he would win. He put all those questions to rest Saturday night at Kansas, holding off a hard-charging Kevin Harvick for his 89th career victory. With the win, Gordon retains the points lead and further cements his place in the 2014 Chase.
As Gordon continues to assert his dominance, the top drivers continue to show their strength as well. Five of the top 6 Power Ranking drivers from Talladega finished in the top 10 leading a combined total of 201 laps. Although Kevin Harvick led the most laps (119), he had to settle for second. And even though he moved up to 15th in points, his two wins put him in prime position to make a run for the championship.
What seemed to be the biggest story to come out of Kansas was the consistent performance fromDanica Patrick. Danica ran in or around the top 10 for a majority of the night. At one point she was as high as third before logging her career best finish of seventh. Now the talk surrounds her ability to back up Saturday night’s performance.
NASCAR is home for the next two weekends. First up is the All-Star race this Saturday before next Sunday’s Memorial Day Coca-Cola 600. Entering the All-Star break, see if your favorite driver put themselves in a position to make a run at Jeff Gordon.
How The Rankings Are Calculated: Frontstretch does our power rankings 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… 3-2-1 basis, giving 20 points to their first-place driver, 19 for second, and so on. In the end, Mike Mehedin calculates the points, adds some funny one-liners, and… here you go!
FRONTSTRETCH TOP 15 POWER RANKINGS: May 7th
Driver (First Place Votes)
|1||Jeff Gordon (9)||198||1|
|Looking like the dominant force that started 20 years ago. Now will he bring back the mustache to matcch?Tony Lumbis, Frontstretch.com|
|2||Dale Earnhardt Jr.||175||2|
|He’s got seven top 10’s in 11 races. While the Daytona win meant a lot, he’s been pretty consistent too. Jeff Wolfe, Frontstretch.com|
|Awww wook. It took six years, but wittle Joey’s all grown up. Who wears the firesuit in the Penske family now? Tom Bowles, Frontstretch.com|
|4||Kevin Harvick (1)||167||6|
|Look on the bright side, at least the car didn’t break.Kelly Crandall, PopularSpeed.com|
|Takes over the Gordon crown (or burden) of “Best driver not to win a race so far.” Jim Noble, ESPN/SiriusXM NASCAR Radio/PRN|
|Hey, at least he finished. The Orange Cone|
|He may be ready to break out of his “slump” with Charlotte and Dover next on the points racing schedule. Jeff Wolfe, Frontstretch.com|
|Carl Edwards isn’t showing his contract cards on the table yet, but he probably knows the hand he has been dealt. That could result in even more wins as he ends his Roush Fenway career at Homestead. Dwight Drum, RaceTake.com|
|For some reason, his contract situation doesn’t carry the same gravity as Edwards’ does. Why is that? Jim Noble, ESPN/SiriusXM NASCAR Radio/PRN|
|Can we just go ahead and crown him Rookie of the Year? Seemingly in or around the top 10 every week and last weekend at Kansas was no different. Justin Tucker, Frontstretch.com|
|Apparently what happens in Vegas does stay in Vegas. Since his win there, Keselowski’s finished in the top-10 just once in the last eight races. Kelly Crandall, PopularSpeed.|
|Quietly and most overlooked, but Newman has been and will be the best Childress driver this year. Kelly Crandall, PopularSpeed.com|
|Vickers was indeed in the race. You may not have seen him, but that’s because he didn’t get TV time by bringing out an early caution like his teammate did. The Orange Cone|
|Cancel the APB, Kasey Kahne has been found! He’s been in Kansas this whole time. The Orange Cone|
|So much for Talladega sparking Hamlin’s season. More questions arise about the 11 team after a disappointing 18th at Kansas. Justin Tucker, Frontstretch.com|
|Dropped Out: AJ Allmendinger|
|Others Receiving Votes: Danica Patrick (57), Aric Almirola (55), AJ Allmendinger (37), Austin Dillon (32), Paul Menard (30), Clint Bowyer (9), Marcos Ambrose (9), Martin Truex Jr. (6), Kurt Busch (4), Tony Stewart (3), Casey Mears (1), Justin Allgaier (1)|
|Who Voted: Phil Allaway, Frontstretch.com; Tom Bowles, Frontstretch.com; Kelly Crandall, PopularSpeed.com; Dwight Drum, RaceTake.com; Michael Mehedin, Frontstretch.com; Jim Noble, ESPN/Sirius XM NASCAR Radio/PRN; The Orange Cone; Justin Tucker, Frontstretch.com; Jeff Wolfe, Frontstretch.com.|
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