On a weekend when anything goes, that’s exactly what happened at Charlotte. It all started on Friday night in the Sprint Showdown. Yes, Clint Bowyer and AJ Allmendinger raced their way into the All-Star Race, but the story that dominated the night was the Sprint Fan Vote winner. No, it wasn’t Danica Patrick. Phil Parsons Racing driver Josh Wise, with heavy support from his sponsor Dogecoin, shocked the NASCAR world when he received the most Fan Votes and transferred into the All-Star Race. Oh yeah, and then Jamie McMurray played some tire strategy and won his first Sprint All-Star event.
It was a bag of mixed results for the top-10 rated drivers after Kansas. Kyle Busch won the first segment but crashed out hard along with Joey Logano in the second. Kevin Harvick finished in the top three in as many segments, then won the fourth, but a slow pit stop dropped him back to third on the final 10-lap restart. After spending too much time battling past Carl Edwards for second, Harvick was not able to run down McMurray. Matt Kenseth, Dale Earnhardt, Jr., Carl Edwards (pole sitter) and Jimmie Johnson all finished in the top six, while Power Rankings leader Jeff Gordon crashed out with Greg Biffle and Martin Truex, Jr. in the third segment. Kyle Larson didn’t even qualify for the event.
Points racing returns this weekend in Charlotte with the extremely demanding Memorial Day Weekend, Sunday night 600-mile race. Many eyes will be on Kurt Busch as he attempts the Indy 500/Coca-Cola 600 double. But before we focus on Sunday’s excitement, see if your driver made the cut in our poll after the All-Star Race.
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!
Saturday night marked Gordon’s eighth straight finish outside the top 10 in the All-Star Race. He has to be hoping it doesn’t carry over to the 600 this weekend. Justin Tucker, Frontstretch.com
First Place Votes: 6
Dale Earnhardt Jr.
Well, anyone who manages to finish while driving a “dump truck” deserved to be at or near the top of the rankings, no matter what. Phil Allaway, Frontstretch.com
First Place Votes: 1
He picked the right race to have a bad night. Jeff Wolfe, Frontstretch.com
Even when points aren’t on the line, Happy’s competitive juices flow. A strong All-Star showing could translate into another trip to Victory Lane this Sunday. Jim Noble, ESPN/SiriusXM NASCAR Radio/PRN
First Place Votes: 2
Matt Kenseth and team are having a good year for top-10 results. It’s that skunk in Victory Lane they need to run off by winning. Dwight Drum, RaceTake.com
It seems like he wants to go faster, but I’m not really sure if he can. Jeff Wolfe, Frontstretch.com
While it didn’t work out for him, I commend Busch for racing hard and making it interesting. That’s what the All-Star race is about, taking those chances that might seem crazy and may or may not work out. Kelly Crandall, PopularSpeed.com
Dude can’t win a points-paying race or a non-points race. He should consider hanging it up. Kelly Crandall, PopularSpeed.com
What has happened to Keselowski and the No. 2 team since starting the season strong? Only one top 10 in the last eight points races… and invisible Saturday night. Justin Tucker, Frontstretch.com
While Edwards is busy fighting for the win and a new contract these days, Biffle looks a bit more invisible by comparison. That’s not a good sign. Tom Bowles, Frontstretch.com
Not really a threat to win each week, but he keeps it running until the checkered flag. Jeff Wolfe, Frontstretch.com
Ripped the bejesus out of third gear during the Sprint Showdown. Had that not happened, he probably would have taken AJ Allmendinger’s place in the All-Star Race. Phil Allaway, Frontstretch.com
The last time Vickers was supposed to run the All-Star Race, his very survival was in question. Puts life in perspective, doesn’t it? Tom Bowles, Frontstretch.com
I think everyone had Kahne to win the All-Star Race after the third segment. He was in a league of his own. But, much like his luck this season… well, he hasn’t had any luck. However, Kahne showed his strength and Sunday could be the race to save his season. Michael Mehedin, Frontstretch.com
If Hamlin is going to be any threat whatsoever in the Chase, he better figure out these 1.5-mile tracks. Hasn’t finished better than 12th in the three races held at 1.5-mile ovals this season. Jim Noble, ESPN/SiriusXM NASCAR Radio/PRN