I’d like to take this opportunity to pass along my condolences to the entire Byrnes family. #ByrnesStrong
It was almost a carbon-copy of the 2014 spring race at Bristol: delay after delay due to rain. However, thanks to lights, the entire race was able to be run… and then some. Matt Kenseth finally broke his winless streak, surviving a green-white-checkered finish.
Three drivers (Kevin Harvick, Joey Logano and Martin Truex Jr.) entered Bristol with top-10 finishes in every race this season. Unfortunately all three streaks were broken as each experienced issues and finished outside the top 25. Ricky Stenhouse Jr. proved that his 2014 second-place finish was no fluke, finishing fourth Sunday night. Other surprise finishes included Justin Allgaier (eighth) and Danica Patrick (ninth).
The first race of the season at Richmond is coming up Saturday night. Remember, this is the site of the last race of the regular season and could be a foreshadowing of what to expect in September.
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!
Looks like the only thing that can stop Harvick is if you place a stopped car right directly in front of his path. Tony Lumbis, Frontstretch
First Place Votes: 4
Most likely cost a lot of fantasy teams a lot of points. Surely one of the top-three drivers expected to contend for the win. Mike Mehedin, Frontstretch
Made Roger Penske feel really good about his decision to go to Long Beach instead of rainy Tennessee where both of his cars were out by lap 23. Tony Lumbis, Frontstretch
Johnson followed up his win at Texas with a runner-up finish at Bristol for his second consecutive top-five finish and fourth in eight races. Mike Zizzo, Texas Motor Speedway
First Place Votes: 1
The new dynamic duo of Junior and Ives are still waiting for that win. As long as they continue to run the way they are now, it’s coming. Otherwise they shouldn’t have an issue making the Chase on points. Mike Mehedin, Frontstretch
Maybe NASCAR will script a ‘Made for TV’ ending to his career and then have NASCAR Media Productions make a movie too. Dennis Michelsen, RaceTalkRadio.com
Has been lobbying NASCAR to build a track in the Amazon given his luck with events impacted by rain. Tony Lumbis, Frontstretch
Would probably be hard to find someone who wasn’t pulling for Truex to extend his top-10 streak. But it was bound to come to an end. Let’s hope he can start a new streak Saturday night. Mike Mehedin, Frontstretch
Newman notched his fourth top-five finish of the season at Bristol (fifth) and is the only driver with more than three that sits outside the top 10 in points. All four have come in his last six races so keep an eye on him. Mike Zizzo, Texas Motor Speedway
Only one top five and three top 10s, but McMurray sits 12th in points and most likely has at least one points-paying race win under his belt. That’s all he needs. Mike Mehedin, Frontstretch
Another strong run but fell short of making it to the finish. Looks like the ‘luck bank’ was tapped out this week. Mike Mehedin, Frontstretch
Let’s hope that the spasm was a fluke on Sunday and incessant injuries don’t come back to haunt Hamlin later this year. Phil Allaway, Frontstretch
Almirola is quietly steering the ship at Richard Petty Motorsports so far. Despite his success in the Xfinity Series, Sam Hornish Jr. has largely been ineffective in the No. 9. Phil Allaway, Frontstretch
Seemed to have another race in the bag, even after pitting to take tires. Got caught up in a late wreck with Carl Edwards. Really needs that win if he is going to think about making the Chase. Michael Mehedin, Frontstretch
Well, guess who just scored top 10s at NASCAR’s toughest short tracks (Martinsville and Bristol) and is 13th in points. Nope, nope, nope. It’s the one dating the dude with the mullet. Mike Zizzo, Texas Motor Speedway