Breaking News: Jimmie Johnson wins at Dover. OK, maybe not a surprise headline but Johnson did lead just 23 laps and held off a green-white-checkered charge from teammate Kasey Kahne and Kevin Harvick. The victory marks his 10th at Dover, making him only the fifth driver to reach that milestone.
The Monster had no mercy, as usual, no matter how well a driver has performed to this point in the season. Only three drivers (Johnson, Harvick and Martin Truex Jr.) in the top 10 Charlotte Power Rankings finished in the top 10 at Dover. That means that the top 10 had a few surprise finishers including Aric Almirola (fifth), Paul Menard (eighth) and Clint Bowyer (ninth).
We lose a turn this week as teams head to Pocono, but before they tackle the Tricky Triangle, see how your driver ranks this week.
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!
Harvick hasn’t had a win since the fourth race of the season (Phoenix), but he continues to be in contention for the win virtually every week. His runner-up effort at Dover last week was his – count ‘em – seventh second-place finish to go along with those two wins in 13 starts. He’s due for a Victory Lane celebration again. Mike Zizzo, Texas Motor Speedway
First Place Votes: 4
Assuming the No. 48 team is still trying things for the Chase, it knows the Dover experiment worked a heck of a lot better than the Charlotte experiment. Tony Lumbis, Frontstretch
First Place Votes: 2
The big question now surrounding Truex Jr. and Furniture Row Racing isn’t when they are going to falter but when they are going to win. He continues to be one of the most consistent drivers on the season with top-10 finishes in 12 of his 13 starts, but needs a little something extra one week to give him that elusive victory. Mike Zizzo, Texas Motor Speedway
Logano has a win in the bank and good performance in the tank. It would be no surprise if he is the next winner to rise above one victory. Dwight Drum, RaceTake.com
Juuunyer fought his way from last to the top 10 over the first half of the race, but threw it all away with a costly speeding penalty to finish two laps down. Rough week. Aaron Bearden, Frontstretch
Bad Brad uncharacteristically struggled at Dover and left scratching his head as he finished behind his teammate in 12th at a track he conquered in 2012. Aaron Bearden, Frontstretch
Dang near got them at the end. Kahne may be the de-facto fourth car at Hendrick Motorsports these days, but he’s in much better position than in past years. Phil Allaway, Frontstretch
Remember the day when everyone thought Gordon was unbeatable at Dover? His teammate sure doesn’t. Tony Lumbis, Frontstretch
McMurray sits seventh in points and he finished seventh at Dover. Could be more lucky sevens in his hard-working future. Dwight Drum, RaceTake.com
Man, it was a rough day for Kenseth, who came home 39th after a penalty and suspension problems. Aaron Bearden, Frontstretch
With a top-five finish, Almirola adds momentum to a good year at Dover. A checkered flag in the next half of the season would be like leaping the mountain that he is climbing. Dwight Drum, RaceTake.com
They say the Monster Mile will reach out and bite you at any moment. Although I think Busch will be more upset with Clint Bowyer than Miles after that late-race incident. Michael Mehedin, Frontstretch
Hamlin qualified on the pole and led 118 laps early in Dover, but was involved in a late-race accident that dropped him to 21st. The No. 11 team is going to have a sour taste for a while after this one. Aaron Bearden, Frontstretch.com
This is the time of year when Menard starts to get… mildly warm. I see a couple top 10s in his future, but can he come through and finally get that second win? Michael Mehedin, Frontstretch
It was a rare off-week for Newman, who fell two laps down and finished in 18th. His first run outside of the top 15 since Martinsville. Aaron Bearden, Frontstretch