NASCAR Race Weekend Central

The 10: Bumping & Banging at Martinsville

So, how’s that for ending a losing streak?

Entering the weekend at Martinsville Speedway with an unexplainable 0-30 record, Kyle Busch took not just one, but two grandfather clocks with the first-ever sweep of the Camping World Truck and Sprint Cup series events at the half-mile paper clip.

You won’t be shocked to know that Busch easily took the top spot of these rankings. But behind him, things get a little more difficult to predict.

Without further ado, here are the Frontstretch Power Rankings after the season’s first short-track race.

POWER RANKINGS: STP 500

1. KYLE BUSCH (164 POINTS, +3)

(Photo: NASCAR)
(Photo: NASCAR)

“Whether he’s smoking the field on the track or making a fan’s day while sitting in traffic, Kyle Busch has been the man to beat so far this season. ” – Pete McCole, AutoRacing1.com

“Dang Cup guys winning minor league races. What a waste… Oh wait, he dominated the Cup race, too?” – Aaron Bearden, Frontstretch

2.  JIMMIE JOHNSON (147 POINTS, -1)

(Photo: NASCAR)
(Photo: NASCAR)
“HIS PERFORMANCE ON SUNDAY WAS LIKE MY ENTIRE HIGH SCHOOL LIFE — NO ONE EVER TALKED ABOUT HIM EXCEPT MAYBE LIKE ONCE.” – @AnnoyingRaceFan
“Johnson seemed like a non-factor all day on one of his best tracks but still finished solid” – Sean Fesko, Frontstretch

3.  KEVIN HARVICK (140 POINTS, -1)

(Photo: NASCAR)
(Photo: NASCAR)
“Harvick’s probably wondering what happened.  Everything looked so good, yet he ended up as the worst of the four Stewart-Haas Racing entries despite having the best overall day.  Weak sauce.” – Phil Allaway, Frontstretch
“Not the finish that Harvick wanted at Martinsville, but six races into 2016 and he leads the YTD Driver Rating category with a 122.3.” –  Brian Eberly, Motor Racing Digest
“FULL-PRICED BLOOMIN’ ONIONS ARE THE WORST.” – @AnnoyingRaceFan 

4.   CARL EDWARDS (102 POINTS, -1)

(Photo by Chris Graythen/NASCAR via Getty Images)
(Photo: NASCAR)
“Consistently consistent. Huge rebound throughout the race on Sunday.” – Dustin Albino, Frontstretch
“Carl was in the race. He finished sixth. That is the extent of his day.” – @TheOrangeCone

5.   JOEY LOGANO (83 POINTS, +1)

(Photo: NASCAR)
(Photo: NASCAR)
“Dropped like a rock early, but props to him for salvaging a decent finish.” – Bryan Gable, Frontstretch
“It didn’t take Matt Kenseth to send Logano spiraling through the field from the lead on Sunday. With a poor handling car, Sliced Bread was perfectly capable of dropping by himself.” – Bearden

6.   BRAD KESELOWKI (77 POINTS, +2)

(Photo: NASCAR)
(Photo: NASCAR)

“Four top-10 finishes means the 2012 champ has the consistency along with the wins to run for a title.” – Fesko

“No laps led. Didn’t seem like a factor to win. But yet he still was disappointed with fifth. That’s a racer.” – @TheOrangeCone

7.   AUSTIN DILLON (62 POINTS, Prev. Unranked)

(Photo: NASCAR)
(Photo: NASCAR)
“The 3 car bumping and banging with anyone on the track,including his teammate certainly brought back memories for some.” – Tony Lumbis, Frontstretch
“If he wins at Texas, what’s the track going to do with the cowboy hat they supply the winner? Don’t mind me, just thinking about the important things in racing.” – Kyle Pokrefky, The Fourth Turn
“Spent a good chunk of Sunday’s race in a mini-duel with Paul Menard.  However, the team made a good move pitting for tires late.” – Allaway

8.   DALE EARNHARDT, JR. (50 POINTS, -1)

(Photo: NASCAR)
(Photo: NASCAR)
“Finished 14th at Martinsville but made a race-high 59 green flag passes” – Eberly
“He made a sandwich and it became a Twitter Moment. I spent two hours assembling these rankings and will be lucky to get three comments. Must be nice to be a star…” – Bearden

9.   KURT BUSCH (39 POINTS, +1)

(Photo: NASCAR)
(Photo: NASCAR)
“He has eight wins combined on the next three tracks, is another one coming?” – Gable
“The elder Busch brother has been eerily quiet so far. Something big’s coming soon.” – Bearden

10. DENNY HAMLIN (21 POINTS, -5)

(Photo: NASCAR)
(Photo: NASCAR)

“The DNF made him the biggest loser among the top 10 in points, falling five spots. He’s been competitive in just about every race but just can get over the hump.” – McCole

“WE ALL MAKE MISTAKES, DENNY, EXCEPT MOST OF US AREN’T SPRINT CUP DRIVERS.” – @AnnoyingRaceFan

CLOSE, BUT NO CIGAR

Both had great runs, and one had a surprisingly good finish, but neither the Dinger or the Cheese Head were good enough to crack the top 10 after Martinsville. Better luck in Bristol, guys.

AJ Allmendinger (25 Points, Finished 2nd) – “Six races into the season and AJ Allmendinger’s in the top 12 in points. How awesome would that be to see Allmendinger make the Chase this year without a road course win?” – Pokrefky

Matt Kenseth (12 Points, Finished 16th) – “Man, Milli Vanilli didn’t even fall a hard as Kenseth did on the final restart. He’s yet to record a single top-5 finish but somehow actually gained a spot in the points standings. – McCole

Others receiving votes: Kyle Larson (11), Paul Menard (7), Martin Truex, Jr., (5), Todd Gilliland (1).

CONTRIBUTORS

Do you agree with our rankings? Think someone got snubbed, or that one of the top drivers is overrated? Let us know in the comments, and tell us who raced their way into your top 10.

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