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NASCAR Writer Power Rankings: Top 15 After Texas I

NASCAR Writer Power Rankings: Top 15 After Texas I

Mother Nature won AGAIN Sunday, leaving NASCAR to postpone the Texas race until Monday afternoon. I’m sure Penske Racing doesn’t mind much. Joey Logano made it seven winners in seven races, the second-longest streak for NASCAR’s Cup Series since nine different drivers hit victory lane to start the 2003 season. In addition, Penske Racing now has both of its drivers virtually locked into the Chase. A number of others, meanwhile were looking to ride their positive momentum from Martinsville only ... Read More »

NASCAR Sprint Cup Power Rankings: Top 15 After Martinsville

NASCAR Sprint Cup Power Rankings: Top 15 After Martinsville

Six races, six winners and five teams virtually locked into the Chase. If you’re a fan of parity, no doubt, it’s an impressive start to the 2014 NASCAR season. Kurt Busch was the latest addition, able to control his well-documented temper after an early pit road incident with Brad Keselowski. He stayed focused, fought hard all day, then ran down and passed Mr. Martinsville – Jimmie Johnson – for his first win at Stewart-Haas Racing and first in 83 races. ... Read More »

NASCAR Sprint Cup Power Rankings: Top 15 after Fontana

NASCAR Sprint Cup Power Rankings: Top 15 after Fontana

  The name of the game in California was tires, tires, tires! Green flag runs never lasted more than 25 laps. Like clockwork, Goodyear flats arose, and it seemed like no one was safe. Every team, it seemed, couldn’t escape the problem. Drivers from Hendrick Motorsports, Stewart-Haas Racing, Penske Racing, Roush Fenway, Michael Waltrip Racing and others were all on pit road – or in the wall – with flat tires.Almost every ranked driver after Bristol had an issue on ... Read More »

NASCAR National Sprint Cup Power Rankings: Top 15 After Bristol

NASCAR National Sprint Cup Power Rankings: Top 15 After Bristol

Mother Nature has virtually punched her ticket into the 2014 Chase as rain once again delayed a Sprint Cup race; this time, twice in one day. The eight-hour event was eventually run in its entirety, with Carl Edwards becoming the fourth different driver to win in as many races. Tire strategy got Edwards to the lead and he never looked back, pacing the field for a total of 78 laps. After a career-best start to his season with two second-place ... Read More »

NASCAR Sprint Cup Power Rankings: Top 15 After Phoenix

NASCAR Sprint Cup Power Rankings: Top 15 After Phoenix

Kevin Harvick could barely contain his excitement during the offseason, and now we know why. The driver knew his new team would be strong and he proved that Sunday. Happy held a wide smile after leading 224 laps, taking his first win of the 2014 season and first for Stewart-Haas Racing in only his second points-paying start.   Dale Earnhardt, Jr. rode the wave from his Daytona 500 victory finishing second, once again the highest-running Hendrick Motorsports driver. Penske teammates ... Read More »

NASCAR National Sprint Cup Power Rankings: Top 15 After Daytona

NASCAR National Sprint Cup Power Rankings: Top 15 After Daytona

Rain, tornado warnings, countless lightning strikes, and an impressive performance by Air Titan (who even received a Power Rankings vote) dominated Sunday’s Daytona proceedings. When Mother Nature finally let up, though more than six hours of waiting couldn’t keep Dale Earnhardt, Jr. from writing his name into the history books with a second Daytona 500 victory late Sunday night. Denny Hamlin finished second, only one position away from a weekend sweep after winning the Sprint Unlimited and his Duel. Brad ... Read More »

NASCAR Writer Power Rankings: Preseason Top 15

NASCAR Writer Power Rankings: Preseason Top 15

  It seems like only yesterday Jimmie Johnson was dubbed “Six-Pack” but yes, another racing season is upon us. NASCAR has already made national headlines after rookie Austin Dillon, just 23 years old put the famed No. 3 on the pole for Sunday’s Daytona 500. It’s the first time that particular number has been entered in a Sprint Cup event since Dale Earnhardt lost his life in the 2001 edition of The Great American Race. The offseason proved a busy ... Read More »

NASCAR Writer Power Rankings: Top 15 After Talladega I

NASCAR Writer Power Rankings: Top 15 After Talladega I

Well, how about that!? It was David and David against Goliath at Talladega and, much like the popular fairytale, David won. At a racetrack that produces unlikely winners, the Front Row Motorsports teammates didn't disappoint, claiming the team's first win and sweeping the top two positions over the powerhouses of Hendrick, Gibbs and others. They said anyone can win at the restrictor plate racetracks, but you still have to be around on the final lap. David and David both avoided multiple big ones, a three-hour rain delay and made the right move coming off turn four of the final lap. Read More »

NASCAR Writer Power Rankings: Top 15 After Richmond I

NASCAR Writer Power Rankings: Top 15 After Richmond I

Frontstretch Power Rankings Kevin Harvick proved once again why he’s called “Mr. Where Did He Come From!?” and “The Closer.” Harvick took four tires during the final caution, charging from seventh place on the green-white-checkered restart to take the lead. That divebomb move gave him his first race of the 2013 season and 20th victory of his Cup Series career. Behind them, Kurt Busch and Tony Stewart took part in some post-race extracurricular activities after a bump-and-run during the two-lap shootout shook up the finishing order. But perhaps the biggest side story was Juan Pablo Montoya, who led 67 laps and finished fourth, his first top 5 in a points-paying race since a fourth-place result at Martinsville in April 2011. Jeff Burton also ran well, finishing fifth, his first top-5 result of the season. Read More »

NASCAR Writer Power Rankings: Top 15 After Las Vegas

<div style=\"margin: 20px; width: 275px; float: left; border: 0px solid black; padding: 3px\"><img src=\"http://www.frontstretch.com/images/1952.gif\" border=\"0\" alt=\"Frontstretch Power Rankings\" width=\"206\" height=\"202\" /></div><div><div><div><div>Matt Kenseth rolled the dice on the last pit stop, took fuel only, then held off Kasey Kahne to win his first race of the 2013 season and his first for new team Joe Gibbs Racing. Kenseth was strong all day, running inside the top 10, but proved that clean air trumps fresh tires on 1.5-mile tracks with the new Gen-6 car.&nbsp;</div><div><br /></div><div>While much of the news revolved around Denny Hamlin&rsquo;s negative comments about the Gen-6 chassis, costing him $25,000 Las Vegas showed the positive side of the new design. Kasey Kahne began the dig out of his early-season hole, leading a race-high 114 laps and finishing second. Brad Keselowski, winding up in third place now stands alone as the only driver with top-5 results in every race so far this season. A little further back, Carl Edwards followed up his win last week with a second consecutive top-5 finish, showing he&#39;ll be a 2013 contender. And then, of course there was Jimmie Johnson, on cruise control to sixth place and the edge atop the Sprint Cup point standings. </div><div>&nbsp;</div><div> Who are you <em>not </em>going to see move up the poll this week? Stewart-Haas Racing, who continued to struggle, with Tony Stewart bringing home a team-high 11th. Ryan Newman lost an engine and Danica Patrick struggled to find speed all day; those drivers finished 38th and 33rd, respectively.&nbsp;</div><div><br /></div><div>As the series travels back to the East Coast this week, drivers will tackle their first short track in Thunder Valley. How much momentum do your favorite experts feel they have going in? Find out in the latest edition of our Power Rankings… </div></div><div>&nbsp;</div></div><div><strong>How The Rankings Are Calculated</strong>: 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 20-19-18-17-16-15… 3-2-1 basis, giving 20 points to their first place driver, 19 for their second, and so on. In the end, Michael Mehedin calculates the points, adds some funny one-liners, and … here you go!</div></div><table border=\"0\"><tbody></tbody></table><table border=\"0\" cellspacing=\"4\" cellpadding=\"0\" bgcolor=\"#a0a0a0\"><tbody><tr bgcolor=\"#ffffff\"><td colspan=\"4\" align=\"center\"><strong>FRONTSTRETCH TOP 15 POWER RANKINGS: March 13th</strong></td></tr><tr bgcolor=\"#ffffff\"><td><strong>Rank</strong></td><td><strong>Driver (First Place Votes)</strong></td><td><strong>Votes</strong> </td><td align=\"right\"><strong>Last Week</strong></td></tr><tr bgcolor=\"#ffffff\"><td align=\"center\"><strong>1</strong></td><td><strong>Jimmie Johnson (7)</strong></td><td align=\"right\">244</td><td align=\"right\">1</td></tr><tr><td colspan=\"4\">Jimmie is running this well and it isn&rsquo;t even the Chase yet!? It&rsquo;s going to be a long year for the other 42 drivers. <em>Michael Mehedin, Frontstretch.com</em></td></tr><tr bgcolor=\"#ffffff\"><td align=\"center\"><strong>2</strong></td><td><strong>Brad Keselowski (3)</strong></td><td align=\"right\">243</td><td align=\"right\">2</td></tr><tr><td colspan=\"4\">Three top-5 finishes lead all drivers, but he hasn&rsquo;t won yet and he&#39;s not happy about it. That&#39;s certainly a good sign of things to come for him. <em>Jeff Wolfe, Frontstretch.com</em></td></tr><tr bgcolor=\"#ffffff\"><td align=\"center\"><strong>3</strong></td><td><strong>Matt Kenseth (2)</strong></td><td align=\"right\">224</td><td align=\"right\">6</td></tr><tr><td colspan=\"4\">The best thing to happen to this team since Sliced Bread. <em>Summer Bedgood, Frontstretch.com</em></td></tr><tr bgcolor=\"#ffffff\"><td align=\"center\"><strong>4</strong></td><td><strong>Dale Earnhardt, Jr.</strong></td><td align=\"right\">214</td><td align=\"right\">3</td></tr><tr><td colspan=\"4\">Consistency is the key to success in qualifying for the Chase, but he will need to learn how to win races to be a champ. <em>Dennis Michelsen, Frontstretch.com</em></td></tr><tr bgcolor=\"#ffffff\"><td align=\"center\"><strong>5</strong></td><td><strong>Kasey Kahne (1)</strong></td><td align=\"right\">199</td><td align=\"right\">12</td></tr><tr><td colspan=\"4\">Learned from last year that beginning to recover from a disastrous start, a little earlier in the season will make for a much less strenuous summer. <em>Tony Lumbis, Frontstretch.com</em></td></tr><tr bgcolor=\"#ffffff\"><td align=\"center\"><strong>6</strong></td><td><strong>Carl Edwards</strong></td><td align=\"right\">194</td><td align=\"right\">7</td></tr><tr><td colspan=\"4\">Jimmy Fennig now officially licensed to raise the dead. <em>Dave Moody, SiriusXM Radio</em></td></tr><tr bgcolor=\"#ffffff\"><td align=\"center\"><strong>7</strong></td><td><strong>Denny Hamlin</strong></td><td align=\"right\">164</td><td align=\"right\">4</td></tr><tr><td colspan=\"4\">Dropped in the Power Rankings due to Section 12-1. <em>Dennis Michelsen, RaceTalkRadio.com</em></td></tr><tr bgcolor=\"#ffffff\"><td align=\"center\"><strong>8</strong></td><td><strong>Kyle Busch</strong></td><td align=\"right\">143</td><td align=\"right\">14</td></tr><tr><td colspan=\"4\">Running far better than the final results would indicate. But at some point, &ldquo;potential&rdquo; needs to turn into &ldquo;performance&rdquo; when it counts again. <em>Tom Bowles, Frontstretch.com</em></td></tr><tr bgcolor=\"#ffffff\"><td align=\"center\"><strong>9</strong></td><td><strong>Greg Biffle</strong></td><td align=\"right\">136</td><td align=\"right\">10</td></tr><tr><td colspan=\"4\">That ugly paint scheme was the only reason he received any screen time in Vegas. <em>Summer Bedgood, Frontstretch.com</em></td></tr><tr bgcolor=\"#ffffff\"><td align=\"center\"><strong>10</strong></td><td><strong>Tony Stewart</strong></td><td align=\"right\">124</td><td align=\"right\">8</td></tr><tr><td colspan=\"4\">Finished 11th Sunday. With Danica 33rd and Newman 38th, Smoke is not enjoying team ownership quite as much as he did in 2011. <em>Dave Moody, SiriusXM Radio</em></td></tr><tr bgcolor=\"#ffffff\"><td align=\"center\"><strong>11</strong></td><td><strong>Kevin Harvick</strong></td><td align=\"right\">123</td><td align=\"right\">11</td></tr><tr><td colspan=\"4\">Mr. Where Did He Come From has become Mr. Where Did He Go? <em>Summer Bedgood, Frontstretch.com</em></td></tr><tr bgcolor=\"#ffffff\"><td align=\"center\"><strong>12</strong></td><td><strong>Clint Bowyer</strong></td><td align=\"right\">109</td><td align=\"right\">5</td></tr><tr><td colspan=\"4\">That runner-up slump might be kicking in. <em>Summer Bedgood, Frontstretch.com</em></td></tr><tr bgcolor=\"#ffffff\"><td align=\"center\"><strong>13</strong></td><td><strong>Aric Almirola</strong></td><td align=\"right\">96</td><td align=\"right\">15</td></tr><tr><td colspan=\"4\">Almirola&rsquo;s good, no doubt, but this ride is showcasing why who&rsquo;s on top of the pit box still matters. Remember Todd Parrott? I seem to remember him winning a championship and two Daytona 500s with Dale Jarrett. <em>Tom Bowles, Frontstretch.com</em></td></tr><tr bgcolor=\"#ffffff\"><td align=\"center\"><strong>14</strong></td><td><strong>Mark Martin</strong></td><td align=\"right\">78</td><td align=\"right\">13</td></tr><tr><td colspan=\"4\">Would really like to see what Mark would do if he ran the series full-time at age 54. <em>Michael Mehedin, Frontstretch.com</em></td></tr><tr bgcolor=\"#ffffff\"><td align=\"center\"><strong>15</strong></td><td><strong>Ricky Stenhouse, Jr.</strong></td><td align=\"right\">77</td><td align=\"right\">NR</td></tr><tr><td colspan=\"4\">He beat Danica! <em>Dave Moody, SiriusXM Radio</em></td></tr><tr><td colspan=\"4\"><strong>Dropped Out</strong>: Jeff Gordon (9).</td></tr><tr><td colspan=\"4\"><strong>Others Receiving Votes</strong>:&nbsp;Paul Menard (75), Jeff Gordon (71), Martin Truex, Jr. (68), Joey Logano (57), Jamie McMurray (32), Marcos Ambrose (23), Kurt Busch (10), Jeff Burton (8), Ryan Newman (8), Juan Pablo Montoya (6), Trevor Bayne (2), Austin Dillon (1), Dave Blaney (1).</td></tr><tr><td colspan=\"4\"><strong>Who Voted</strong>: <a href=\"http://twitter.com/Critic84\">Phil Allaway, Frontstretch.com</a>; <a href=\"http://www.twitter.com/summerbedgood\">Summer Bedgood, Frontstretch.com</a>; <a href=\"http://www.twitter.com/NASCARBowles\">Tom Bowles, Frontstretch.com</a>; <a href=\"http://www.twitter.com/ddarnell1\">Denny Darnell, Darnell Communications</a>; <a href=\"http://www.twitter.com/Racetake\">Dwight Drum, RaceTake.com</a>; <a href=\"http://www.twitter.com/dustinlong\">Dustin Long, Athlon Sports</a>; <a href=\"http://twitter.com/tonylumbis\">Tony Lumbis, Frontstretch.com</a>; <a href=\"http://www.twitter.com/MikeyMehedin\">Michael Mehedin, Frontstretch.com</a>; <a href=\"http://www.facebook.com/RaceTalkRadio\">Dennis Michelsen, RaceTalkRadio.com</a>; <a href=\"http://www.twitter.com/DGodfatherMoody\">Dave Moody, SiriusXM Radio</a>; Brad Morgan, Frontstretch.com; <a href=\"http://www.twitter.com/Riceman61\">Doug Rice, Performance Racing Netwrok</a>; <a href=\"http://www.twitter.com/jeffwolfe206\">Jeff Wolfe, Frontstretch.com</a>.</td></tr></tbody></table> Read More »