Race Weekend Central

Frontstretch NASCAR Power Rankings: Top 15 After the 2010 Food City 500 at Bristol

Surprise, surprise. After Jimmie Johnson scored his first ever win at Bristol Motor Speedway, you can guess where he ended up in our Power Rankings this week. With three wins in five races and seven in the last 14, people may be getting sick of seeing the same driver in victory lane – but bad feelings are hardly enough to stop his reign atop the charts.

But while JJ stood pat at No. 1, his supporting cast got blasted by the bolt of lightning otherwise known as Thunder Valley. Wrecks, tire problems, and shocking DNFs led to a dozen spots within our poll changing hands this week – in other words, “the usual” happened after 500 laps at the World’s Fastest Half-Mile.

So where did your favorite fall when the madness stopped? Read this week’s Power Rankings to find out after another wacky weekend at Bristol.

How the Rankings Are Calculated: Frontstretch does our power rankings somewhat similar to how the Associated Press does them for basketball or football – writers on staff 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, Mike Neff calculates the points, adds some funny one-liners and… voila! You have one batch of Power Rankings to serve to our fans.

Rank Driver (First-Place Votes) Votes Last Week
1 Jimmie Johnson (10) 217 1
He’s gotten so bad for NASCAR viewership, the CDC is considering labeling him an official disease.
2 Kevin Harvick 195 2
Eleventh at a short track he once dominated? We wouldn’t say that makes you a “bad person,” Kevin… just mediocre.
3 Kurt Busch 190 T-5
So Kurt’s really upset he’s losing to Johnson. Umm, join the club? Where have you been the last five years, Kurt? Just an FYI: that blue Chevy lapping you since 2006 isn’t the Extenze car.
4 Matt Kenseth (1) 184 3
Yoohoo!! Over here!! Remember me?!?! 2003 Cup Champion!!
5 Greg Biffle 176 4
Looking more and more likely that he’ll be able to list his 2010 location on the U.S. Census as “Sprint Cup Chase.”
6 Tony Stewart 167 9
Still fifth in points after his typical slow start to the season. Will this “spoiler” be the extra boost he needs to get back to victory lane?
7 Jeff Burton 134 8
And that would be another top-11 finish – four out of five.
8 Dale Earnhardt Jr. 111 15
He’s back in the top 10 in points without looking like a threat to win. That means the unthinkable has happened: Junior is now Juan Pablo Montoya.
9 Kyle Busch 98 NR
When your car only runs worth a damn without half its sheetmetal, you know there’s major problems brewing over at Gibbs.
T-10 Jeff Gordon 92 10
Hard to envision a Drive For Five when the other guy going for it has won 60% of the races so far this year.
T-10 Paul Menard 92 14
Nobody thought he’d be here… and even fewer thought he’d stay here.
T-12 Mark Martin 86 T-5
Knock, knock. Who’s there? Greg. Greg who? Greg… Greg… I don’t know. I can’t see anything but your car in the outside wall!
T-12 Carl Edwards 86 NR
A top-10 finish at a short track? Now that’s the way to “flip” a bad season around!
14 Clint Bowyer 72 7
Blew up faster than David Reutimann, which is saying something.
15 Jamie McMurray 61 NR
Highest finishing non-Hendrick Chevrolet is worth some love this week.
Dropped Out: Juan Pablo Montoya (11), Kasey Kahne (12), Joey Logano (13)
Also Receiving Votes: Juan Pablo Montoya (55), Brad Keselowski (54), Scott Speed (49), Kasey Kahne (37), Joey Logano (33), Brian Vickers (25), Martin Truex Jr. (21), AJ Allmendinger (17), Ryan Newman (11), Marcos Ambrose (10), Sam Hornish Jr. (10), David Reutimann (9), Denny Hamlin (7), David Gilliland (4), Elliott Sadler (3), Casey Mears (2), Bobby Labonte (1), Terry Cook (1)
Writer Voting Panel: Phil Allaway, Brock Beard, Thomas Bowles, Bryan Davis Keith, Tony Lumbis, Mike Neff, John Potts, Vito Pugliese, Mike Ravesi, Kurt Smith and Matt Taliaferro


About the author

What is it that Mike Neff doesn’t do? The writer, radio contributor and racetrack announcer coordinates the site’s local short track coverage, hitting up Saturday Night Specials across the country while tracking the sport’s future racing stars. The writer for our signature Cup post-race column, Thinkin’ Out Loud (Mondays) also sits down with Cup crew chiefs to talk shop every Friday with Tech Talk. Mike announces several shows each year for the Good Guys Rod and Custom Association. He also pops up everywhere from PRN Pit Reporters and the Press Box with Alan Smothers to SIRIUS XM Radio. He has announced at tracks all over the Southeast, starting at Millbridge Speedway. He's also announced at East Lincoln Speedway, Concord Speedway, Tri-County Speedway, Caraway Speedway, and Charlotte Motor Speedway.

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