Race Weekend Central

Frontstretch NASCAR Power Rankings: Top 15 After the 2010 Samsung Mobile 500 at Texas

Once again, Mother Nature wreaked havoc with the NASCAR schedule, causing the second rain-delayed race in three weeks. It was a nightmare scenario for many involved with the sport; but for Denny Hamlin, it’s like an unexpected bonus.

For the third time in four races contested on Monday, Hamlin came home victorious, this time just 19 days after surgery to repair a torn ACL. The win put him back on the radar screen as one of Jimmie Johnson‘s main rivals for the championship; but was two wins in three races enough to challenge him in our Power Rankings? Read on to find out if JJ’s reign atop the list is finally over in the latest edition of our top 15.

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) 200 1
If only it were the Samsung Mobile 501.5… and with the way Jimmie’s “luck” has been going, we’re surprised NASCAR didn’t add that extra lap on a whim.
2 Jeff Gordon 178 3
Aww, Jeffy and Jimmie got in a fight. Is wittle Rick gonna have to separate them? Are they ever going to kiss and make up… or is the kissing why they want to handle it in private?
3 Matt Kenseth 160 2
If not for incidents in the last 20 laps of races, Kenseth would have a top 10 in virtually every race this season – if not a couple of wins.
4 Kevin Harvick 159 4
Has to be pretty pissed that Kasey Kahne has stolen his Silly Season thunder.
5 Greg Biffle 149 5
Another top-10 finish does not a championship threat make.
6 Denny Hamlin 130 NR
God, if only we knew ACL surgery would earn us a win, $500,000 and those six-shooters in victory lane we’d have started tripping all over the basketball court months ago.
7 Kyle Busch 128 9
First top five of the year means the Shrub might bloom before the end of pollen season after all.
8 Kurt Busch 121 10
What a roller-coaster ride. Claws his way toward the top of the standings; but the second he can make Johnson nervous, he falls back down.
T-9 Mark Martin 119 11
The anti-Junior, making great finishes out of a bad day.
T-9 Dale Earnhardt Jr. 119 14
Out of the car, he may look like Jim Morrison in decline, but on the track he’s starting to look like his old self again – just in time for Talladega.
11 Jeff Burton 110 8
What’s happened to Burton the last few weeks is not just unfair – it’s downright criminal.
12 Tony Stewart 79 15
A consoling arm around the shoulder of Gordon was a far cry from the cussing out they gave each other at Watkins Glen in 2000. Ah, the good old days.
13 Ryan Newman 77 12
The ROTC ride marched to a top 11, which isn’t bad for the Rocket on an intermediate.
14 Clint Bowyer 70 6
He’s getting to be quite an expert at this whole “hot start only to fizzle out come spring” maneuver.
15 Carl Edwards 62 7
You knew the Turf Builder car would end up in the grass somehow this weekend.
Dropped Out: Joey Logano (13)
Also Receiving Votes: Kasey Kahne (40), Martin Truex Jr. (36), Paul Menard (33), Scott Speed (22), Brad Keselowski (17), Juan Pablo Montoya (11), AJ Allmendinger (9), Jamie McMurray (9), Marcos Ambrose (6), Brian Vickers (3), Max Papis (1)
Writer Voting Panel: Phil Allaway, Brock Beard, Thomas Bowles, Bryan Davis Keith, Tony Lumbis, Mike Neff, 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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