Race Weekend Central

Frontstretch NASCAR Power Rankings: Top 15 After the 2010 Aaron’s 499 at Talladega

The “lottery” that is Talladega these days usually shuffles the Power Rankings around like those ping-pong balls before they’re picked at random. For now, there’s one thing we know for sure when the drawing stopped: Kevin Harvick came out the big winner. He may have offended his current and future sponsor in victory lane during the process, but it doesn’t seem to have bothered the voters, who moved him up the charts after the first win in his last 115 starts.

In the meantime, ‘Dega’s usual chain-reaction wrecks produced a chink in the armor of Jimmie Johnson. After hitting the wall en route to 31st, no longer is he Jeff Gordon‘s favorite son nor the overwhelming pick for the top of our Power Rankings. But was he abandoned by enough writers to lose his number one spot? Read on to find out for this week’s edition of the Power Rankings, voted on as always by 10 of your favorite Frontstretch experts.

Rank Driver (First-Place Votes) Votes Last Week
1 Jimmie Johnson (4) 191 1
He made Gordon say pissed? He really is evil reincarnate.
2 Kevin Harvick (5) 186 4
Lost a ride, lost a sponsor, gained some sort of Aztec trophy.
3 Jeff Gordon 164 2
Gordon saying the “P” word is like a kindergartener throwing the type of temper tantrum that has you trying not to laugh the whole time.
4 Denny Hamlin (1) 148 6
After ‘Dega, JGR has scheduled knee surgeries for Kyle Busch and Joey Logano.
5 Kyle Busch 142 7
Don’t look now, but the most dangerous team for summer 2010 is starting to heat up.
6 Kurt Busch 139 8
How goofy is KB going to look in the hot dog racing suit?
7 Matt Kenseth 138 3
Hasn’t been the same since Jeff Gordon knocked him senseless in the final laps at Martinsville.
8 Mark Martin 133 T-9
Stealing so many solid finishes lately he’s on the short list to make the cast for Ocean’s 14.
9 Greg Biffle 123 5
Hey Greg, miles/gallons=MPG. Look into it.
10 Dale Earnhardt Jr. 106 T-9
Mastering the art of finishing in the teens with a top-five car.
11 Jeff Burton 96 11
Twice this year, he’s had the best car on-track – and twice this year, the Caterpillar Chevy’s been bulldozed out of the way of a potential win.
12 Clint Bowyer 85 14
Harvick wins races, Burton crashes out of them and Clint just runs top 10. Goldilocks, meet your three bears.
T-13 Tony Stewart 65 12
16th at Talladega might be worse than Junior finishing 13th.
T-13 Carl Edwards 65 15
The best thing about the weekend: he didn’t flip. And believe me, we’re all thankful for that.
15 Martin Truex Jr. 53 NR
Turns out the first rule of success in NAPA Know How is to kick Michael Waltrip out of the driver’s seat. Who knew?!
Dropped Out: Ryan Newman (13)
Also Receiving Votes: Jamie McMurray (50), Joey Logano (47), Juan Pablo Montoya (47), Ryan Newman (35), AJ Allmendinger (22), Paul Menard (17), Brad Keselowski (17), Scott Speed (9), Kasey Kahne (6), Marcos Ambrose (5), David Ragan (3), Mike Bliss (3), David Reutimann (2), Regan Smith (2), Brian Vickers (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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