The All-Star Race saw Kurt Busch go from zero to hero, charging by feuding JGR teammates Kyle Busch and Denny Hamlin in the final laps to score his first career victory in NASCAR’s $1 million exhibition. Behind him, chaos reigned, as everyone from his brother to Jimmie Johnson to Carl Edwards shot themselves in the foot by failing to keep their car pointed in the right direction.
Some might say that doesn’t matter, with a poor finish meaningless when you’re not racing for points. But did our panel of experts agree? And how much did the elder Busch’s charge give him a boost on what’s the equivalent of a championship off week? Read the Power Rankings to find out which drivers had this Saturday’s “practice” put them in perfect position to gain momentum heading into this weekend’s Coca-Cola 600.
|FRONTSTRETCH TOP-15 POWER RANKINGS: MAY 26, 2010|
|Rank||Driver (First-Place Votes)||Votes||Last Week|
|1||Kyle Busch (3)||184||1|
|Don’t you wonder what would have really happened if no one got in between Kyle and Denny Saturday night?|
|T-2||Kevin Harvick (3)||179||2|
|It’s so easy to sign a contract extension with your current team when both Shell and Tony Stewart give you a one-word answer: “No.”|
|T-2||Denny Hamlin (2)||179||3|
|It’s a cardinal rule of racing: the guy in front owns the road, and the car behind has to figure out how to get by.|
|4||Jimmie Johnson (1)||175||4|
|Winning segments two and three doesn’t mean squat in the All-Star Race, although it does bode well for the 600 this Sunday.|
|Hmm. Anti-climactic. Gordon fans waited approximately 15 seconds before blaming the lap 1 wall slam on Steve Letarte.|
|You’d think Penske might spend part of that $1 million in painting Kurt Busch’s car a natural color. But with Pennzoil coming aboard next year, those God-awful yellow wheels aren’t going away anytime soon.|
|Missing out on the All-Star Race shows you all the consistency in the world doesn’t replace the glory of a trip to victory lane.|
|Amazing that running a Roush car on an intermediate oval is now a curse instead of a benefit.|
|Staying out on tires might have worked when the best drivers weren’t in the field, but it won’t work on Sunday.|
|10||Martin Truex Jr.||104||13|
|For the first time in history, the NAPA car is heading to Charlotte with a chance to win. Are we sure the world’s not ending by Sunday?|
|If you can’t be good, be popular. Carl said he’d drive like an idiot to get to the front… was late to the wreck in segment three, but still got there in time to validate his Fan Vote thank you. Mission accomplished.|
|Ran like he was caught inside of a tornado on Saturday night.|
|Thanking God Joe Gibbs didn’t ask him to play mediator between Denny and Kyle Saturday night.|
|At least he didn’t finish 21st.|
|Trying his best to give Burger King a Whopper of a reason to sponsor his car more frequently in 2011.|
|Dropped Out: David Reutimann (15)|
|Also Receiving Votes: David Reutimann (48), Juan Pablo Montoya (42), Jamie McMurray (41), Brad Keselowski (29), Clint Bowyer (25), AJ Allmendinger (25), Dale Earnhardt Jr. (24), Kasey Kahne (11), Paul Menard (6), David Ragan (5), Regan Smith (1), David Stremme (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.
A daily email update (Monday through Friday) providing racing news, commentary, features, and information from Frontstretch.com
We hate spam. Your email address will not be sold or shared with anyone else.