Race Weekend Central

Frontstretch NASCAR Power Rankings: Top 15 After the 2010 Coca-Cola 600

Two weeks in Charlotte were very good to Kurt Busch, pulling off the springtime sweep with wins in both the All-Star Race and the Coca-Cola 600. Jamie McMurray looked like he was going to spoil Busch’s party, coming up just short after a poor pit stop doomed him during the final green flag segment.

It was a classic Roger Penske-Chip Ganassi competition, extended from the drop of the green at Indianapolis through the course of 1,100 miles on Sunday. They won the battle while Kyle Busch won the war, taking a heavily damaged No. 18 Toyota to third after knocking the toe out so bad during a pit-road accident he needed to readjust the wheel in order to drive it.

As you might expect, the top-three finishers rode their success to prestigious positions in our Power Rankings. After a month of May where Kyle and Kurt Busch combined to dominate the Cup circuit, did older brother do enough to bypass his younger sibling and lay claim to the top spot? Read this week’s edition of the Power Rankings to find out if our experts made it a shrubbery 1-2 sweep.

Rank Driver (First-Place Votes) Votes Last Week
1 Kyle Busch (5) 188 1
Says he’ll sit down with Jeff Burton and watch a replay with him after Sunday’s accident. Since when does Kyle offer to play Switzerland? Maybe there is a new version of him out there after all.
2 Kurt Busch (2) 181 6
Admiral Addington and First Mate Busch picked up the Penske slack for what was a disappointing day in Indianapolis for the Captain. More nautical references coming; but first, this commercial break smack in the middle of live racing action.
3 Kevin Harvick (2) 172 T-2
Eleventh = still first in points, but that won’t be true for long. Gotta step up these finishes a bit to make a real championship run.
4 Denny Hamlin 167 T-2
Experiment with off-road Cup car was an unmitigated disaster.
5 Jeff Gordon 151 5
He’s either close, but no cigar, or junk, then pulls a rabbit out of his hat. Too bad neither one of those options end with him in victory lane.
6 Matt Kenseth 141 8
For someone who thinks he’s been running like a pile of dirt, there’s a whole lot of top-10 finishes hidden underneath.
7 Jimmie Johnson (1) 133 4
Johnson spinning on his own happens about as often as Haley’s Comet, so hope you had that one DVR’d.
8 Jeff Burton 108 7
That is probably the third time in 16 years we’ve seen Jeff Burton that mad at somebody.
9 Jamie McMurray 105 NR
You do realize that if things had gone just a little bit his way, he’d have four wins already this year, right?
10 Mark Martin 100 14
After 27 years of bad luck, it’s about time Mr. Martin started earning top-five finishes he didn’t deserve.
11 David Reutimann 89 NR
Back-to-back top fives for the first time in his racing career. Owner Mikey needs to scramble and write another Aaron’s commercial to steal back the spotlight.
12 Ryan Newman 83 12
Said on Thursday it’s a whole lot harder to go fast for 600 miles instead of one. That’s the type of knowledge you don’t have without a college education.
13 Martin Truex Jr. 78 10
From pre-race favorite to in-race flop. Heck, he couldn’t even beat the No. 88.
14 Clint Bowyer 73 NR
Top finisher amongst the RCR crew at Charlotte will hopefully quell some of the discussion about him losing his sponsor to the No. 29.
15 Greg Biffle 69 9
Thank goodness 3M makes Bondo after his tangle with the turn 2 wall.
Dropped Out: Carl Edwards (11), Joey Logano (13), Tony Stewart (15)
Also Receiving Votes: Carl Edwards (60), Joey Logano (56), Tony Stewart (41), Paul Menard (39)
Juan Pablo Montoya (17), AJ Allmendinger (15), Dale Earnhardt, Jr. (12), Kasey Kahne (11), Brad Keselowski (8), Regan Smith (3)
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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