Race Weekend Central

Frontstretch NASCAR Power Rankings: Top 15 After the 2010 Coke Zero 400 at Daytona

Daytona lived up to its wild reputation Saturday night (July 3), triggering another classic Big One that shook up the 43-car field faster than your local bingo caller before calling out a number. By the time the spinning stopped, 19 cars – including a host of the top runners – were taken out in the melee, and by the end of the race there were only about 12 cars left undamaged. That’s the type of chaos that will jumble up a rankings chart and the voters didn’t disappoint, with virtually everyone inside the Power Rankings making drastic jumps up and down the list this week.

Avoiding that rollercoaster type of night was points leader Kevin Harvick, scoring his second victory in the last two plate races to cement a place atop the standings. But did the voters give him credit for winning a race that’s often compared to a 400-mile lottery? Read this week’s Power Rankings to see if Harvick moved up the ladder or Jimmie Johnson, 3-for-3 on restrictor plate DNFs this season, didn’t have that ugly stat held against him and clung to the number one spot.

Rank Driver (First-Place Votes) Votes Last Week
1 Kevin Harvick (7) 195 2
If not for green-white-checkered finishes and restrictor-plate mayhem, he would still be winless since 2006. But nice job so far in 2010.
2 Jimmie Johnson (2) 182 1
Another irrelevant race for him. At this point, if you’re the No. 48 team, if it isn’t a win, who cares?
T-3 Kurt Busch (1) 177 3
Finally, lessons learned from that Jimmy Spencer fight come in handy! The last thing Busch needed Saturday night was another first-round TKO at the hands of Carl Edwards.
T-3 Jeff Gordon 177 4
Managed to get through a race without angering somebody or getting put on his lid. Perhaps the worst has passed?
5 Jeff Burton 145 8
The Mayor ignited the Big One at Daytona? Said he may or may not have been at fault. Well, technically, that is correct. He truly does have a career ahead of him in politics.
6 Denny Hamlin 143 6
Having the most inconsistent five-win season anyone’s ever seen.
7 Kyle Busch 135 5
Apparently, Kyle thinks the new movie The Last Airbender is based on Juan Pablo Montoya.
8 Tony Stewart 119 7
Rumors confirmed: it actually was the King from the Burger King commercials driving the car Saturday night.
9 Dale Earnhardt Jr. 118 10
The paint job may have been his father’s on Friday night, but that beard on Saturday was straight up Hillbilly Jim. Or Zach Wylde. Whatever it is, it appears to be working.
10 Matt Kenseth 94 13
Got a familiar feeling when in the middle of Daytona’s Russian Roulette style of restrictor-plate racing… and then remembered that’s how Roush picks his new crew chief every three months.
11 Kasey Kahne 92 NR
Poor Ford. Kahne’s becoming like the ex-girlfriend you broke up with, but still lives rent-free in your apartment for the next six months.
12 Clint Bowyer 84 12
He came within literally a combined lap of winning both the Daytona 500 and Coke Zero 400 at Daytona this year. Add that whole upside down, on fire and flinging sod experience from three years ago, and suffice it to say this track might owe him one.
13 Greg Biffle 81 9
Maybe there is something to this green car jinx. Or maybe Roush’s cars are just slow.
14 Carl Edwards 60 NR
Got the finish he needed to stop the bleeding. But does Edwards and Co. have enough speed left in the tank to start healing?
15 Mark Martin 52 NR
Could possibly assist pseudo-Hendrick teammate Stewart with his upcoming shift at Burger King: Flame Broiling on demand with the No. 5 car.
Dropped Out: Joey Logano (11), AJ Allmendinger (14), Ryan Newman (15)
Also Receiving Votes: Joey Logano (45), David Reutimann (37), Ryan Newman (30), Jamie McMurray (25), Reed Sorenson (23), AJ Allmendinger (21), Martin Truex Jr. (13), Elliott Sadler (7), Brad Keselowski (7), Juan Pablo Montoya (6), Steve Park (6), Marcos Ambrose (5), Mike Bliss (5), Bobby Labonte (5), Sam Hornish Jr. (5), Robby Gordon (3), Paul Menard (1), Kevin Conway (1), Scott Speed (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.

Sign up for the Frontstretch Newsletter

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.

Share via