Race Weekend Central

Frontstretch NASCAR Power Rankings: Top 15 After the 2011 Crown Royal 400 at Richmond

Kyle Busch notched his second win of the year at Richmond International Raceway on Saturday night (April 30), holding off his teammate Denny Hamlin while tying himself for most wins this season with Kevin Harvick. Kasey Kahne came home third, earning his first top five of the season ahead of David Ragan… who tallied his first since the cavemen roamed the earth. Carl Edwards rounded out the top-five finishers while Dale Earnhardt Jr. failed to score a top 10 for the first time in four races, coming home 19th for his second-worst finish of the year.

Will Busch’s victory be enough to propel him to the first spot in the poll? Was Edwards able to hang onto the top spot with his top five? Did Kahne make his way back into the top 15 with his strong showing Saturday night? Check out this week’s Power Rankings to see if your driver drove responsibly or if they over imbibed during the Crown Royal event at Richmond.

Rank Driver (First-Place Votes) Votes Last Week
1 Carl Edwards (3) 116 1
Two more weeks until Cousin Carl can get back on the intermediates where the Roush cars can win.
2 Jimmie Johnson (1) 113 2
Maybe people that want shorter races are people that hate Johnson.
3 Kyle Busch (2) 104 8
Looks like the role of Johnson’s personal assistant – left open since Jeff Gordon left to work down the road – has finally been filled. Wonder what all the Junior fans will think when he helps push Johnson to a title in Homestead?
4 Clint Bowyer 103 4
Probably not going to be on the Gordon family Christmas card list this year.
5 Kevin Harvick 97 5
Probably had to buy some flowers for the little woman after Kenny Wallace threw him under the bus Thursday night.
6 Dale Earnhardt Jr. 86 3
While another gallon of gas might have helped, a better qualifying run would have probably been much more beneficial.
7 Tony Stewart 72 12
Smoke probably can’t wait for Summer to get here so that he can start winning again.
8 AJ Allmendinger 61 4
Doubled his top-10 total for the year in one race. Still needs to pick up the pace if he wants to race for the title.
9 Greg Biffle 60 7
Two spots closer but still 25 points out of the Chase. Not time to panic yet, but there is definitely cause for concern.
10 Matt Kenseth 54 6
Trying not to suffer from that victory lane hangover for too long. So far… not working.
11 Denny Hamlin 53 NR
Two wins on the weekend, although not the most important one. Look for that to change at Darlington.
12 Kasey Kahne 44 NR
The Hamlin knee surgery trick didn’t pay off with a win but scored him a top five.
T-13 Jeff Gordon 40 11
Any chance Kenseth goes for another spin off of the bumper of the No. 24 sometime soon?
T-13 Mark Martin 40 15
Brought home less money than Dave Blaney this weekend – must be the reverse AARP discount.
15 David Ragan 32 NR
Maybe these talks about him getting replaced after this year are premature. He is having his best season since 2008.
Dropped Out: Kurt Busch, Paul Menard, Juan Pablo Montoya
Also Receiving Votes: Ryan Newman (31), Kurt Busch (28), Joey Logano (26), Paul Menard (23), Juan Pablo Montoya (20), Jeff Burton (16), Dave Blaney (15), Brian Vickers (10), Regan Smith (7), Martin Truex Jr. (6), David Gilliland (2), Jamie McMurray (1)
Writer Voters Include: Phil Allaway, Bryan Davis Keith, Tom Bowles, Tony Lumbis, Mike Neff and Garrett Horton


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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