Race Weekend Central

Frontstretch NASCAR Power Rankings: Top 15 After the 2012 Samsung Mobile 500 at Texas

How the Rankings are Calculated: Frontstretch does our Power Rankings somewhat similar to how the Associated Press does them for basketball or football – our expert stable of NASCAR writers, both on staff and from other major publications will vote for the top 20 on a 20-19-18-17-16-15 … 3-2-1 basis, giving 20 points to their first-place driver, 19 for their second and so on. In the end, Summer Dreyer calculates the points, adds some funny one-liners and … here you go!

FRONTSTRETCH TOP-15 POWER RANKINGS: APRIL 18, 2012
RankDriver (First-Place Votes)VotesLast Week
1Greg Biffle (9)199
Saturday night’s win (April 14) is further establishing Biffle as the regular-season favorite. But as teammate Carl Edwards can attest to, that doesn’t guarantee anything come Chase time. Tony Lumbis, Frontstretch
2Jimmie Johnson177 
Didn’t Ryan Newman get the memo? When Johnson is fighting for the lead, he gets his own racing lane, free of traffic for 50 feet on either side. That’s what Chad told him! Tom Bowles, Frontstretch
3Matt Kenseth169 
It appears teammate Biffle has been taking notes on Kenseth’s patented “finish consistently, attract little media attention and pick up an occasional win here and there” strategy. Summer Dreyer, Frontstretch
4Martin Truex Jr.163 
Michael Waltrip Racing cued up the Monkees on my MP3 player: “I’m a Believer.” Dennis Michelsen, RaceTalkRadio.com
5Dale Earnhardt Jr.157 
10th on the racetrack Saturday night, but back in familiar territory as the fourth-best Hendrick car on a 1.5-miler. Prediction: will be clicking his heels, going “There’s no place like Talladega” about 20 times after Kansas. Tom Bowles, Frontstretch
6Kevin Harvick135 
Nothing would have spiced up a dull Texas race like a little love tap from the front of Harvick’s car to the rear of Kyle Busch’s. Not that we’d ever want to stir anything up. Summer Dreyer, Frontstretch
7Carl Edwards123 11 
Second-place curse has made him the weakest of the Roush drivers so far this season. Dennis Michelsen, RaceTalkRadio.com
8Tony Stewart (1)122 
Did someone forget to tell Stewart and company that the Easter break only lasts one week? Tony Lumbis, Frontstretch
9Denny Hamlin117 
Someone needs to tell Darian Grubb getting “revenge” over Stewart by winning first doesn’t mean he gets to take the rest of the year off. Although I’m sure Denny’s reminding him of it, at the racetrack, in so many wonderful ways. Tom Bowles, Frontstretch
10Jeff Gordon115 13 
Aside from Martinsville, Gordon hasn’t shown much competitiveness and his finishes have been atrocious for a four-time champion. Of course, the same thing could be said about Stewart for the first 26 races of the 2011 season. Summer Dreyer, Frontstretch
11Mark Martin88 NR 
Might only be a part-time driver but shows a full-time effort every race he shows up for this season. Dennis Michelsen, RaceTalkRadio.com
12Ryan Newman81 
Kindly reminded this week, at 4 a.m. by some “informants” in dark glasses and heavy trench coats where he sits on the Hendrick/Stewart-Haas totem pole. I don’t think the No. 39 will be a “lapped-traffic problem” for Mr. Johnson anymore. Tom Bowles, Frontstretch
13Clint Bowyer73 10 
Bowyer did the Texas two-step outta there! That race was a mess for the No. 15 team compared to his teammates. Amanda Ebersole, SkirtsandScuffs.com
14Kyle Busch72 NR 
Not racing as much seems to have taken the edge off of Rowdy. Dennis Michelsen, RaceTalkRadio.com
15Brad Keselowski5312 
A White House visit for his finishing position in the Chase last year was the lone highlight of his week. Good thing he was in someone else’s car so he could be certain there would be enough fuel to make it there. Summer Dreyer, Frontstretch
Dropped Out: AJ Allmendinger (14), Aric Almirola (15)
Others Receiving Votes: AJ Allmendinger (50), Kasey Kahne (49), Paul Menard (40), Kurt Busch (29), Joey Logano (25), Jamie McMurray (20), Jeff Burton (16), Juan Pablo Montoya (14), Marcos Ambrose (12), Regan Smith (1)
Who Voted: Phil Allaway, Frontstretch; Tom Bowles, Frontstretch; Carolyn Brewster, NASCAR Illustrated; Kelly Crandall, Speedwaymedia.com; Summer Dreyer, Frontstretch; Amanda Ebersole, Skirtsandscuffs.com; Tony Lumbis, Frontstretch; Dustin Long, Athlon Sports; Dennis Michelsen, RaceTalkRadio.com; Mike Neff, Frontstretch; Matt Taliaferro, Athlon Sports

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