Race Weekend Central

Frontstretch NASCAR Power Rankings: Top 15 After the 2012 STP 400 at Kansas

If at first you don’t succeed … keep on trying for years on end until something good finally happens. That’s the standard Michael Waltrip Racing has lived by and it looks like it’s finally working out with Martin Truex Jr., who dominated last Sunday’s race at Kansas Speedway (April 22). Though he fell short to Denny Hamlin, MWR has done so well this year that it’s only a matter of when — not if — Truex or one of his teammates makes it into victory lane this year. 

Truex may have had his strongest performance in years, but was it enough to put him at the top of our Power Rankings? Or are our writers “sticking with ‘the Biff’” for another week? Keep reading to find out.

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!

RankDriver (First-Place Votes)VotesLast Week
1Greg Biffle (7)1951
Biffle’s consistency has been impressive, but with all of the big names who have yet to make it to victory lane – well, to quote Darius Rucker, “It won’t be like this for long.” Summer Dreyer, Frontstretch
2Martin Truex Jr.1814
It is hard to argue with his performance this season but he’s still in a drag race with Dale Earnhardt Jr. to see who can win first. Mike Neff, Frontstretch
3Jimmie Johnson1712
Will use his status as “most influential athlete” to better his mediocre 17.2 average finish at Richmond-hey it takes a lot of work to be perfect. Carolyn Brewster, NASCAR Illustrated
4Denny Hamlin1659
Get ready to change the headline we’ve all been saving. Hamlin now has the No. 11 car at 199 Sprint Cup wins and with Richmond up next it might be “Hamlin wins 200” instead of “Hendrick wins 200” Kelly Crandall, SpeedwayMedia.com
5Matt Kenseth1633
Seems crazy to think that you could lose a position in the points standings after a fourth-place finish, but somehow Kenseth found a way to do it. Toby Christie, Sicknissified.com
6Dale Earnhardt Jr.1585
Junior and the Dew Crew just keep on rolling … right past someone else celebrating in victory lane. Kelly Crandall, SpeedwayMedia.com
7Kevin Harvick1416
Another pure vanilla effort turned in by Happy. Mike Neff, Frontstretch
8Tony Stewart1308
In the past few weeks, Smoke has transitioned from “2011 Chase Tony” to “2011 regular-season Tony.” Tony Lumbis, Frontstretch
9Carl Edwards1127
He said that his race with Kyle Busch was like racing for a win – I’m surprised Edwards even remembers what that feels like, his last win came 41 races ago. In honor of Chris Myers, I kid because I care. Toby Christie, Sicknissified.com
10Kyle Busch9214 
The best way to tell a race is boring? When the TV cameras do a tight shot of the Nos. 29 and 18 racing each other like something is going to happen. All race long. They might still be mad about Darlington, you know! Summer Dreyer, Frontstretch  
11Brad Keselowski9015 
Keselowski was officially the last driver on the Kansas Speedway surface as he rode around the track on a tank – yes, a tank – post race. That’s interesting, since it would seem his car drives like a tank every weekend based on his recent performance – or lack thereof. Summer Dreyer, Frontstretch
12Ryan Newman7912 
Everyone was on the edge of their seats waiting for Newman to block Hamlin this weekend. Mike Neff, Frontstretch
13Clint Bowyer5513 
The lone MWR driver outside the top 10, step it up dude, I think your 5-hour ENERGY is wearing low. Amanda Ebersole, SkirtsandScuffs.com
14Joey Logano53NR 
Impressive that Logano is getting better. Did anyone notice that? Amanda Ebersole, SkirtsandScuffs.com
15Kasey Kahne50NR 
BREAKING NEWS: dreaming fan girls from Kahne’s old AllState commercials have just signed a deal with his new sponsor, Farmers Insurance. And after his back-to-back top-10 finishes, their excitement led them to drive their car into another infield scoring tower. Kelly Crandall, SpeedwayMedia.com
Dropped Out: Jeff Gordon, Mark Martin
Others Receiving Votes: Jeff Gordon (47), Mark Martin (41), Juan Pablo Montoya (41), Paul Menard (34), AJ Allmendinger (30), Sam Hornish Jr. (10), Kyle Busch (13), Marcos Ambrose (12), Jeff Burton (6), Jamie McMurray (3), Aric Almirola (11)
Who Voted: Phil Allaway, Frontstretch; Carolyn Brewster, NASCAR Illustrated; Toby Christie, Sicknissfied.com; Kelly Crandall, Speedwaymedia.com; Summer Dreyer, Frontstretch; Amanda Ebersole, Skirtsandscuffs.com; Tony Lumbis, Frontstretch; Dustin Long, Athlon Sports; Mike Neff, Frontstretch; Matt Taliaferro, Athlon Sports

About the author

The Frontstretch Staff is made up of a group of talented men and women spread out all over the United States and Canada. Residing in 15 states throughout the country, plus Ontario, and widely ranging in age, the staff showcases a wide variety of diverse opinions that will keep you coming back for more week in and week out.

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