Race Weekend Central

Frontstretch NASCAR Power Rankings: Top 15 After the 2012 Capital City 400 at Richmond

Richmond was a race of surprises, with two of NASCAR’s most competitive drivers – Greg Biffle and Martin Truex Jr. – suffering miserable performances, while Kyle Busch snagged a victory in an otherwise quiet season. Oh, yeah, and some guy named Dale Earnhardt Jr. came close to breaking a long winless streak, but no one cares about that right?

Simply put, Richmond shook up the Sprint Cup Series standings and the same can be said for this week’s Power Rankings. Did Biffle’s performance – or lack thereof – knock him off the top of our rankings? Did Busch’s win move him inside the top five? Continue 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
1Dale Earnhardt Jr. (4)1726
A guy can only come close so many times before he seals the deal. If only there was some sort of restrictor-plate race coming up … Oh wait! Summer Dreyer, Frontstretch
2Greg Biffle (3)1671
Petitioning the Chase to remove all tracks a mile or less from the schedule. Hey, they already have five 1.5-milers, why not do all 10! Tom Bowles, Frontstretch
3Jimmie Johnson (2)1623
Comes out on top during the week nobody wanted to be No. 1. Tony Lumbis, Frontstretch
4Denny Hamlin1484
It was a little bit … Scratch that, it was VERY surprising that Hamlin left Richmond without leading one lap, especially one week after winning at Kansas Speedway. In other words, rare off day for Hamlin at his home track. Either that, or Hamlin and Busch swapped rides when no one was looking. Summer Dreyer, Frontstretch
5Matt Kenseth1375
Not exciting but championship material all the way. Dennis Michelsen, RaceTalkRadio.com
6Tony Stewart1348
Entire pit crew reported to have called out sick every day this week. They’re still waiting for Smoke to calm down. Tom Bowles, Frontstretch
7Carl Edwards1189
Jack Roush has instructed the No. 99 team to answer any direction from NASCAR with “Is that your FINAL answer?” Tony Lumbis, Frontstretch
8Martin Truex Jr.1162
His signature was the second on the petition to remove Richmond from the schedule, right under Biffle. Tony Lumbis, Frontstretch
9Kyle Busch11410
Best weekend ever? Oh, no, we don’t mean for Busch. His haters finally have a relevant case when they refer to him as “Crybaby” after choking up in victory lane over the weekend. Summer Dreyer, Frontstretch
10Kevin Harvick98
We can only sarcastically refer to Harvick as “Happy” so many times before it becomes mundane. Seriously, what’s up with him lately? Five top 10s in nine races looks good on paper, but he’s been lacking severely in the “wow factor” this season. Summer Dreyer, Frontstretch
11Brad Keselowski8611 
Small, moral victory when the engine actually goes the distance. How much longer until Penske switches to Ford again? Tom Bowles, Frontstretch
12Clint Bowyer8313 
5-hour Energy gave more money, but the boost hasn’t translated into victory lane quite yet. Tom Bowles, Frontstretch
13Kasey Kahne6515 
Will he start Raising Kahne and continue rising in the standings? Dennis Michelsen, RaceTalkRadio.com
14Ryan Newman5812 
Newman heads to his favorite most hated track on the schedule this weekend, where I’m sure he’ll have many nice things very strong words on what’s wrong with restrictor plate racing. Summer Dreyer, Frontstretch
15Mark Martin54NR 
Knows how to go fast for one lap. Put it together for all the laps and he’ll be the oldest winner in NASCAR Sprint Cup history. Tom Bowles, Frontstretch
Dropped Out: Joey Logano
Others Receiving Votes: Juan Pablo Montoya (41), Paul Menard (41), Jeff Gordon (28), AJ Allmendinger (23), Jamie McMurray (20), Joey Logano (9), Landon Cassill (3), Marcos Ambrose (3), Jeff Burton (2), Casey Mears (2), Regan Smith (1)
Who Voted: Phil Allaway, Frontstretch; Tom Bowles, Frontstretch; Carolyn Brewster, NASCAR Illustrated; Toby Christie, Sicknissfied.comSummer Dreyer, FrontstretchTony Lumbis, Frontstretch; Dustin Long, Athlon Sports; Dennis Michelsen, RaceTalkRadio.com; 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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