Race Weekend Central

Frontstretch NASCAR Power Rankings: Top 15 After the 2012 Aaron’s 499 at Talladega

It was a wild weekend in Talladega and just about every car left the track with some damage. However, it wasn’t just cars that were damaged on Sunday (May 6), as poor results in the race damaged the egos of many of today’s frontrunners. Crapshoot or not, Talladega still counts for the same amount of points as any other race and several of the competitors will be happy to cross it off their list until October.

Did Sunday’s wild race at ‘Dega cause a shake-up of this week’s Power Rankings? Was Dale Earnhardt Jr.’s eighth-place run enough to keep him at the top of our leaderboard? 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 (6)1582
The Carl Edwards of 2012. Stick with the Biff but add that extra point somewhere and we have our 2012 champion! Amanda Ebersole, SkirtsandScuffs.com
2Dale Earnhardt Jr.1451
At least his engine lasted to the finish. That was the only highlight for the No. 88 this weekend. Mike Neff, Frontstretch
3Matt Kenseth (2)1445
Found out that being up front at the end of a restrictor plate is OK, it’s just being waaayyy up front that is a problem. Tony Lumbis, Frontstretch
4Brad Keselowski12411
Brad’s last-lap move to pull away from Kyle Busch had Busch going from being an ass to looking like one. Kelly Crandall, SpeedwayMedia.com
5Kyle Busch1169
Anyone else really hoping that if Keselowski keeps getting the best of Busch that the “Old Kyle Busch” will come back? That guy was so much fun. Kelly Crandall, SpeedwayMedia.com
6Denny Hamlin1054
AJ Allmendinger “apologized” about the fifth and final caution by saying, “If Hamlin was already there, I’m sorry.” Unconfirmed reports that Hamlin used the same line when he “accidentally” backed into Allmendinger’s personal car in the drivers’ lot post-race. Summer Dreyer, Frontstretch
7Clint Bowyer9512
Would have won the race if he had Auburn on the hood. Mike Neff, Frontstretch
T-8Kasey Kahne8513
Avoided as many wrecks on Sunday as he has been in the entire year. Tony Lumbis, Frontstretch
T-8Tony Stewart856
All comments withheld, as no amount of sarcasm from our writers could possibly top Stewart’s post-race interview. We are not worthy. Summer Dreyer, Frontstretch
10Jimmie Johnson84
Pretty sure Jimmie is going to be voting for the plate tracks to be dropped from the 2013 Cup schedule. Mike Neff, Frontstretch
11Kevin Harvick7810 
Really can’t blame the No. 29 team for running out of gas with the price of fuel these days. Mike Neff, Frontstretch
12Martin Truex Jr.67
This team seems like they prefer the darkhorse role. Before Kansas: People were skeptical but the No. 56 team kept performing. After Kansas: People starting believing and the team turned in finishes of 25th and 28th. Tony Lumbis, Frontstretch
13Carl Edwards63
Someone needs to tell Edwards that tying for the championship in 2011 doesn’t mean he gets to take the year off. Summer Dreyer, Frontstretch
14AJ Allmendinger42NR 
What a post-race interview AJ! Don’t let the No. 22 go to your head buddy! Amanda Ebersole, SkirtsandScuffs.com
T-15Paul Menard38NR 
Hasn’t completely started the summer free fall to 20th place, but it is just around the corner. Mike Neff, Frontstretch
T-15Jamie McMurray38NR 
I wouldn’t be surprised to hear McMurray’s spotter was MIA at the exact moment Ryan Newman lost his engine. Whose bright idea was it to have identical cars on track, anyway?! Summer Dreyer, Frontstretch
Dropped Out: Ryan Newman, Mark Martin
Others Receiving Votes: Jeff Gordon (25), Jeff Burton (24), Kurt Busch (24), Michael Waltrip (23), Ryan Newman (20), Aric Almirola (19), Trevor Bayne (15), Mark Martin (15), Marcos Ambrose (13), David Ragan (8), Joey Logano (8), Juan Pablo Montoya (8), David Gilliland (6), Casey Mears (5)
Who Voted: Phil Allaway, Frontstretch; 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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