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Frontstretch NASCAR Power Rankings: Top 15 After the 2012 Pocono 400

Hendrick Motorsports has shot out of a rocketship, winning every race – including the Sprint Showdown and All-Star Race – since May 12. Wasn’t it just a few weeks ago we were talking about how HMS was struggling early on in the season? My, how time flies! But if the standings are any indication, they have quite a bit of competition on their hands for the championship, in particular from the Roush Fenway Racing duo of Matt Kenseth and Greg Biffle

Which team is our team of NASCAR web experts more impressed with this week? Did wins or consistency determine the top spot in our Power Rankings? 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 Bedgood calculates the points, adds some funny one-liners and … here you go!

RankDriver (First-Place Votes)VotesLast Week
T-1Dale Earnhardt Jr. (2)1513
Looks like the No. 88 team may need a sports psychologist to help them get over last year’s Coca-Cola 600 finish, which obviously still haunts them as Sunday’s pit strategy would suggest. – Tony Lumbis, Frontstretch
T-1Matt Kenseth (3)1512
This year’s Daytona 500 winner and Sprint Cup points leader; so naturally, he’s running unsponsored this weekend at Michigan. Earth to NASCAR business model … hello??? Don’t you see a problem here? – Tom Bowles, Frontstretch
3Jimmie Johnson (3)1481
Hoping to one-up his Pocono performance, Johnson will attempt three consecutive pass through penalties for a spot in the Guinness Book of World Records. – Carolyn Brewster, NASCAR Illustrated
4Denny Hamlin13211
Still hasn’t fully rebounded from a guy named Ford working on his Toyota. – Mike Neff, Frontstretch
5Greg Biffle1174
While it has been at Biffle’s expense, if the Chase standings are as competitive as they have been during the regular season, we’re in for a very 2011-esque championship! – Summer Bedgood, Frontstretch
6Tony Stewart10112
Third for the third time in six races, but the real issue developing here is sponsorship for that “third team.” Rumor is, Ryan Newman is good as gone, and does Smoke really want to head into 2013 with only Danica Patrick as his teammate? That’s a GoDaddy, unrated disaster drama in the making. – Tom Bowles, Frontstretch
7Kevin Harvick975
Once again turning into Mr. Where Did He Go instead of Mr. Where Did He Come From? – Mike Neff, Frontstretch
8Clint Bowyer9510
It’s been said before, but MWR’s supposed star driver has been outrun and outpaced by his part-time teammate. Shouldn’t it have been Bowyer that Logano knocked out of the way? – Summer Bedgood, Frontstretch
9Martin Truex Jr.826
Brownie points for salvaging his car after being involved in a wreck not of his making. Bundle of nerves in knowing all of a sudden, over the past month good speed has been replaced by mediocrity. – Tom Bowles, Frontstretch
10Joey Logano75NR
For his first Sprint Cup Series win Logano needed mother nature. For this one, he needed half the field to be penalized on pit road. – Kelly Crandall, SpeedwayMedia.com
10Carl Edwards    7514
Don’t look now, but Cousin Carl is still on the outside of the Chase looking in. – Mike Neff, Frontstretch
12Kasey Kahne738
Even with the victory in Charlotte, Kahne can’t quite dig himself out of this hole. Two steps forward, one step back. However, it could be worse. He could be Jeff Gordon. – Summer Bedgood, Frontstretch
13Paul Menard63NR
Three spots ahead of Kahne with no wins, no top fives and three fewer top 10s. Yeah, this points system rewards running up front … NOT – Mike Neff, Frontstretch
14Brad Keselowski627
Probably the most adamant about the pit-road speeding problems, Keselowski took to Twitter (as usual) to plead his case. The only thing missing was a detailed picture of the particular area on pit road that so apparently screwed his day. – Summer Bedgood, Frontstretch
15Kyle Busch599
She done blowed up … again. – Mike Neff, Frontstretch
Dropped Out: Ryan Newman, Jeff Gordon
Others Receiving Votes: Mark Martin (58), Ryan Newman (42), Marcos Ambrose (35), Jeff Gordon (27), Jamie McMurray (16), Jeff Burton (7), Regan Smith (4), AJ Allmendinger (3), Aric Almirola (3), Juan Pablo Montoya (3), David Reutimann (1)
Who Voted: Phil Allaway, FrontstretchKelly Crandall, SpeedwayMedia.com; Summer Bedgood, Frontstretch; Tom Bowles, FrontstretchDustin Long, Athlon Sports; Tony Lumbis, Frontstretch; Mike Neff, Frontstretch

About the author

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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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