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Frontstretch NASCAR Power Rankings: Top 15 After the 2012 Quicken Loans 400 at Michigan

All is right with the world … or at least the NASCAR world. Junior Nation’s pride and joy finally pulled into victory lane after four long seasons and once again on a Father’s Day weekend. Of course, if you ask Tony Stewart, it wasn’t a national holiday, but who’s keeping track? One thing is for sure. This race will either be remembered as the “return” of Dale Earnhardt Jr. … or the start to another long winless streak.

Was our staff impressed by Earnhardt? Or, like Stewart, are they not buying into the hype? 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 Bedgood calculates the points, adds some funny one-liners and … here you go!

RankDriver (First-Place Votes)VotesLast Week
1Dale Earnhardt Jr. (7)1591
Now that the most anticipated moment up to this point has occurred … what the hell are we supposed to talk about now? Well, based upon the reaction to the victory lane “debut” of Earnhardt’s new squeeze, perhaps a diamond? Summer Bedgood, Frontstretch
2Matt Kenseth1481
Kenseth and Jr. are competing like it’s 1999 … Nationwide style, when both battled for the title in the then Busch Series. Tony Lumbis, Frontstretch
3Jimmie Johnson (1)1463
Could it be, history in the making? Don’t groan, Johnson will be a six-time champion sooner or later. My vote, sooner! Amanda Ebersole, SkirtsandScuffs.com
4Greg Biffle1375
Remember when Biffle was the points leader? Mike Neff, Frontstretch
5Tony Stewart1186
Was less snarky when he carried that “Dead Weight” Dennis Michelsen, RaceTalkRadio.com
6Kevin Harvick1127
You wonder if Harvick regrets throwing his entire crew under the bus and asking owner Richard Childress for changes last year. Fifteen races into 2012, the replacement bunch makes you realize just how good the old No. 29 team really was. Tom Bowles, Frontstretch
7Clint Bowyer978
Would be interesting to be in the team meeting Monday to hear Bowyer describe what loose really means. Mike Neff, Frontstretch
8Carl Edwards9510
Barely hanging on while his other teammates hang around up front. For a few races, you could understand it but four months into the season it’s beginning to be a bit of a problem. Tom Bowles, Frontstretch
9Denny Hamlin884
Not exactly what Hamlin had in mind when he planned on “smoking” the field. Summer Bedgood, Frontstretch
10Brad Keselowski8114
Dodge isn’t sure what they’re doing for 2013. But I’m starting to feel certain about one thing: helping Penske in 2012 is no longer on the top of their priority list. Tom Bowles, Frontstretch
11Martin Truex Jr.789
At least he kept all of the foam in his car Sunday. Mike Neff, Frontstretch
12Jeff Gordon6412
It took the luck of the Irish Hills of Michigan for this team to bring home a competitive finish. Tony Lumbis, Frontstretch
13Marcos Ambrose61NR
Ambrose has been very quiet this season and likely will remain that way heading into … Oh wait, we’re going to Sonoma. Never mind! Summer Bedgood, Frontstretch
14Kasey Kahne4712
The last time this team dug themselves in a hole, they battled back with seven consecutive top-10 finishes including a win. So what the heck, let’s dig another hole and build that kind of momentum just in time for the Chase. Tony Lumbis, Frontstretch
15Joey Logano4210
Sucks that he only got to give Earnhardt crap for one week before Junior notched a win too. Mike Neff, Frontstretch
Dropped Out: Kyle Busch, Paul Menard
Others Receiving Votes: Ryan Newman (41), Paul Menard (36), Kyle Busch (29), Juan Pablo Montoya (27), Mark Martin (27), Jamie McMurray (25), Aric Almirola (7), AJ Allmendinger (3), Bobby Labonte (3), Brian Vickers (2), Jeff Burton (1)
Who Voted: Phil Allaway, FrontstretchSummer Bedgood, Frontstretch; Tom Bowles, Frontstretch; Amanda Ebersole, SkirtsandScuffs.com; Dustin Long, Athlon Sports; Tony Lumbis, Frontstretch; Dennis Michelsen, RaceTalkRadio.com; Mike Neff, Frontstretch

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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