Race Weekend Central

Frontstretch NASCAR Power Rankings: Top 15 After the 2012 Quaker State 400 at Kentucky

What Kentucky Speedway lacked in traffic issues, they made up for in mashed potatoes and mac and cheese. If you were at home to see the broadcast, you know what I mean. Between the ads, however, Brad Keselowski was able to cruise to his second win of the season, though Kyle Busch was clearly the class of the field with 118 of the 267 laps led. He finished 10th after recovering from a broken shock.

Did Keselowski’s win propel him to the top of our Power Rankings? Did Busch get any sympathy votes for his string of bad luck? 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
1Dale Earnhardt Jr. (3)1166
Coming off his first win in four years at Michigan just two weeks ago, Earnhardt said that he’s ready to win again and this time he’s not going to be as patient about it. Luckily for him, Daytona is up next and with the Fourth of July being observed this weekend it certainly will be celebrated like a national holiday should he win. Kelly Crandall, SpeedwayMedia.com
2Matt Kenseth1073
His race was sort of like his personality. Quiet, but always around to snag a good finish. Phil Allaway, Frontstretch
2Jimmie Johnson (2)1071
When “getting loose” and finishing sixth is a disappointing night … folks, we just might get to see that six-pack after all. Summer Bedgood, Frontstretch
4Brad Keselowski (1)989
Three wins this season, Keselowski is deserving of a Chase berth, yet he still is not high enough in the points to guarantee a locked in position. With nine to go, he needs more wins or he once again is banking on the wildcard. Amanda Ebersole, SkirtsandScuffs.com
5Denny Hamlin9512
Announced a contract extension on Twitter, then finished third in the race. I bet even Pinterest couldn’t do that. Summer Bedgood, Frontstretch
6Greg Biffle765
Ran decent until his flat that no one watching TNT saw. Phil Allaway, Frontstretch
7Kasey Kahne7314
Second, Kahne? After a rocky start to his tenure at HMS, any race that he finishes is a success but his luck has seemed to turn around in the past few weeks. Amanda Ebersole, SkirtsandScuffs.com
8Clint Bowyer714
We saw more of Bowyer during the commercials breaks than during the actual broadcast. Summer Bedgood, Frontstretch
8Kevin Harvick717
No truth to the rumor that Harvick will be changing his name to “Kevin Dillon” to get the good stuff that his fans are convinced Childress has been giving to his grandsons. Kelly Crandall, SpeedwayMedia.com
10Jeff Gordon6710
Got a good finish at Kentucky BUT his position in the points still sucks! In the words of the Soup Nazi: No Chase for you! Amanda Ebersole, SkirtsandScuffs.com
11Martin Truex Jr.628
He’s been running well enough to stay inside the Chase, but not well enough that he’ll have anything to say about it once the points reset. Though compared to this point last season, he’s a champ! Summer Bedgood, Frontstretch
12Tony Stewart612
Angry Tony made his presence known Saturday after his EFI decided to take a vacation. Phil Allaway, Frontstretch
13Kyle Busch56NR
After hitting the wall, and effectively ending his chance at victory, Busch called himself a dumbass on the radio. Meanwhile, Keselowski concurred and then won the race. Kelly Crandall, SpeedwayMedia.com
14Carl Edwards4415
It was the fuel mileage, dammit! So close to at least a top-five finish, Edwards lost out on a fuel miscue. There is no ifs, ands, or buts about it, the No. 99 team NEEDS a win! Amanda Ebersole, SkirtsandScuffs.com
15AJ Allmendinger34NR
Two consecutive ninth-place runs look good on paper, but it’s too little, too late for this team when it comes to the Chase. On the bright side — for Penske at least — Keselowski will have a test dummy if he can keep himself inside the Chase. Summer Bedgood, Frontstretch
Dropped Out: Marcos Ambrose, Joey Logano
Others Receiving Votes: Paul Menard (31), Joey Logano (25), Marcos Ambrose (21), Kurt Busch (12), Jamie McMurray (8), Juan Pablo Montoya (8), Mark Martin (5), Casey Mears (2), Jeff Burton (1), Travis Kvapil (1)
Who Voted: Phil Allaway, FrontstretchKelly Crandall, SpeedwayMedia.com; Summer Bedgood, Frontstretch; Amanda Ebersole, SkirtsandScuffs.com; Dustin Long, Athlon SportsMatt 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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