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NASCAR Sprint Cup Power Rankings: Top 15 After Pocono

Frontstretch Power Rankings
To say the race at Pocono was crazy would be an understatement. From scoring errors, to torrential downpours, and crazy on-track action (at Pocono!) no fan could legitimately turn off the race because it was "boring". Of course, we do want to express condolences and well wishes to the victims of the lightning strikes and their families. 
Back on the racetrack, Jeff Gordon finally looked like, well, Jeff Gordon and was able to pull into Victory Lane since a witch doctor cast a spell on him. Or at least that's what we think happened. 

Where did Gordon's victory land him on our 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!

Rank Driver (First Place Votes) Votes Last Week
1 Jimmie Johnson (3) 130 1
Flat right-rear tire? Even Jeff Gordon didn't think so on Sunday. But one bad restart doesn't erase the fact the 48 was laying waste to the field… again. Title number six is looking like J.J.'s to lose… Tom Bowles, Frontstretch.com
2 Dale Earnhardt, Jr. (1) 116 2
A broken transmission doesn't seem so bad when you put it in perspective. Sunday marked the first time this season that Dale, Jr. didn't complete every lap in a race, in this, the 21st race of the season. Tony Lumbis, Frontstretch.com
3 Brad Keselowski (1) 114 7
It's a chicken or the egg question: Will Penske send off Dodge with a bang before the championship or will Dodge's departure blow up Keselowski's championship bid with a bang? Tom Bowles, Frontstretch.com
4 Tony Stewart 107 6
Where there's Smoke, there's … what, exactly? The way this team has yo-yo'd, combined with the Chase out of nowhere in 2011 I don't think anyone's exactly sure. Tom Bowles, Frontstretch.com
5 Matt Kenseth 105 5
His plan for Jimmie Johnson is to bypass the whole Christmas Card thing and send him a flat tire instead. That way, next year he knows what one actually looks like… Tom Bowles, Frontstretch.com
6 Jeff Gordon (1) 104 8
Wiped out all the bad luck demons of 2012 with one Jimmie Johnson spin. I guess that's what teammates are for? The conspiracy theorists certainly seem to think so. Tom Bowles, Frontstretch.com
7 Greg Biffle 103 4
Like Johnson opened the door for his teammate, will Biffle expect the same from Kenseth down the road? Tony Lumbis, Frontstrech.com
8 Martin Truex, Jr. (1) 96 11
One MWR team is gaining momentum once again as we head into the chase… Tony Lumbis, Frontstretch.com
9 Kasey Kahne 91 10
How the tides have turned on Kahne's luck. If this were five months ago, the race would have went back to green, Kahne would have had to pit for his flat tire, and the skies would've opened the very next lap. Tony Lumbis, Frontstretch.com
10 Denny Hamlin 77 3
I'm not sure what caused the abdominal pain; the Turn 1 wreck or the delayed reaction to the words, "You're going to have to babyproof this bachelor pad." Tom Bowles, Frontstretch.com 
11 Clint Bowyer 73 11
… While another MWR team is struggling to maintain theirs. Tony Lumbis, Frontstretch.com
12 Ryan Newman 68 13
Making a late-season push to be sponsored for 2013. But when an entire manufacturer can't find backing and walks away, you have to wonder whether the safer bet is for this former Dodge man to give a former employer a call about a certain No. 22… Tom Bowles, Frontstretch.com
13 Kevin Harvick 51 14
Harvick has been so ho-hum recently, it's making even teammate Paul Menard jealous. Summer Bedgood, Frontstretch.com
T – 14 Paul Menard 44 15
Higher in points than Jeff Burton, Jamie McMurray or Juan Pablo Montoya. But consistency, with just one Sprint Cup win on the resume can only do so much to lend to your credibility. Tom Bowles, Frontstretch.com
T – 14 Carl Edwards 44 NR
 Must feel a little better about his chances if even Jeff Gordon could work his way into Chase contention after the miserable start the 24 team had. Tony Lumbis, Frontstretch.com
Dropped Out: Kyle Busch
Others Receiving Votes: Marcos Ambrose (36), Kyle Busch (32), Joey Logano (28), Regan Smith (20), Mark Martin (19), Jamie McMurray (4), Sam Hornish Jr. (4), Jeff Burton (2), Aric Almirola (1), Juan Pablo Montoya (1).
Who Voted: Phil Allaway, Frontstretch.comSummer Bedgood, Frontstretch.com; Tom Bowles, Frontstretch.com; Carolyn Brewster, NASCAR Illustrated; Dustin Long, Athlon Sports; Tony Lumbis, Frontstretch.com;Matt Taliaferro, Athlon Sports.

Contact Summer Bedgood

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