Race Weekend Central

NASCAR Sprint Cup Power Rankings: Top 15 After Bristol-2

Frontstretch Power Rankings
Was that "Old Bristol"? Or "New Old" Bristol? Or Old New…? 

Does it matter? It was awesome! Helmet throws, finger wags, and everything in between were the staples of the night, and somehow Denny Hamlin found his way through all of it into Victory Lane. Saturday night short track racing at its finest.

How did Hamlin fair in our rankings? And did Tony Stewart's helmet throw earn him any brownie points with our writers? 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!

Rank Driver (First Place Votes) Votes Last Week
1  Jimmie Johnson (8) 160 
The only question at this point is whether the championship battle will even make it to Homestead. Mike Neff, Frontstretch.com
2  Dale Earnhardt, Jr. 136 
Earnhardt basically told Keselowski to shut up last weekend in Bristol, which in and of itself was probably enough to get him to second on our list. Summer Bedgood, Frontstretch.com
3  Greg Biffle 131 
Biffle's short track finishes so far this season are 13th (spring Bristol), 13th (Martinsville), 18th (Richmond) and (19th) Bristol. Look for Martinsville in October to make or break his Chase. Tony Lumbis, Frontstretch.com
T-4  Denny Hamlin 117 
So far so good for Hamlin in 2012; he's already got three wins. Off to a good start in putting all that prize money away since he's going to be a dad. And it'll be a girl too. I hear they can be really expensive. Kelly Crandall, SpeedwayMedia.com
T-4  Matt Kenseth 117 
Wonder if Kenseth is going to petition NASCAR to have Stewart's helmet since it sure looked like Tony was giving it to him. Mike Neff, Frontstretch.com
6  Brad Keselowski 114 
Keselowski's paint scheme must have been so confusing to the drunks in Bristol. The only thing that would have made it more perfect would have been a bump and run from Jeff Gordon. We all know now that that didn't happen but just imagine … a bunch of wasted, shirtless rednecks sitting in the stands squinting at that No. 2, wondering when the clock went back 10 years. Priceless. Summer Bedgood, Frontstretch.com 
7  Clint Bowyer 103 
At this point, Bowyer is winning the MWR battle by virtue of the one win, but it is all but a draw right now. Mike Neff, Frontstretch.com
8  Martin Truex, Jr. 96  T-6 
Truex wins the record for the quietest breakout year in NASCAR history. Summer Bedgood, Frontstretch.com
9  Jeff Gordon 95  15 
While he made a run that looked like he'd have a shot Saturday night, in the end he came up short like he has for most of the year. Mike Neff, Frontstretch.com
10  Kasey Kahne 91  T-6 
Kasey Kahne has a stranglehold on that wild card spot and may have a shot at the top 10 if Stewart has another bad run. Summer Bedgood, Frontstretch.com
11  Marcos Ambrose 81  T-11 
Quietly kicking some serious butt over the past few weeks in a last-ditch attempt to get in the Chase. If he somehow makes it, then he'll probably end up like Vickers a couple of years ago. Phil Allaway, Frontstretch.com
12  Kyle Busch 77  NR 
Busch competed in two of the three races this weekend, Nationwide and Cup, a combined 750 laps at a track where he's won 12 times. And in the process he pulled off one of the biggest surprises of the year: he didn't win either race and never led a single lap. Kelly Crandall, SpeedwayMedia.com
13  Tony Stewart 74  13 
The helmet throw would be a lot more enjoyable if he hadn't been running like crap for most of the night, or the month for that matter. Mike Neff, Frontstretch.com
14  Carl Edwards 55  T-11 
One word: Win. That's it. You can crunch numbers and crap all night long, but a victory or two in the next couple of races is the only way we see Edwards contending for the championship the rest of the year. Even then, with the way he's been running, we'll be lucky to see him finish in the top 10. Summer Bedgood, Frontstretch.com
15  Kevin Harvick 53  NR 
Is remarkably ahead of Stewart in the standings even though he hasn't had a top 5 since Obama was leading in popularity polls. Mike Neff, Frontstretch.com
Dropped Out: Paul Menard, Ryan Newman.
Others Receiving Votes: Ryan Newman (45), Joey Logano (40), Paul Menard (37), Brian Vickers (28), Regan Smith (9), Juan Pablo Montoya (6), Jamie McMurray (3), Mark Martin (3), Sam Hornish Jr. (2), Jeff Burton (2), Kurt Busch (2), Bobby Labonte (1), Casey Mears (1), Danica Patrick (1). 
Who Voted: Phil Allaway, Frontstretch.comCarolyn Brewster, NASCAR Illustrated; Kelly Crandall, SpeedwayMedia.com; Summer Bedgood, Frontstretch.com; Dustin Long, Athlon Sports; Tony Lumbis, Frontstretch.com; Mike Neff, Frontstretch.com; Matt Taliaferro, Athlon Sports.

Contact Summer Bedgood

Sign up for the Frontstretch Newsletter

A daily email update (Monday through Friday) providing racing news, commentary, features, and information from Frontstretch.com
We hate spam. Your email address will not be sold or shared with anyone else.

Share via