Race Weekend Central

NASCAR Sprint Cup Power Rankings: Top 15 After Kansas

Frontstretch Power Rankings
Admit it. You laughed when you heard people say that Kansas would be the "wild card" in this Chase.  Well, we don't think that the mechanics back at the shop are laughing now -- especially those fabricators charged with rebuilding sheet metal. Heck, even the car in Victory Lane was damaged after Sunday! 
Matt Kenseth's Ford, its chassis bent and bruised had what amounted to a "Kansas stripe" in Victory Lane but still took home the trophy anyway in this race of survival. Further back, Jimmie Johnson's car was loaded onto the hauler with more bear bond and duct tape than we even knew existed. How he finished ninth, I just don't know although it's notable all the Kansas City Walmarts are out of both products. Was that extreme repair, one of the best we've seen on the circuit as of late good enough to keep Johnson at or near the top of the rankings? And did Kenseth make up any ground 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 (2) 135 1
Chad Knaus to Jimmie: "No Jimmie, you were supposed to back it into the wall during your victory burnout to throw off the inspectors!" Tony Lumbis, Frontstretch.com
2 Brad Keselowski (4)  132 2
When told that it was Jimmie Johnson who wrecked, Keselowski got his hopes up at Kansas that he was in the clear for the championship. That is, of course, until he saw Johnson coming in the rear-view mirror and told his team the car looked fine. Cue the jaws music, Kes, because Johnson's coming over the next four weeks. Kelly Crandall, SpeedwayMedia.com
3 Denny Hamlin 112 3
Hamlin's inconsistent Chase makes it hard to believe he'll be able to pull off this championship. He'll need to have a convincing win at Martinsville to keep himself in the game. Summer Bedgood, Frontstretch.com
4 Clint Bowyer 109 4
This team can't wait until we get back to the mundane, limited caution, fuel mileage races. Tony Lumbis, Frontstretch.com
T-5 Kasey Kahne 104 5
Kahne's pole win was the most impressive thing he did all weekend and he's all but out of the championship. What's more was that his fill-in teammate, Regan Smith, was just a few spots away from beating him. Hmm… maybe next year? Summer Bedgood, Frontstretch.com
T-5 Matt Kenseth (1) 104 11
Seems to be mastering the Chase "Wild Card" races with victories at Talladega and the repaved Kansas Speedway. For that reason, he might be a good pick next week at Martinsville. Tony Lumbis, Frontstretch.com
7 Martin Truex, Jr. 99 T-8
Kansas is becoming Truex's best racetrack. He finished second in both races there this year.  Kelly Crandall, SpeedwayMedia.com
8 Jeff Gordon 97 T-8
I bet Gordon is happy to have Dale Earnhardt, Jr. back this week. He won't be the lowest driver in the standings at Hendrick Motorsports anymore! Summer Bedgood, Frontstretch.com
9 Tony Stewart 89 10
Fortunately for Danica Patrick, her owner can make a couple of good recommendations for anger management classes. Tony Lumbis, Frontstretch.com
10 Greg Biffle 69 6
Biffle was one of a handful of drivers considered to be a threat at Kansas and he looked like he might very well have a shot at it. Unfortunately he, like everyone else, seemed to step on one of those now infamous Kansas Speedway land mines. Summer Bedgood, Frontstretch.com
11 Kevin Harvick 60 12
When you're a Chase driver and you get beat by a teammate who everyone likes to label as "Daddy's money," it might be time to rethink the direction your program is headed. Summer Bedgood, Frontstretch.com
12 Kyle Busch 59 7
A Kansas weekend to forget for Busch. This guy couldn't buy good mojo if it was for sale at a dollar store. Kelly Crandall, SpeedwayMedia.com
13 Carl Edwards 48 14
Edwards just hasn't shown up this year, even at his home track where he has excelled in the past. Good grief, it's been almost a year since he lost the championship. Don't these "hangovers" wear off after a while? Summer Bedgood, Frontstretch.com
14 Paul Menard 45 NR
I think Johnson's horseshoe found his way to Menard's hauler this weekend. A dominant run in the Nationwide Series and a third-place finish in the Sprint Cup Series had me wondering if Dale Earnhardt, Jr. snuck into the No. 27 at Kansas. Summer Bedgood, Frontstretch.com
15 Dale Earnhardt, Jr. 39 13
He's baaaaack! NASCAR's MPD is returning to his rightful place in the No. 88 car this weekend … and no one is happier about that than Martinsville Speedway president Clay Campbell. Summer Bedgood, Frontstretch.com
Dropped Out: Joey Logano (15).
Others Receiving Votes: Joey Logano (37), Mark Martin (33), Ryan Newman (33), Regan Smith (20), Marcos Ambrose (16), Aric Almirola (12), Jamie McMurray (7), Kurt Busch (7), Jeff Burton (2), Juan Pablo Montoya (1), A.J. Allmendinger (1). 
Who Voted: Phil Allaway, Frontstretch.com Carolyn Brewster, NASCAR Illustrated; Kelly Crandall, SpeedwayMedia.com; Summer Bedgood, Frontstretch.com; Dustin Long, Athlon Sports; Tony Lumbis, Frontstretch.com; Matt Taliaferro, Athlon Sports.

Contact Summer Bedgood

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