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Frontstretch NASCAR Power Rankings: Top 15 after the 2015 Goody’s Headache Relief Shot 500 at Martinsville

Once again, Martinsville Speedway lived up to its reputation. Short tempers? Check. Payback? Check. Lots and lots of contact? Check.

Matt Kenseth – once thought to be one of the most even-tempered drivers in the garage area – wrecked Joey Logano while several laps down at Martinsville Speedway. Though he claimed it was unintentional, NASCAR wasn’t buying it and penalized Kenseth for the next two races. Meanwhile, Logano’s championship chances are now in jeopardy.

Jeff Gordon went on to win the race at Martinsville, which turned out to be one of the most popular wins of the season. Gordon will now race for the championship in Homestead despite an otherwise lackluster end to his racing career.

How did all of this Martinsville mayhem impact our rankings this week? Keep reading to find out.

How The Rankings Are Calculated: Frontstretch does our power rankings 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… 3-2-1 basis, giving 20 points to their first-place driver, 19 for second, and so on. In the end, Mike Mehedin calculates the points, adds some funny one-liners, and… here you go!

Total Votes



                                             Kyle Busch

Somehow, Kyle Busch is coming out of Martinsville as the most normal of Joe Gibbs Racing’s four drivers. Strange, isn’t it? Phil Allaway, Frontstretch

First Place Votes: 1




                                                     Jeff Gordon

One man’s fury is another man’s victory. Kenseth inadvertently gave Gordon a huge gift when he wrecked Logano. Summer Bedgood, Frontstretch 

First Place Votes: 1




                                                    Kevin Harvick

Kept himself out of trouble and even-keeled when others around him went nuts. Phil Allaway, Frontstretch 




                                                     Joey Logano

Just like a root canal appointment, Logano knew there is something horrible looming and there was nothing he could do about it. Tony Lumbis, Frontstretch 

First Place Votes: 1




                                                    Martin Truex Jr.

Remember that at least one driver is going to make it into Homestead on points. Not that Truex isn’t capable of winning but he is still maintaining a solid “sleeper” status. Summer Bedgood, Frontstretch 





                                                Denny Hamlin
Referred to the Chase scenarios as the “Wild, Wild West” and then created a #FreeMatt hashtag on Twitter to defend his teammate. Sheesh, I’m starting to think Hamlin likes being involved in controversy. Summer Bedgood, Frontstretch




                                                    Dale Earnhardt Jr.

In the latter years of his career, Earnhardt Jr. has turned into quite the racer at Martinsville after he was about as good as David Ragan was his first time there. Phil Allaway, Frontstretch 





                                                   Carl Edwards

Edwards’s years of experience helped him make lemonade out of lemons on Sunday. He kept his nose to the grindstone, let others destroy themselves and salvaged a half-decent day from what was almost a disaster. Tony Lumbis, Frontstretch 




                                                     Brad Keselowski

Remember, it was contact from Keselowski that sent Kenseth into a flying rampage in the first place. Keselowski picked the wrong day to be a Team Penske driver. Summer Bedgood, Frontstretch 




                                                     Jamie McMurray

McMurray’s showing excellent form here at the end of the season. Sad thing is that he’s not getting his due. Phil Allaway, Frontstretch 




                                                     Ryan Newman

Newman went from quietly being in contention to silently making laps. But, hey, at least he came out of Martinsville virtually unscathed. There are plenty of other drivers who can’t say that. Summer Bedgood, Frontstretch




                                                    Kurt Busch

Much like Talladega, it doesn’t always matter if you are in the front or the back at Martinsville. Trouble can still find you as Busch learned on SundayTony Lumbis, Frontstretch 




                                                     Jimmie Johnson

Johnson was strong early, then uncharacteristically fell back at Martinsville. Story of his season? Phil Allaway, Frontstretch




                                                      Kasey Kahne

He finished ninth at Martinsville but it may as well have been last. At this point, he’s just trying to finish out the rest of the season better than it started. That shouldn’t be too hard, right? Summer Bedgood, Frontstretch 




                                                      Paul Menard

A top 15 at Martinsville was a decent day for Menard but he has sunken into oblivion since he was eliminated from Chase contention. Summer Bedgood, Frontstretch


Others Receiving Votes: Aric Almirola (12), Kenseth (11), AJ Allmendinger (9), Kyle Larson (9), Tony Stewart (8), Casey Mears (4), Austin Dillon (2)

ParticipantsPhil Allaway, FrontstretchSummer Bedgood, Frontstretch; Tony Lumbis, Frontstretch

About the author

Promoted to editor in 2013, Summer is one of Frontstretch’s fast-rising young talents. While contributing to social media efforts, she also writes the weekly "Up To Speed" column. A Kansas native, Summer graduated with a Bachelor's in Journalism and Mass Communications in 2015. She also contributes to other media outlets such as Kickin' The Tires.

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