Jeff Gordon and Dale Earnhardt Jr. have been at or near the top of the NASCAR Power Rankings through most of the season, but each took a backseat to tragedy over the weekend.
As most racing fans are aware, Tony Stewart struck and killed 20-year-old driver Kevin Ward Jr. during a sprint car race at Canandaigua Motorsports Park on Saturday night.
The story rocked the racing world, leaving Stewart to withdraw from the Sprint Cup race at Watkins Glen on Sunday.
While Sunday’s race itself failed to slow down the number of tragic headlines, it was enough to deter the attention of many racing fans, especially after AJ Allmendinger pulled away with an exciting upset win. Allmendinger held off Marcos Ambrose to earn the victory and a spot in the Chase for the Sprint Cup.
The win failed to move Allmendinger out of 25th place in the latest NASCAR Power Rankings at The Wife Hates Sports. Ambrose, meanwhile, moved up three spots to 21st place.
The aforementioned duo of Jeff Gordon and Dale Earnhardt Jr. failed to crack the top ten at The Glen, with Gordon finishing way back in 34th.
Despite the lackluster performance, Gordon holds on to the slightest lead over Earnhardt Jr.
Overall, the Power Rankings top five remains unchanged following this weekend’s race at Watkins Glen.
Next up: Pure Michigan 400 August 17th at 1:00 pm ET
2014 NASCAR Power Rankings: Week 22