The Frontstretch: Frontstretch Sprint Cup Power Rankings : Top 15 After Indianapolis by Mike Neff -- Wednesday July 30, 2008

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Frontstretch Power Rankings

And the winner of the first annual Indianapolis Heat Race is … Jimmie Johnson! OK, so maybe it was the Allstate 400 at the Brickyard, but the way in which the race was controlled by NASCAR — with competition cautions held every ten laps — they might as well have renamed it the Allstate 25. With so many stops and starts, it was difficult to gauge the worthiness of driver rankings after both the off week and the debacle that was Goodyeargate 2008. However, your dedicated staff at the Frontstretch did their best to see through the cords and rubber dust and give you the best rankings they could possibly compile.

No matter what the circumstances, there’s no denying Brian Vickers and Kevin Harvick were two notable exceptions on Sunday, unfortunate recipients of poor finishes not related to tire failures at Indy. As a result, both tumbled precipitously in the rankings and in real life — both are on the outside looking in on the Chase. In the meantime, playoff contenders Ryan Newman and Denny Hamlin used good finishes to claw their way back into our own power ratings system.

But just how far up did those two men climb? And would a 15th place finish in his No. 18 Toyota be enough to cement Kyle Busch’s hold on the top spot? To find out, simply read on below for this week’s Top 15 rankings from the Frontstretch.

How The Rankings Are Calculated: Frontstretch does their power rankings somewhat similar to how the Associated Press does them for basketball or football — writers on our staff 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, Mike Neff calculates the points, adds some funny one liners, and … voila! You have the power rankings from our dedicated staff.

Rank Driver (First Place Votes) Votes Last Week
1 Kyle Busch (9) 198 1
His season of good fortune continues after missing three great opportunities to wreck on Sunday.
2 Carl Edwards 179 3
Would have won the race if there had simply been any way to run more than seven laps at the finish.
3 Jimmie Johnson (1) 176 5
Johnson and Chad Knaus won the race because Goodyear only shared the top secret mysterious tire setup with the No. 48 team and nobody else… at least that’s what Jack Roush told us, anyway.
4 Dale Earnhardt, Jr. 165 2
That early pit strategy by Tony Eury, Jr. and resulting competition yellows were the undoing of what could have been a Top 5 finish.
5 Matt Kenseth 157 4
Dude, where’s my car?!
6 Tony Stewart 131 6
Good thing he got A.J.’s car number for his new team this weekend; for after slapping officials and pushing guys around on Thursday, Stewart lived up to his hero’s legend in more ways than one.
7 Jeff Gordon 128 7
Second fiddle to Busch, second fiddle to Junior, second fiddle to Johnson … that’s not good for the Drive For Five.
8 Jeff Burton 122 8
Had he not Randy Johnsoned that bird on the frontstretch, you may have never seen him on TV this Sunday.
9 Kasey Kahne 110 11
Kahne’s post-race Indy PR quote: “I’m super sorry about the awful race this weekend…”
10 Greg Biffle 106 13
His Dish Network logo should have been changed from “Never Miss Everything” to “Go Ahead, Change The Channel!”
11 David Ragan 99 12
Crown Royal will look great on his car next year after Jamie Mac hits the bricks instead of kissing them.
12 Brian Vickers 98 9
Red Bull may give you wings, but it can’t give you bottom end bearings.
13 Denny Hamlin 78 NR
The brand new spokesperson for the SPEED show “Wrecked” – because nobody could have towed the company line better regarding the tire debacle at Indy.
14 Kevin Harvick 72 10
Harvick’s no longer the only man to win from the pole at Indy — nor is he the only driver to get wrecked by Kurt Busch.
15 Ryan Newman 51 NR
News flash, Ryan: Rusty Wallace still hates you.
Dropped Out : Clint Bowyer (14), Martin Truex, Jr. (15).
Also Receiving Votes: Clint Bowyer (48), Elliott Sadler (41), Martin Truex, Jr. (36), Mark Martin (29), Bobby Labonte (23), Kurt Busch (22), A.J. Allmendinger (17), Jamie McMurray (6), Robby Gordon (3), Patrick Carpentier (2), David Gilliland (1), Juan Pablo Montoya (1), Casey Mears (1).

Who Voted: Ren Jonsin, Tom Bowles, Cami Starr, Mike Neff, Kim DeHaven, Tony Lumbis, Matt Taliaferro, Vito Pugliese, Bryan Keith, and Doug Turnbull.

Contact Mike Neff

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Today on the Frontstretch:
Championship Caliber? What Does That Even Mean?
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Nuts for Nationwide: The Curious Case of Elliott Sadler
Happiness Is…Arrogance, Less, Next, and the Outdoors
Frontstretch Foto Funnies: It’s Not Gonna Fit…


©2000 - 2008 Mike Neff and Thanks for visiting the Frontstretch!

07/31/2008 08:55 PM

Jack Rousch has shown once again his lack of class. Wouldn’t you like to know the real reasons Mark Martin is no longer at Rousch Racing?


Contact Mike Neff

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