The Frontstretch: Frontstretch Sprint Cup Power Rankings : Top 15 After Watkins Glen by Mike Neff -- Wednesday August 13, 2008

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Frontstretch Power Rankings

Turning right and left didn’t just cause a litany of Cup veterans some angst — it also gave our writers some sleepless nights in how to figure in a road course finish into their own Top 15 Power Rankings formula. But when all was said and done, there was a surprising amount of movement; and in some cases, the changes really surprised us. The series’ best road racer, Jeff Gordon, had himself one of the worst days of his career at one of those venues, leading to a shocking tumble down the list. But for Kevin Harvick, the weekend marked a pleasant surprise on the one-year anniversary of his infamous tangle with Juan Pablo Montoya; instead of fighting on the race track, he was fighting his way up our chart with a masterful Top 10 performance at the road course.

Who else was able to make a major move this week — and what famous driver celebrated a contract extension with a jump into the power rankings? To find the answers and see how your favorite driver wound up after the twists and turns in New York, read below for the latest edition of our Frontstretch Top 15.

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 (6) 191 1
Purposely counted the number of wins on his fingers to show fans that not only can he drive a car — but he’s smart, too!
2 Carl Edwards (1) 187 2
Never mind, Carl … Kyle’s got the number one seed locked up after all.
3 Jimmie Johnson (3) 184 3
“Kyle is in a slump?” Them’s strong words from a man with only two wins this year — one of which was due to freakishly good gas mileage and the other at a race that featured no more than twelve consecutive green flag laps.
4 Tony Stewart 165 5
One can only imagine the carnage — and Stewart in Victory Lane — if he didn’t need to finish second to make the Chase.
5 Dale Earnhardt, Jr. 142 4
Tony Eury could’ve used Kyle Busch’s fingers when counting the number of laps in his pit strategy.
6 Kevin Harvick 129 T – 12
Being the best in the RCR stable doesn’t mean as much as it did a few months ago.
7 Kasey Kahne 123 8
Betcha those Allstate girls wouldn’t be stalker fans if Kahne needed to turn left AND right every week.
8 Matt Kenseth 118 7
Looks like he’s going to make the Chase — he’s just not going to contend for the title.
9 David Ragan 107 6
It’s expected that Gordon would be battling some of the best names in road racing … but you didn’t expect one of those names to be P.J. Jones.
10 Denny Hamlin 103 T – 12
A top 10 on a road course still looks like crap when your teammates finish 1-2.
11 Greg Biffle 101 10
Was faster than he finished this weekend — a rather familiar theme for Biffle this year.
12 Jeff Burton 97 11
Seriously, is this guy even on the track? You’d never know it if not for the box score or the points standings.
13 Martin Truex, Jr. 81 NR
Not going to make the Chase, but runs like this weekend could get him a “bonus” for 13th in the standings at the end of the year.
14 David Ragan 75 9
Nothing cures a Watkins Glen hangover for a Roush driver better than Michigan.
15 Clint Bowyer 51 14
Finishing right behind Junior on a road course is never a good thing.
Dropped Out : Ryan Newman (15).
Also Receiving Votes: A.J. Allmendinger (42), Ryan Newman (37), Jamie McMurray (37), Mark Martin (28),
Brian Vickers (26), Elliott Sadler (19), Marcos Ambrose (19), Juan Pablo Montoya (16), Kurt Busch (12), Bobby Labonte (10).

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:
NASCAR Easter Eggs: A Few Off-Week Nuggets to Chew On
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Going By the Numbers: A Week Without Racing Can Bring Relief But Kill Momentum


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