Mike Neff · Wednesday August 20, 2008
Four wide open grooves of racing at Michigan gave the drivers a lot of options Sunday — giving the faster cars a great chance to work their way forward. But for Denny Hamlin and Kasey Kahne, the only racing line they were able to handle was the one that led straight to the garage. Both saw their engines go up in smoke well before 400 miles were complete; and as a result, they slid multiple spots in the points and in our latest power rankings chart.
On the flip side, David Ragan and Greg Biffle rode strong finishes in their Fords to big jumps in the voting done by our writers. Just how far did they go up the ladder this week? And was Carl Edwards’ second win in three races enough to finally knock Kyle Busch off his perch at the top of our list? To see if your favorite driver kept his ranking intact after 400 miles in the Irish Hills, check out the latest results of our weekly Top 15 poll.
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.
|FRONTSTRETCH TOP 15 POWER RANKINGS: AUGUST 20TH, 2008|
|Rank||Driver (First Place Votes)||Votes||Last Week|
|1||Kyle Busch (7)||192||1|
|Both Michael Phelps and Kyle Busch are 23 years old, and both have eight victories this season. What’s the difference between them, you ask? Simple: America loves Phelps.|
|2||Carl Edwards (1)||187||2|
|His backflip landings this weekend were about as controlled as the one Chinese gymnast who face planted on the vault, but still finished in the medals. Could be a forebearer of things to come.|
|3||Jimmie Johnson (2)||179||3|
|Probably didn’t get the nicest phone call from Jeff Gordon on Monday.|
|Everyone’s so focused on Stewart’s new team, no one realizes he’s positioning himself to try and waltz out of Gibbs with a third title.|
|Trying to look like he’ll contend for the title, but RCR’s poor performance on intermediates should quickly put the kibosh on that.|
|6||Dale Earnhardt, Jr.||127||5|
|Tony Eury, Jr. is looking to sabotage a very strong season on a weekly basis.|
|To a point now where weekends with no bad luck just mean the Biff finishes behind Busch and Edwards.|
|When Top 5 finishes put you on suicide watch, you know you’re not happy being Roush’s number two.|
|Sure, he runs well on an intermediate track — but let’s see him finish better than his 29th place career average at Bristol.|
|Gordon said he’s kind of glad that they’re in the position that they’re in for the Chase, because now they can just go flat out and race for it. We guess that means he’ll drive right into the side of Junior this weekend.|
|If it wasn’t for his early cushion, Burton would be racing himself right out of the Chase.|
|T – 12||Kasey Kahne||86||7|
|Quote from the engine in Kahne’s No. 9 Dodge this past weekend at Michigan: “For all you do, this dud’s for you.”|
|T – 12||Denny Hamlin||86||10|
|Hey Denny, would you like some cheese with that whine?|
|14||Martin Truex, Jr.||66||13|
|Not moving up fast enough to make the Chase, but still looking like a good candidate for the 13th spot.|
|Still has an outside shot at making the Chase; and for some odd reason, we have a feeling he’s going to make it. Maybe that’s all related to Denny Hamlin’s bad luck.|
|Dropped Out : Clint Bowyer (15).|
|Also Receiving Votes: Jamie McMurray (58), Elliott Sadler (55), Mark Martin (35), Clint Bowyer (27), Ryan Newman (25), A.J. Allmendinger (18), Marcos Ambrose (17), Juan Pablo Montoya (11), Bobby Labonte (7), Scott Riggs (4), Travis Kvapil (4), Kurt Busch (2).|
|Who Voted: Ren Jonsin, Tom Bowles, Cami Starr, Mike Neff, Kim DeHaven, Tony Lumbis, Matt Taliaferro, Vito Pugliese, Bryan Keith, and Doug Turnbull.|
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