The Frontstretch: Frontstretch Sprint Cup Power Rankings: Top 15 After Richmond by Frontstretch Staff -- Wednesday September 10, 2008

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Frontstretch Sprint Cup Power Rankings: Top 15 After Richmond

Frontstretch Staff · Wednesday September 10, 2008


Frontstretch Power Rankings

The regular season has come to an end, and like it or not, the fifth year of the Chase is upon us. There are 12 drivers now eligible to win the Cup Series title, unlike the two or three who’d be in contention under the old points system. But even though the list has expanded, there are really just four or five men who legitimately have what it takes to win the championship. Looking at this week’s rankings, we can see exactly who our staff feels is worthy this year… and why.

So, which one of the top three seeds — Jimmie Johnson, Carl Edwards, or Kyle Busch — has the Frontstretch voted number one to begin this ten-race stretch? And which three “darkhorse” contenders moved up three spots on the list, positioning themselves for a run at this year’s version of Chase Cinderella? To see who’s ready to rumble and who’s ready to flop in the playoffs — as well as which non-Chasers deserve their spot in the limelight — check out the results of our Top 15 power rankings below.

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 Jimmie Johnson (7) 192 3
December, 2007 — From The NASCAR Archives
Brian France: Jimmie, we love that you’re our champion for a second straight year — but look how bad our ratings are since you’ve dominated.
Jimmie Johnson: No problem, Brian. We’ll go on sabbatical until September next year … and then do it all over again.
2 Kyle Busch (3) 187 2
Playoff’s number one seed also doubles as NASCAR’s public enemy number one.
3 Carl Edwards 181 1
Both helped and handicapped this Chase by the fact his best tracks are 1 to 2 miles in length.
4 Kevin Harvick 162 4
RCR’s best hope for a title — but is that really saying much?
5 Denny Hamlin 151 8
Ultimately still looking like the No. 3 driver at JGR… and that may not change next year, either.
6 Tony Stewart 146 7
The new Home Depot commercial featuring Tony Stewart and Joey Logano ends with the champ reluctantly handing over the wheel to the young protege. But if they wanted a truly accurate depiction, Stewart should’ve chucked the thing at the kid.
7 Dale Earnhardt, Jr. 132 10
Confessed to trying some new stuff the last few weeks — which means he’s now back to running in the Top 5 early before this team shoots itself in the foot.
8 Greg Biffle 131 6
If there is a darkhorse for the Chase, it’s Biffle. A run of good luck could make him the first triple crown NASCAR champion.
9 Matt Kenseth 124 5
Makes history as first Chase competitor ever to start the playoffs on suicide watch.
10 Jeff Burton 101 13
After the way he started the year, Burton could turn around and have a shot at the title; but for now, he looks more like a lock for 11th or 12th.
11 Clint Bowyer 100 11
Last year’s Chase Cinderella is probably going to fight neck and neck… with Burton for 12th place.
12 Jeff Gordon 91 12
Boosted his stock with a Top 10 at Richmond — but not enough to stop the bleeding.
13 David Ragan 88 9
In order to make the Chase, you must run well on all types of tracks. This year, short tracks were Ragan’s undoing.
14 Kasey Kahne 60 14
Chase or no, he’s still the best Dodge driver — but that’s like being the best C student.
15 David Reutimann 56 NR
Shipping out the finishes UPS wanted… exactly four months too late.
Dropped Out : Brian Vickers (15).
Also Receiving Votes: Martin Truex, Jr. (36), Mark Martin (33), Ryan Newman (32), Brian Vickers (29), Kurt Busch (26), Jamie McMurray (15), Casey Mears (12), Travis Kvapil (3), Elliott Sadler (3), Bobby Labonte (3), David Gilliland (3), Ken Schrader (2), Dave Blaney (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:
NASCAR Easter Eggs: A Few Off-Week Nuggets to Chew On
Five Points To Ponder: NASCAR’s Take-A-Breath Moment
Truckin’ Thursdays: Top Five All-Time Truck Series Drivers
Going By the Numbers: A Week Without Racing Can Bring Relief But Kill Momentum


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Contact Mike Neff

Recent articles from Mike Neff:

Special Winter Sprint Car Series set for January debut at Cocopah Speedway
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Want to find out more about Mike Neff? Maybe see all the articles he's written here at the Frontstetch? Check out his article archive and bio page then!