The Frontstretch: Frontstretch Sprint Cup Power Rankings : Top 15 After Homestead by Frontstretch Staff -- Wednesday November 19, 2008

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Frontstretch Sprint Cup Power Rankings : Top 15 After Homestead

Frontstretch Staff · Wednesday November 19, 2008


Frontstretch Power Rankings

After 36 points-paying events, nine months, and 14,493 miles of racing, the 2008 NASCAR Sprint Cup season is finally in the books. When the smoke cleared, it was Jimmie Johnson winning his third consecutive championship, tying Cale Yarborough as the only drivers in history to accomplish that feat. Behind him, Carl Edwards finished second but won the most trophies, with a total of nine checkered flags captured throughout the year. In contrast, Jeff Gordon snapped his streak of at least one win per season at 14, while Matt Kenseth and Kevin Harvick were some of the other notables who got shut out of Victory Lane.

However, none of those drivers mentioned got left out of our final power rankings poll of the season. As you might expect, Jimmie Johnson was unanimously voted number one on our list; but where did the other drivers mentioned wind up? Read on to see if your wheelman shone in the Florida sun, or got sand kicked in his face in the final edition of our 2008 Top 15 rankings.

Rank Driver (First Place Votes) Votes Last Week
1 Jimmie Johnson (10) 200 1
Let’s see…he’s now won 3 consecutive titles, and missed out on two others by a combined point total of 98. He’s also got 40 wins at 33 years old. But yeah, let’s not consider him one of the best ever yet.
2 Carl Edwards 190 2
Won the most races in Sprint Cup and finished 2nd — and also finished 2nd in the Nationwide Series. Should’ve hopped in the No. 99 truck this year and gunned for Johnny Benson to go for the trifecta…
3 Kevin Harvick 166 3
Fourth in points small consolation for that zero in the win column.
4 Greg Biffle 154 4
Unless Bobby Labonte decides to try for a Truck Series title, Biffle’s still the biggest threat to win the championship in all three major series.
5 Jeff Gordon 150 6
A few years back, 100 wins for Gordon seemed like a given. Now, we wonder if he’s stuck at 81 for good.
6 Clint Bowyer 133 13
Hmmm. Back-to-back Top 5 seasons, won a race and the Nationwide Championship — but Bowyer’s the one who gets to qualify on time for the first two months next year.
7 Denny Hamlin 115 T – 10
Vito Pugliese from Grand Rapids, Michigan writes, “Hey Fed Ex, can you put together some commercials next year that are mildly amusing?”
8 Matt Kenseth 113 T – 10
May be just tired of losing enough to voluntarily decide to be the team that Roush Fenway eliminates next year.
9 Jeff Burton 107 5
The guy that will 6th place you to death finishes 6th in points. Appropriate.
10 Kyle Busch 106 7
Even the 1991 Buffalo Bills think that was a pretty sorry effort in the Chase.
T – 11 Jamie McMurray 105 T – 8
Saved his job for another year; now, let’s see if he can actually do it all season long.
T – 11 Tony Stewart 105 15
With a testing ban for 2009 and a new team, it’s a good thing Stewart got that gift at Talladega from NASCAR. That may be the last time we’ll see Smoke in Victory Lane for awhile; but it won’t be the last time you see him standing on the window ledge hollering.
13 David Ragan 98 T – 8
Top candidate to get his first career win in 2009 … and his second… and maybe his third.
14 Dale Earnhardt, Jr. 67 T – 10
Wins a race, runs strong, makes the Chase — and everybody is still calling him a slacker. Funny; Junior still won more races than two of his three teammates combined. So there.
15 Casey Mears 65 NR
Finished the season strong, but will he return to the ranks of the average at RCR?
Dropped Out : Kurt Busch (14).
Also Receiving Votes: A.J. Allmendinger (41), Kasey Kahne (38), Martin Truex, Jr. (35), David Reutimann (24), Kurt Busch (23), Mark Martin (16), Travis Kvapil (12), Bobby Labonte (7), Elliott Sadler (5), Ryan Newman (5), Scott Riggs (5), Bill Elliott (3), Juan Pablo Montoya (3), Paul Menard (3), Brad Keselowski (3), Brian Vickers (2), Reed Sorenson (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
Beyond the Cockpit with Ben Rhodes
Kroger 250 postponed until Sunday afternoon
Denny Hamlin out of the car for the race at Auto Club Speedway
Nationwide Breakdown – Drive to Stop Diabetes 300

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!