The Frontstretch: Frontstretch Sprint Cup Power Rankings : Top 15 After Atlanta by Frontstretch Staff -- Wednesday March 18, 2009

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Frontstretch Sprint Cup Power Rankings : Top 15 After Atlanta

Frontstretch Staff · Wednesday March 18, 2009


Frontstretch Power Rankings

Four weeks into the season, the top of the Sprint Cup standings are still a long way from getting sorted out. But after everyone got a chance to take a deep breath this past weekend, it’s easy to notice a few trends starting to take shape. Once again, the multi-car giants of Roush, Hendrick, and Gibbs sit atop the standings, preparing to be the heavyweights ready to duel once more for the Sprint Cup title. But the drivers leading the charge from each organization aren’t necessarily the ones you would have expected a month ago. Jeff Gordon looks like the WonderBoy of old, Matt Kenseth has the magic of Blickensderfer, while Kyle Busch is getting a push … from his brother?

Such has been the rather strange beginning to the 2009 Cup season. To see where your driver sits on the Power Rankings ladder, read on as our experts try and sort out the contenders from the pretenders.

How The Rankings Are Calculated: Frontstretch does our power rankings somewhat similar to how the Associated Press does them for basketball or football — writers on 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 one batch of power rankings to serve to our fans.

Rank Driver (First Place Votes) Votes Last Week
1 Jeff Gordon (10) 219 2
1993: First year of the Clinton administration – Rookie of the Year Title. 2001: First year of the “W” administration – Sprint Cup Title. 2009: First year of the Obama administration – ???. It’s sure looking like the trend will continue so far.
2 Kurt Busch (1) 193 10
His 2009 is practically the opposite of his 2008, so far. Maybe that’s what inspired the victory lap.
3 Carl Edwards 189 7
Still searching for the magic from the beginning of last year… but looks to be getting closer.
4 Clint Bowyer 185 5
Apparently, what Richard Childress didn’t tell us is he was taking Bowyer away from the “A” team on the No. 07 … while stacking the No. 33 with every secret weapon in his arsenal.
5 Kyle Busch 180 1
Learning their lesson from 2008, the No. 18 team is spreading their poor runs throughout the season instead of saving them all for the Chase.
6 Matt Kenseth 169 3
Failed to win two races in a row; has Blickensderfer lost his touch?
7 Tony Stewart 148 6
Has three top 8 finishes this year. That’s a nice way of saying he’s finished 8th… three times.
8 Brian Vickers 141 11
So much for the curse of wrecking both a NASCAR champion and the sport’s Most Popular Driver in one shot.
9 Kevin Harvick 122 13
Think how well he’d be doing without engine gunk.
10 Jimmie Johnson 121 9
“What are you doing down there in 13th, Jimmie?”
“Biding my time before I destroy everybody, Chad.”
11 Greg Biffle 102 4
Confusing the 2009 NASCAR season with the 2009 Demolition Derby.
12 Kasey Kahne 99 NR
Has to be just a little jealous that other Dodge teams get to run the new engine … while he gets one from the local dollar store.
13 David Reutimann 82 8
Telling David Reutimann that he’s probably not going to be in the top 12 come September is like telling a little kid that Santa Claus and The Easter Bunny aren’t real.
14 Denny Hamlin 78 NR
Has said that he wants to be considered the senior driver at Joe Gibbs Racing. I guess that means if the three of them have to rent a car, they have to put it in his name.
15 Jeff Burton 57 14
Hey, he’s ahead of Casey Mears.
Dropped Out: Bobby Labonte (12), Michael Waltrip (15).
Also Receiving Votes: Dale Earnhardt, Jr. (56), Jamie McMurray (47), Martin Truex, Jr. (42), Michael Waltrip (25), A.J. Allmendinger (22), Mark Martin (9), Bobby Labonte (6), David Gilliland (4), Juan Pablo Montoya (4), David Stremme (4), Elliott Sadler (3), David Ragan (3).

Who Voted: Thomas Bowles, Ren Jonsin, Mike Neff, Tony Lumbis, Matt Taliaferro, Vito Pugliese, Bryan Keith, Phillip Allaway, Kurt Smith, and Doug Turnbull.

Contact Mike Neff

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Today on the Frontstretch:
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Truckin’ Thursdays: Lessons Learned Just Two Races In
Fantasy Insider: Team Revelations For NASCAR’s Short Tracks



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Contact Mike Neff

Recent articles from Mike Neff:

Thinkin' Out Loud – The Off Week Season Review
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

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!