The Frontstretch: Frontstretch Weekly Power Rankings: Top 15 NASCAR Drivers NOT In Sprint Cup by Frontstretch Staff -- Wednesday April 15, 2009

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Frontstretch Power Rankings

With the off week in full swing, it presented an opportunity for the Frontstretch experts to do something a little different. Instead of grading the Cup guys, we took a look at those drivers who often get shunned from the spotlight these days … the drivers exclusive to the Nationwide and Camping World Truck Series desperate to make a name for themselves. These divisions are filled with established veterans and young guns mixed together to provide a cornucopia of driving talent. And since you never know when a Cup ride will become available … we thought it’s high time to figure out who’s proved himself most worthy of filling the spot as of late.

Read on to see if your favorite non-Cup driver made the list in this special edition of the 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.

FRONTSTRETCH TOP 15 NON-CUP DRIVERS: AS OF APRIL 15th, 2009
Rank Driver (First Place Votes) Votes Career Cup Starts
1 Brad Keselowski (2) 112 4
It’s not a matter of if the JR Motorsports car is headed to Cup next year … it’s with who.
2 Justin Allgaier 101 0
Looking more like a potential star every race.
3 Todd Bodine (2) 76 231
Continues to ruffle the feathers of his rivals — much to the delight of the fans — but will his team have enough sponsorship to continue?
4 Brendan Gaughan 68 36
Made rim riding popular when everyone else was afraid of it.
T – 5 Matt Crafton 62 0
Hasn’t gotten on that winning roll yet … but expect that to change real soon.
T – 5 Jason Leffler 62 65
He’s been the best of the Nationwide-only drivers for years.
7 Ron Hornaday, Jr. 59 45
The 2007 Craftsman Truck Series champ is putting together all the patchwork sponsorship 2008 champ Johnny Benson wishes he could have.
8 Mike Bliss 54 84
The wily old veteran continues to get the job done.
9 Chad McCumbee 48 8
Apparently, acting as Dale Jr. wasn’t his only talent.
10 Scott Lagasse, Jr. 42 0
Another former CGRFS driver succeeding with other teams.
11 Mike Skinner 47 256
Sprint Cup’s Super Sub continues to showcase his true talent in the Truck Series.
12 Timothy Peters 41 0
Finishing in the top 10 with a truck he maintains in a garage with three of his buddies. Amazing …
T – 13 Johnny Benson (1) 38 274
Done amazing things for years in inferior equipment. If he could get some “real” rides, imagine how good he’d be…
T – 13 Terry Cook 39 0
Nationwide start and parks aside, he’s a good driver deserving of a sponsor to continue on in the Truck Series.
15 Jason Keller 33 2
Let’s put it this way: the most starts ever in the Nationwide Series didn’t happen because he sucks…
Also Receiving Votes: Michael Annett (27), Tony Raines (24), Stephen Leicht (23), J.R. Fitzpatrick (22), Kelly Bires (21), Michael McDowell (20), Dennis Setzer (20), Travis Kvapil (20), Rick Crawford (17), Danny O’Quinn, Jr. (16), Steven Wallace (14), Mike Wallace (14), Kenny Wallace (14), Jeremy Clements (14), Marc Davis (13), Scott Wimmer (12), Max Papis (10), Brian Scott (10), Erik Darnell (10), D.J. Kennington (9), James Buescher (8), Morgan Shepherd (8), Colin Braun (7), Donny Lia (6), Peyton Sellers (5), Brandon Whitt (4), Bryan Silas (3), T.J. Bell (3), Mark McFarland (3), Joe Nemechek (2), Johnny Sauter (2), Ricky Carmichael (2), Eric McClure (1).
Who Voted: Tom Bowles, Tony Lumbis, Mike Neff, Doug Turnbull, Vito Pugliese, and Phil Allaway.

Contact Mike Neff

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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!