The Frontstretch: Frontstretch Sprint Cup Power Rankings: Top 15 After Phoenix by Frontstretch Staff -- Wednesday April 22, 2009

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Frontstretch Sprint Cup Power Rankings: Top 15 After Phoenix

Frontstretch Staff · Wednesday April 22, 2009


Frontstretch Power Rankings

Phoenix’s Saturday night showdown may have been Mark Martin’s time to shine … but it didn’t mean much for the rest of the Sprint Cup competition. Most of the racing behind him was tame at best, with few top drivers encountering problems that left them dropping off our Power Rankings list.

However, Jeff Gordon’s loose lugnut issue was enough to loosen his grip on the top spot in our latest poll — the number of first place votes for him dropped significantly amongst our Frontstretch experts. Was that enough to cause a change at #1? And just how far did Martin’s win make him rise? Read on to find out in this week’s edition of our top 15.

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 (4) 204 1
0-for-1 sounds a whole lot better than 0-for-46 now, doesn’t it?
2 Tony Stewart (4) 188 3
Two in a row at Talladega would be a very appropriate way to get a first win for his new team.
3 Jimmie Johnson (3) 187 2
Currently ranked second in points … and first in creepy facial hair.
4 Kurt Busch (1) 168 4
Suddenly looking like the Kurt Busch from 2002-2005. Are Jimmy Fennig and Pat Tryson pulling some Cerano De Bergerac routine with the elder Busch?
5 Kyle Busch 151 7
Maybe Busch is saving up for the Chase this year… instead of running great all season only to suck out loud at the end.
6 Denny Hamlin 149 8
If it wasn’t for his paint scheme, would we have even seen him Saturday night?
7 Carl Edwards 147 5
All the sweet onion chicken teriyakis in the world couldn’t get his car to handle through the center of the turn.
8 Clint Bowyer 141 6
Tops at RCR and looking like a surefire Chase contender … but not going to win the Championship at this pace.
9 David Reutimann 128 10
If he’s the franchise driver, then his owner and teammate Michael Waltrip is a fry cook.
10 Mark Martin 125 13
How appropriate that Mark picks up his first Hendrick victory at a place named after a resurrection.
11 Greg Biffle 99 12
“Working class hero” according to NASCAR Illustrated putting together workmanlike performances to return to Chase contention.
12 Kasey Kahne 94 13
It used to be “This Bud’s For You.” Now it’s “This Bud’s For Kahne to make it through a frustrating plane ride home … and this one … and this one …”
13 Jeff Burton 90 10
About the only time you’ve seen him on TV this year was when he went to Victory Lane Saturday night to congratulate Mark Martin for winning – but here he is lurking. In the bushes. In a Caterpillar…
14 Matt Kenseth 88 9
Remember back when he won the first two races in a row to start the season? We don’t, either …
15 Brian Vickers 59 NR
Can’t quite tell where Vickers is heading these days. Lately, his team has been walking the tightrope over both the abyss and being totally awesome. And by “Totally Awesome,” we mean “Totally Sweet…”
Dropped Out: Kevin Harvick (T-15), Juan Pablo Montoya (T-15).
Also Receiving Votes: Ryan Newman (53), Juan Pablo Montoya (50), Kevin Harvick (47), Marcos Ambrose (29), Dale Earnhardt, Jr. (28), Martin Truex, Jr. (24), Jamie McMurray (22), Sam Hornish, Jr. (12), A.J. Allmendinger (11), David Stremme (8), Michael Waltrip (2), Reed Sorenson (2), Bobby Labonte (1), David Ragan (1), Elliott Sadler (1), Paul Menard (1).
Who Voted: Thomas Bowles, Ren Jonsin, Mike Neff, Tony Lumbis, Matt Taliaferro, Vito Pugliese, Bryan Keith, Phillip Allaway, Kurt Smith, Doug Turnbull, and Danny Peters.

Contact Mike Neff

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Today on the Frontstretch:
Championship Caliber? What Does That Even Mean?
Mirror Driving: Winning Vs. Points, Needing a Boost, and The Lady’s Last Dance?
Nuts for Nationwide: The Curious Case of Elliott Sadler
Happiness Is…Arrogance, Less, Next, and the Outdoors
Frontstretch Foto Funnies: It’s Not Gonna Fit…


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04/22/2009 10:08 AM

I see you can’t just say something good about Reutimann, you have to dump on Michael. I don’t see you dumping on Scott Speed when talking about Brian Vickers, or dissing Harvick when talking of Burton. Your hatred of Michael must be pretty all comsumming. How about next time just praising David and leaving Michael out of it?

don mei
04/22/2009 12:16 PM

I suspect the reason most of us find Michael Waltrip so boring is simply because he is the consumate NASCAR apologist. I wont watch anything with him on TV because no matter what NASCAR does, it meets with his approval. Brain France must have him on a retainer. I could give you a list but why waste my time.

04/22/2009 04:42 PM

That doesn’t explain why Mike Neff thinks he has to comment on Michael when he is commenting on David Reutimann. Why can’t he just explain why he had David where he is and leave Michael out of it? He seems to be able to comment on other drivers on their own merit but can’t pass up an opportunity to dig at Michael. Kind of disrespectful of David that he has so little to say about David that he has to fill up the space with Michael. If he only did it once or twice that would be one thing but he does it every time; except, of course, if Micahel has a good day.


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!