Frontstretch Staff · Wednesday May 6, 2009
Some retro short track racing in Virginia provided a lot of high-powered action Saturday night, with the end result a record 15 caution flags and a late-race pit strategy that left the standings jumbled all the way up until the checkered flag. That unpredictability factored right into our own power rankings this week, as 14 out of the 15 positions changed hands after a number of gutsy performances.
Among the adjustments from our experts are a new, surprising driver in the top spot — along with several staples of the top 15 falling out in what’s been a season of parity thus far. And which struggling Daytona 500 champ is slumping so badly, he’s down to just one top 20 vote? Read on to find out, along with discovering where your driver was toasted in our Top 15 following the Crown Royal 400 at Richmond.
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.
|FRONTSTRETCH TOP 15 POWER RANKINGS: MAY 6th, 2009|
|Rank||Driver (First Place Votes)||Votes||Last Week|
|1||Tony Stewart (3)||167||3|
|Hard to throw a temper tantrum when both your cars have scored more points the last five races than anyone else.|
|2||Jeff Gordon (3)||164||2|
|Arthritis? Really? It just seems like just yesterday he was cruising around in stone-washed jeans as a rookie, with that gorgeous mullet and prepubescent mustache to boot.|
|Already has just 1/3 of the wins his younger brother has. Next week, it could very well be ¼ — and his brother’s making fun of his driving style, too. Maybe they’ll wreck each other at the All-Star Race again… that was fun.|
|4||Kyle Busch (2)||159||8|
|Taking a decidedly different approach to the Chase pursuit than the No. 48. Kyle Busch = The Anti-Johnson.|
|The No. 48 entering a Springtime slump? Now THAT’s the Jimmie Johnson we know and love.|
|Talk all you want about Clint Bowyer — Burton is still the leader at RCR and the model of consistency.|
|Apparently, Tony Eury, Jr. snuck over to the No. 11 pit before that fateful stop on Saturday night.|
|8||Mark Martin (1)||115||10|
|19th to 5th in 60 laps after getting spun, clipped, and T-Boned. Mike Joy likes to give drivers really bad nicknames, so here’s ours: Mark “Man’s Game” Martin.|
|When Newman’s good at a short track, you KNOW his team is clicking on all cylinders.|
|Could at least take pride in the fact he finished ahead of Dale Jr. Oh, wait …|
|Wonder how long until the No. 16 bunch airbrushes some braces to the grille of that 3M Ford Fusion? Here’s another idea: why don’t they strap orthodontic headgear onto Biff’s helmet.|
|May be trying to be Jeff Burton — but he’s suddenly not there yet.|
|13||Juan Pablo Montoya||64||NR|
|Talk smack all you want about the Earnhardt-Ganassi-Sabates organization, but this team could make the Chase and shock everyone.|
|He may be in the Chase right now, but the way this year started off, he’s got to be disappointed with how things are on the verge of falling apart.|
|Kurt Busch entered Richmond with the series point lead, Kyle Busch won the race — but Bush’s Baked Beans had themselves a nice finish as well.|
|Dropped Out: David Reutimann (12), Dale Earnhardt, Jr. (14), Brad Keselowski (T-15).|
|Also Receiving Votes: David Reutimann (53), Brian Vickers (32), Dale Earnhardt, Jr. (26), Sam Hornish, Jr. (24), Kasey Kahne (19), Jamie McMurray (17), Casey Mears (16), Joey Logano (6), Martin Truex, Jr. (5), Reed Sorenson (4), Brad Keselowski (3), Kevin Harvick (1).|
|Who Voted: Thomas Bowles, Ren Jonsin, Mike Neff, Tony Lumbis, Matt Taliaferro, Vito Pugliese, Bryan Keith, Phillip Allaway, and Kurt Smith.|
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