The Frontstretch: Frontstretch Sprint Cup Power Rankings: Top 15 After Indianapolis by Frontstretch Staff -- Wednesday July 29, 2009

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Frontstretch Sprint Cup Power Rankings: Top 15 After Indianapolis

Frontstretch Staff · Wednesday July 29, 2009


Frontstretch Power Rankings

Racing at the Brickyard is not always the most exciting, but the history and tradition of the place always seem to shine through when people start to have doubts. Most of our power rankings leaders used the big stage of Indianapolis to come up with strong finishes; but for those who fell short, their problems could prove costly as the summer stretch towards the Chase heats up. Joe Gibbs Racing in particular was the team who struggled the most, leaving the race with two drivers spending time in the garage: Denny Hamlin and Kyle Busch.

Busch’s bout with the wall proved the most costly, sending him tumbling outside the top 12. But was it enough to send him out of our Top 15? Read this week’s edition to find out which drivers made it through the ultra flat corners of the Brickyard to move up the ladder … and which ones couldn’t make it past Gasoline Alley as they slid right off the list.

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 Tony Stewart (6) 195 1
What did they do with the real Tony? Who’s this lookalike that smiles all the time?
2 Jimmie Johnson (4) 194 2
Ramping it up a little early for the Chase, but seems like this team has a chip on their shoulder this year.
3 Jeff Gordon 171 3
Remarkably average on a weekend when even Dale Earnhardt, Jr. looked racy in Hendrick stuff.
4 Mark Martin 161 5
We haven’t seen a 50-year-old run that great at Indy since the days of A.J. Foyt. Wonder who’s got a better fitness regimen …
5 Juan Pablo Montoya 142 7
Montoya swore on his wife and children that he didn’t speed. But if he swore on the name of Brian France … well … maybe we would have seen that call reversed.
6 Kasey Kahne 139 8
Wasn’t he supposed to be in a Toyota by now?
7 Denny Hamlin 131 4
Even Jeremy Mayfield is glad he doesn’t have Denny Hamlin’s luck.
8 Carl Edwards 123 9
Cousin Carl is halfway to a winless season. Is that even remotely a possibility?
9 Kurt Busch 118 6
Says he missed Jimmie Johnson’s apology because he was in the Outer Banks last week. Then why is he still pale? Answer: Because he’s always pale.
10 Brian Vickers 106 11
Learning how to speak Austrian this week … specifically the words, “When is my contract getting renewed?”
11 Ryan Newman 99 10
He hasn’t run this well since 2003. Anyone noticing?
12 David Reutimann 91 NR
One step from the sacred ground of the Chase. But will Michael Waltrip Racing know the right moves to get the Beak flying over that hump?
13 Matt Kenseth 80 15
Having a new liquor sponsor could prove the perfect motivation for the five-time Chaser heading into the Dog Days of August.
14 Greg Biffle 74 NR
When you’re having the crappy year that Biffle is having, do you really care if you run out of gas?
15 Joey Logano 65 NR
Were it not for the engine change, he very well could have been up where the real racing was going on.
Dropped Out: Clint Bowyer (12), Kyle Busch (13), Marcos Ambrose (14).
Also Receiving Votes: Clint Bowyer (52), Marcos Ambrose (51), Kyle Busch (44), Jeff Burton (14), A.J. Allmendinger (12), Kevin Harvick (11), Elliott Sadler (10), Jamie McMurray (7), Dale Earnhardt Jr. (7), Sam Hornish, Jr. (3).

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

Contact Mike Neff

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Today on the Frontstretch:
Racing to the Point: NASCAR Has Its Own Heartbreak Kid
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07/29/2009 07:24 PM

“Thomas Bowles, Ren Jonsin, Mike Neff, Tony Lumbis, Doug Turnbull, Matt Taliaferro, Vito Pugliese, Bryan Keith, Phillip Allaway, and Kurt Smith”

Since these are the voters, it’s no wonder this poll sucks arse. Jeff Gordon is further over the hill than Brett Favre. And it’s been proven that the only way your #10-15 drivers can win a race is by pure luck, fuel strategy or a well-timed rainstorm.

My 18-year old cat could pick a better list by peeing on the driver pictures he likes best. I know – I’ve let him try it. And it’s pretty bad when you old guys lose a pissing match to a cat.

Matt T.
07/29/2009 07:56 PM

Can your cat write? We’re always looking for new talent!

Mike Neff
07/30/2009 12:09 AM

Um…Rachel, I’m not totally sure I understand your post, but let me see if I’ve got it right. Our poll sucks arse because Jeff Gordon is ranked third, even though he is second in top fives in the series this year, with 10 to Tony Stewart’s 12. And he is over the hill because he is tied for second with Jimmie Johnson for top tens with 14, two behind Stewart’s 16.

You also say it sucks arse because anyone in the numbers 10 through 15 can only win a race when it is rain shortened, fuel strategy or pure luck. If I review the results for the year, there have been 11 race winners. If we throw out Reutimann and Logano because of the rain, and Keselowski for the pure luck, that leaves eight drivers who have won a race. Kyle Busch is not in the top 15 so that’s seven drivers left who have won a race. As I review the poll, Matt Kenseth, who has won two races this year is in 13th position.

I guess I’m just confused as to what about our poll sucks such big arse. If you’d be so kind as to put together a top 15 for us, or submit your cat’s, we’d love to see it and even let him vote in the poll next week.

Thanks for reading and writing.


07/31/2009 05:53 AM

Cmon Tony Stewart!

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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!