The Frontstretch: Frontstretch Sprint Cup Power Rankings: Top 15 After Martinsville by Frontstretch Staff -- Wednesday October 28, 2009

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Frontstretch Sprint Cup Power Rankings: Top 15 After Martinsville

Frontstretch Staff · Wednesday October 28, 2009


Frontstretch Power Rankings

Although he didn’t win on Sunday, Jimmie Johnson continued his death grip on the top spot in the rankings, with his second place finish at Martinsville more than enough to secure all ten of the first place votes this week. With four races left, the No. 48 needs to only avoid the Talladega wreck to coast home towards his fourth straight title — and a likely season championship in our poll to boot.

But while the number one spot seems secure, plenty of movement ensued within our expert’s weekly submissions. Denny Hamlin’s third win of the season brought him from the poll’s biggest loser to its biggest winner in the matter of just two weeks. Just how far did he climb? And were any drivers on the outside looking in, like Brian Vickers and Kevin Harvick, able to crack this week’s top 15 after impressive performances in the final short track race of the season? Check out the rankings to see which drivers ate high on the hog and which ones had to load up on the TUMS after this weekend.

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 Jimmie Johnson (10) 200 1
Getting harder to come up with new ways to say, “It’s over.”
2 Jeff Gordon 183 2
Who knew back in 2002, a young rookie would one day steal the “Drive For Five” label from Gordon before he’d even have a chance to win his fifth?
3 Mark Martin 177 3
Mark’s desk at home must be so disorganized, because he sure hates racing around paper clips.
4 Juan Pablo Montoya 174 6
Is it a coincidence that EGR hasn’t put Taco Bell on Montoya’s car yet this year?
5 Tony Stewart 158 4
He may not be getting the best of the Hendrick equipment… but it sure seems better than Junior’s.
6 Kurt Busch 135 5
Pat Tryson’s now one Talladega Big One away from packing his bags and starting his ’09 offseason three weeks early.
7 Denny Hamlin 131 11
Petitioning hard for all ten Chase races to be held in Virginia in 2010. Will build a track in his parents’ backyard if that’s what it takes…
8 Ryan Newman 117 8
Never looked at as a contender on the bullrings, but six top 10s in six short track races in 2009. Very impressive.
9 Kyle Busch 105 12
Wonder who was sick of who in that little arrangement that prompted the crew chief change?
10 Matt Kenseth 101 T – 9
Typical Roush performance at Martinsville.
11 Kasey Kahne 81 7
Good thing they don’t have that three caution rule in the big leagues.
12 Clint Bowyer 80 13
Let’s not forget, this time last year Bowyer was a Nationwide champ-to-be and sitting pretty in the top 5 in points. Vastly underrated for 2009’s “Disappointment of the Year” award.
13 Greg Biffle 78 T – 9
Typical Roush performance at Martinsville.
14 Carl Edwards 72 14
Typical Roush performance at Martinsville. Notice a trend?
15 Casey Mears 63 15
Somebody forgot to tell this poor guy that cats are the only ones with 9 lives. You can only put in a last-ditch effort to save your career so many times …
Dropped Out: None.
Also Receiving Votes: Joey Logano (48), Brian Vickers (48), Kevin Harvick (46), David Reutimann (40), Jeff Burton (22), Marcos Ambrose (17), Jamie McMurray (10), Martin Truex, Jr. (9), Bobby Labonte (3), David Ragan (3).
Who Voted: Thomas Bowles, 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:
Did You Notice? … A Return To Richmond, Post-Spingate And Quick Hits
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IndyCar Driver Profile: Takuma Sato
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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!