The Frontstretch: Sprint Cup Power Rankings: Top 15 After Fontana by Frontstretch Staff -- Tuesday February 23, 2010

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Sprint Cup Power Rankings: Top 15 After Fontana

Frontstretch Staff · Tuesday February 23, 2010


Frontstretch Power Rankings

Taking the plates off at Auto Club Speedway meant the first “unrestricted” race of the regular season Sunday; and for once, the 2-mile oval didn’t disappoint. No pothole appeared to stop the action, but a threat from Mother Nature sure helped start it, with rain clouds keeping the racing hot and heavy the second we reached the halfway point. Yet while the finish was better, it was the same old story up front, with the reigning four-time champ using both luck and savvy to end the day in Victory Lane at Fontana.

Johnson led a fairly large group who successfully recovered from Daytona disaster, leaving our poll more jumbled than ever this week. 30 different drivers received votes in all, with four receiving at least one first place ranking from our pollsters. Which wheelman was able to snag the top spot? Find out below as the experts decide if your favorite is worthy of a place inside 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 Kevin Harvick (4) 204 2
Got so excited about winning a race he turned the wrong way.
2 Jimmie Johnson (5) 202 8
Hey Chad, the guys remembered to swap axles with the 88 this morning, right?
3 Mark Martin (1) 172 4
Word is there is a new commercial featuring Mark. Lord, please…do not let it be him in a convertible being pulled over by a guy cop.
4 Jeff Burton 158 NR
Since Todd Berrier came on board, he hasn’t finished lower than 11th. It’s about time the Caterpillar Chevy actually started bulldozing its competition …
5 Clint Bowyer 155 5
Finally shared some secrets with his teammates. It only took him a year!
T – 6 Greg Biffle 137 1
Don’t look now, but Biffle is starting to look like the old guy with all the potential.
T – 6 Kurt Busch 137 10
Being the only really competitive Dodge team in the field should be a disadvantage…right?
T – 6 Matt Kenseth 137 11
Initial results, while inconclusive, show that Todd Parrott is worth one on track position.
9 Jamie McMurray 129 3
For those wondering how long the Daytona momentum would last – it looks like last Friday was your answer.
10 Carl Edwards 125 7
Appeared that the No. 99 team didn’t know “quack” about Fontana on Sunday.
11 Kyle Busch 92 14
Made a green flag pit stop the same time as Johnson when the caution flag came out. Johnson ended up in front of the pace car – Busch ended up a lap down. That’s just the way it goes for Busch in Cup these days …
12 Tony Stewart 90 12
How long before we see Tony on a horse in an Old Spice commercial?
13 Joey Logano 89 NR
In the top 10 in points for the first time in his Cup career. Sweet!
14 Jeff Gordon (1) 83 9
It’s beginning to look like the No. 24 and the No. 5 should switch spots – Gordon’s running more like teammate Dale Earnhardt, Jr. than that four-time champ inside his shop.
15 David Reutimann 79 NR
The last two years, Michael Waltrip Racing has collected a total of seven engine failures. How many of those are attributed to Reutimann? How about none. Things that make you go “Hmmm….”
Dropped Out: Dale Earnhardt, Jr. (6), Kasey Kahne (13), Juan Pablo Montoya (15).
Also Receiving Votes: Juan Pablo Montoya (52), Scott Speed (52), Dale Earnhardt, Jr. (43), Brian Vickers (40), Martin Truex, Jr. (25), Denny Hamlin (24), Paul Menard (21), Kasey Kahne (18), David Ragan (13), A.J. Allmendinger (12), Ryan Newman (7), Sam Hornish, Jr. (7), Elliott Sadler (3), Regan Smith (3), Brad Keselowski (1).
Writer Voting Panel: Phillip Allaway, Brock Beard, Thomas Bowles, Bryan Keith, Tony Lumbis, Mike Neff, John Potts, Vito Pugliese, Mike Ravesi, Kurt Smith, and Matt Taliaferro.

Contact Mike Neff

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Today on the Frontstretch:
Did You Notice? … Breaking Down A Sprint Cup Season Eight Races In
Beyond the Cockpit: Ricky Stenhouse, Jr. on Growing Up Racing and Owner Loyalties
The Frontstretch Five: Flaws Exposed In the New Chase So Far
NASCAR Writer Power Rankings: Top 15 After Darlington
NASCAR Mailbox: Past Winners Aren’t Winning …. Yet
Open Wheel Wednesday: How Can IndyCar Stand Out?


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02/24/2010 12:02 PM

That’s the second time this week I’ve seen the “no finishes lower than 7th for Burton” stat. Was Berrier not on the box last week at Daytona?


Contact Mike Neff

Recent articles from Mike Neff:

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
Nationwide Breakdown – Drive to Stop Diabetes 300

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!