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NASCAR Race Weekend Central

Frontstretch NASCAR Power Rankings: Top 15 After the 2008 Goody’s Cool Orange 500 at Martinsville

After another session of good ol’ rubbin’ and racin’, the votes are in on where the Frontstretch staffers feel the drivers fall in the hierarchy of the current power rankings. The results may surprise you: Dale Earnhardt Jr. has scaled the mountain even though he hasn’t won a race yet, while teammates Jeff Gordon and Jimmie Johnson are inching back up the list. On the flip side, Ryan Newman continues to slide down after continuing to fail to back up his Daytona 500 victory. Want to know where, exactly, he stacks up? Read the rankings below and see if you agree with our staff’s opinions.

How The Rankings Are Calculated: Frontstretch does their power rankings somewhat similar to how the Associated Press does them for basketball or football – writers on our 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 the power rankings from our dedicated staff.

RankDriver (First Place Votes)PointsLast Week
1Dale Earnhardt Jr. (3)1704
 Junior No. 1 in the power rankings after just six weeks? Talk about the quickest rise to power in modern history…
2Jeff Burton (4)1695
 For those who aren’t paying really close attention, Burton is your points leader.
3Kevin Harvick1392
 Harvick had a problem with Michael McDowell, too, but they usually don’t interview the 12th-place finisher.
4Jeff Gordon 13210
 You know you’re the man when you finish second… and that nearly worsens your average finish at a track over your last eight starts.
5Denny Hamlin (1)13114
 “I owe this win to TRD. The new sway bars were excellent today.”
6Tony Stewart (1)1296
 Ever think he’d be the only JGR car without a win so far this season?
7Kyle Busch1251
 When he’s good, he’s very, very good. When he’s bad, he makes life difficult for everyone.
8Greg Biffle1223
 Who knew you could punt someone AND get the Free Pass? You learn something new every day.
9Carl Edwards1047
 If it’s not a blown engine, it’s a dry gas tank. If it’s neither, you can find him in Victory Lane.
10Clint Bowyer10111
 Finished 10th at Martinsville and dropped three spots in the standings. Life’s tough at the top.
10Jimmie Johnson101NR
 Fourth place this week was less work than his previous two “bottom of the top 20” finishes.
12Kasey Kahne929
 Better than last year, but still not looking like a threat to win.
13Matt Kenseth688
 His FICO score suddenly took a nosedive on FreeCreditReport.com.
14Ryan Newman4912
 His rise, or fall, to mediocrity continues with another low top 20 finish.
15Martin Truex Jr.4515
 Obviously taking notes from Stewart on how to handle media questions concerning contract negotiations.

Falling out of the rankings:
Kurt Busch (13)

Also receiving votes:
David Ragan (43)
Juan Pablo Montoya (41)
Kurt Busch (36)
Casey Mears (23)
Jamie McMurray (19)
Brian Vickers (18)
Elliott Sadler (18)
Travis Kvapil (8)
Bobby Labonte (3)
David Gilliland (3)
Aric Almirola (1)

Writers voting this week: Tom Bowles, Cami Starr, Kim DeHaven, Tony Lumbis, Mike Neff, Vito Pugliese, Matt Taliaferro and Bryan Davis Keith