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NASCAR Race Weekend Central

Frontstretch NASCAR Power Rankings: Top 15 After the 2008 Sylvania 300 at Loudon

Now that the Chase is officially underway, the standings are becoming chock full of playoff contenders – and they don’t want to move much of anywhere. In fact, the first 12 drivers in this week’s rankings are all the ones eligible to win this year’s championship. However, just because the Chasers are filling the top of the charts doesn’t mean they aren’t moving around amongst themselves. As you might expect, Greg Biffle made the biggest jump after a surprising win at Loudon – climbing up a total of four spots. But just how close did the Biff come to placing number one? You’ll have to read below to find that out.

On the flip side, Kyle Busch and Matt Kenseth were the big losers this week – but how far did they fall down the list? And which driver came oh-so-close to landing themselves a postseason bid – but came up just short and slid out of the Frontstretch Power Rankings in the matter of just two weeks?

To find out the answers to all these pressing questions, check out the results of our Power Rankings poll after the Magic Mile at Loudon.

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.

FRONTSTRETCH TOP-15 POWER RANKINGS: SEPTEMBER 17th, 2008
RankDriver (First-Place Votes)VotesLast Week
1Jimmie Johnson (8)1941
It’s just like Pavlov and his dogs… as soon as the Chase comes around, Jimmie starts drooling and he’s ready to dominate.
2Carl Edwards (1)1873
He’s never been happier to finish third; but at Dover, he’ll need to finish first.
3Kevin Harvick1574
Trying really hard to make people care about him again… and so far, it’s working.
4Greg Biffle1548
“The horse rode today?” Biffle has undoubtedly been spending time at DW’s School of Irreverent Sayings. Next up – “That dog can hunt.”
5Kyle Busch (1)1512
Two weeks ago, he had a lead of 208 points. Now, he’s 74 in arrears… let’s ask Kyle what he thinks of the current Chase format. Kyle… Kyle?
6Tony Stewart1486
Not heard over the radio on Sunday: “Way to go guy, that’s another one we lost in the driver’s seat this year… good job.”
7Denny Hamlin1475
Hamlin’s confidence should come with a FedEx label: “Handle with care.”
8Dale Earnhardt Jr.1467
Don’t you hate it when two good people are stuck in a bad marriage?
9Jeff Burton12610
The darkhorse pick that has made a career out of top five-ing and top 10-ing the field to death made quite a statement on Sunday. This is one guy you can’t count out until he’s mathematically eliminated.
10Clint Bowyer10611
Grew out of his Cinderella slipper this year.
11Jeff Gordon10012
2007 Gordon during the beginning of the race on Sunday – but 2008 Gordon at the end.
12Matt Kenseth919
It doesn’t matter how bad your car is – if you get in a crash, you aren’t going to win.
13David Ragan6613
Didn’t make the Chase; now, dropping like a stone.
14David Reutimann6515
Seems to do better without the pressure of having to impress UPS for next year.
15Martin Truex Jr.55NR
Still can’t understand why his “home” track is not in New Jersey. Oh well…
Dropped Out: Kasey Kahne (14)
Also Receiving Votes: Kurt Busch (54), Kasey Kahne (53), Mark Martin (24), Brian Vickers (16), Bobby Labonte (14), Travis Kvapil (12), Juan Pablo Montoya (11), Jamie McMurray (9), Casey Mears (8), Ryan Newman (6)
Who Voted: Ren Jonsin, Tom Bowles, Cami Starr, Mike Neff, Kim DeHaven, Tony Lumbis, Matt Taliaferro, Vito Pugliese, Bryan Davis Keith and Doug Turnbull