The Chase has reached its halfway point, and for all intents and purposes, we’re down to a three-man race for the title. It’s just not the three men you would have expected after Richmond in September. While Jimmie Johnson remains a major player amongst the Power Rankings, it’s Jeff Burton and Greg Biffle replacing Carl Edwards and Kyle Busch on the precipice of championship contention.
Well, just how much did Busch and Edwards’s recent mistakes cost them in our Frontstretch rankings? You’ll have to read below to find out just how far they’ve fallen. At least Busch’s fourth-place finish at Lowe’s has him hoping for an improbable comeback; but was that enough to cause a jump back up the ladder on our list? And how much did Jeff Gordon‘s strong showing in Charlotte cause writers to take notice after a season-long slump? Check the rankings this week to see if the Frontstretch faithful has your driver well-positioned in our Power Rankings for the final five events, or if he’s destined to spend October and November well outside the poll.
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 the 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: OCTOBER 15, 2008|
|Rank||Driver (First-Place Votes)||Votes||Last Week|
|1||Jimmie Johnson (7)||197||1|
|Seemed uncharacteristically rattled after his sixth-place run on Sunday. Man, if a sixth-place finish gets Johnson out of shape these days, imagine what one of Dale Jr.’s tires or Kyle Busch’s engines would do.|
|2||Jeff Burton (3)||187||5|
|The top-15 machine has become the top-10 machine, but that still won’t be enough to win a title.|
|If he can somehow keep Johnson within 75 points heading to Homestead, Biffle will be the darkhorse favorite to win this year’s championship battle.|
|Getting “noogied” on like Ralph Malph had to be a blow to Mr. Men’s Health’s ego.|
|When your biggest accomplishment of the week is shoving someone onto the hood of your car, things could have probably gone a little better.|
|If his pit crew was as hard on him when he screws up as he is on them, Stewart would be bruised from head to toe by now.|
|“Look, Ingrid, I’m in the lead!”|
|A top 15 on an intermediate track for Bowyer this year has to feel like a win.|
|Too bad for Ragan all the Cup tracks aren’t 1.5 miles around.|
|Decided to join the Chase exactly one month too late.|
|11||Dale Earnhardt Jr.||78||11|
|The sound you heard wasn’t Junior’s tire exploding, it was the hearts of Junior Nation being crushed by the realization he’s officially eliminated from the title chase.|
|I’ve got your Kvapil hanging right here.|
|Taking his DEI team to the next level just weeks before he’ll leave it in disarray.|
|Doing his best to play the role of second fiddle and keep Busch from finishing 12th.|
|Thinking about switching to running Legends cars in the Summer Shootout Series since they run all of their races at Charlotte.|
|Dropped Out: Elliott Sadler (14), Casey Mears (15)|
|Also Receiving Votes: Kurt Busch (47), Bobby Labonte (36), David Reutimann (35), Martin Truex Jr. (28), Jamie McMurray (25), Elliott Sadler (23), Brian Vickers (19), Paul Menard (19), Casey Mears (9), Ryan Newman (7), Scott Riggs (7), AJ Allmendinger (5), Michael Waltrip (2), Reed Sorenson (2)|
|Who Voted: Ren Jonsin, Tom Bowles, Cami Starr, Mike Neff, Kim DeHaven, Tony Lumbis, Matt Taliaferro, Vito Pugliese, Bryan Davis Keith and Doug Turnbull|
About the author
What is it that Mike Neff doesn’t do? The writer, radio contributor and racetrack announcer coordinates the site’s local short track coverage, hitting up Saturday Night Specials across the country while tracking the sport’s future racing stars. The writer for our signature Cup post-race column, Thinkin’ Out Loud (Mondays) also sits down with Cup crew chiefs to talk shop every Friday with Tech Talk. Mike announces several shows each year for the Good Guys Rod and Custom Association. He also pops up everywhere from PRN Pit Reporters and the Press Box with Alan Smothers to SIRIUS XM Radio. He has announced at tracks all over the Southeast, starting at Millbridge Speedway. He's also announced at East Lincoln Speedway, Concord Speedway, Tri-County Speedway, Caraway Speedway, and Charlotte Motor Speedway.
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