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NASCAR Race Weekend Central

Frontstretch NASCAR Power Rankings: Top 15 After the 2008 Pep Boys Auto 500 at Atlanta

Carl Edwards made good on the promise that he showed at the beginning of the spring Atlanta race by taking the win this past weekend. Overshadowed by that performance, however, was a banzai run by Jimmie Johnson from 11th to second in the last eight laps of the race. That strength solidified the points leader’s place at the top of the Power Rankings, where he swept all of the first-place votes again this week.

Behind him, positions continue to swap like hotcakes as drivers scrape and claw for every spot they can get on the racetrack. Read this week’s rankings to see if our writers thought your driver has had that extra incentive to wheel it to the front with only three races left – or if he’s been slip-sliding his way right out of our Power Rankings.

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.

RankDriver (First-Place Votes)VotesLast Week
1Jimmie Johnson (10)2001
Jimmie may be the one crowned champion, but Chad Knaus is a stinking genius.
2Carl Edwards1843
Winner’s check for Atlanta? $357,800. Finding out your championship rival finished right behind you on national television? Priceless.
3Greg Biffle1672
10th place might as well be 40th when Johnson is running away with the Chase like he is.
4Jeff Burton1434
Ironic that it was Bill Davis’s Caterpillar Toyota that bulldozed any hope of Burton’s championship chances. Talk about getting the last laugh…
5Jeff Gordon1435
Running like butt when the car he “owns” is running away with the championship – that has to sting.
6Matt Kenseth1378
Four top 10s, three wrecks, ninth in points. Yup, sounds about like a normal Kenseth playoff run to us.
7Kevin Harvick1326
At least he beat Casey… oh, no… wait… he didn’t, son of a…
8David Ragan12410
For what it’s worth, he owns 13th place.
9Denny Hamlin12311
Two top-five finishes have Hamlin thinking he might salvage a spot on the New York stage just yet.
10Clint Bowyer1147
If the series didn’t run on 1.5-mile tracks, Bowyer would be second instead of Edwards.
11Tony Stewart1029
Not just throwing in the towel – throwing in the Old Spice towel.
12Kyle Busch9313
Knows what the rest of the drivers must have felt like earlier in the season as Johnson blew by him during the last five laps.
13Dale Earnhardt Jr.9212
Seen rerunning the last eight laps on his DVR in the motorhome over and over for Tony Jr., apparently pointing out the importance of pit strategy.
14Jamie McMurray71NR
Making a mockery of the phrase, “too little, too late” every year now.
15Kurt Busch66NR
The new Penske engine seems to be agreeing with the blue deuce.
Dropped Out: Casey Mears (14), Martin Truex Jr. (15)
Also Receiving Votes: Casey Mears (46), Martin Truex Jr. (32), AJ Allmendinger (32), Mark Martin (25), Bobby Labonte (15), Brian Vickers (15), Elliott Sadler (13), Ryan Newman (9), Juan Pablo Montoya (9), Kasey Kahne (4), Paul Menard (3), Robby Gordon (2), Scott Riggs (2), Reed Sorenson (1), Travis Kvapil (1)
Who Voted: Ren Jonsin, Tom Bowles, Cami Starr, Mike Neff, Kim DeHaven, Tony Lumbis, Matt Taliaferro, Vito Pugliese, Bryan Davis Keith and Doug Turnbull


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