Home / Cup Series / Frontstretch Sprint Cup Power Rankings: Top 15 After the 2009 Daytona 500
Frontstretch Power Rankings
Like it or not, after just 380 miles the first race of the 2009 Sprint Cup season is officially in the books. Matt Kenseth was crowned the winner of just the fourth rain-shortened Daytona 500 in history, taking the lead one lap before the weather with a generous push from runner-up Kevin Harvick. But was that last lap pass enough to leave Kenseth number one in the eyes of our staff this week? After all, Kyle Busch dominated the race, only to become an innocent victim of the day's big wreck on Lap 125. And where did A.J. Allmendinger land after starting the year with a career-best third -- driving for a team that doesn't even know if it'll exist two months from now?

Frontstretch Sprint Cup Power Rankings: Top 15 After the 2009 Daytona 500

Like it or not, after just 380 miles the first race of the 2009 Sprint Cup season is officially in the books. Matt Kenseth was crowned the winner of just the fourth rain-shortened Daytona 500 in history, taking the lead one lap before the weather with a generous push from runner-up Kevin Harvick.

But was that last lap pass enough to leave Kenseth number one in the eyes of our staff this week? After all, Kyle Busch dominated the race, only to become an innocent victim of the day’s big wreck on Lap 125. And where did A.J. Allmendinger land after starting the year with a career-best third — driving for a team that doesn’t even know if it’ll exist two months from now?

Find these answers, and more, by examining our first Top 15 Power Rankings poll of the year. And remember, if you don’t like the way we’ve ranked the drivers, feel free to let us know about it in the comment section below! You never know if you might sway one of our voters for next week.

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.

FRONTSTRETCH TOP 15 POWER RANKINGS: FEBRUARY 18th, 2009
RankDriver (First Place Votes)Votes’08 Points Rank
1Matt Kenseth (6)16911
Winning on a restrictor plate race?! Showing emotion?! Who is this guy, and what did they do with the robot???!!!
2Kyle Busch1483
Had the best car at Daytona, but got hosed because Brian Vickers and Dale Earnhardt, Jr. decided to get into a bitch-slapping contest.
3Tony Stewart1389
If you had told us prior to Speedweeks that Stewart’s team would crash three cars at Daytona and no one would end up dead, we’d have you committed. Just goes to show you unlimited cash fixes even the most violent temper.
4Kevin Harvick (1)1314
Feels that races at Daytona should be no more than one lap.
5Carl Edwards1292
Maybe after he teaches him how to do the backflip, Edwards can train the AFLAC duck to take care of Digger for all of us.
6Jeff Gordon1247
You’d think a guy with his kind of cash could afford a better looking nanny.
7Clint Bowyer1185
Screw the fourth place finish! We’re still getting over that giant Hamburger Helper hand on Bowyer’s new car. That thing is creepy…
8A.J. Allmendinger9936
The first A.J. to actually make Richard Petty look good, with a surprising third place finish in the 500. No wonder Elliott sued.
9David Ragan9813
Lost on the FOX announcers who were too preoccupied with making excuses for Earnhardt, Jr.’s ill-advised maneuver was Ragan blowing through the dirt at 180mph to miss the wreck. Now THAT was cool.
10Mark Martin9028
The end of this race symbolizes Mark’s “can’t get a break” career. Now that he’s joined Hendrick, they’re the ones making the questionable pit calls while Jack Roush is winning the Daytona 500. Naturally…
11Jimmie Johnson (2)891
Dude, lose the beard. You look tougher carving yourself up with a knife trying to get a straw to fit through your firesuit.
12Elliott Sadler7224
Sadler finished a very strong fifth on Sunday — but he was still feeling dejected afterwards, since he felt he had the race won. This could be a sign of a driver that definitely needs a win bad…
13Kurt Busch6718
Despite getting caught up in the big wreck, Kurt still managed to post a 10th place finish. Granted, his car wasn’t damaged too badly, but to come back through the field to 10th in only 20 green flag laps with a wounded car is admirable.
14Martin Truex, Jr.6615
Kudos to a Jersey guy for taking the pole for the 500 and keeping the drive alive for EGR. Maybe he can loan us some coins for the Parkway…
15Denny Hamlin638
Forget the 26th in the 500. This guy was running as well as anyone before that big wreck. He’s going to be FedEx-ing some whoopins’ to the field in ’09…
Dropped Out: None.
Also Receiving Votes: Greg Biffle 44, Michael Waltrip 33, Dale Earnhardt, Jr. 29, Juan Pablo Montoya 28, David Reutimann 27, Reed Sorenson 23, Casey Mears 19, Brian Vickers 18, Jeff Burton 13, Jamie McMurray 13, Scott Riggs 9, Bobby Labonte 7, Bill Elliott 7, Ryan Newman 6, Marcos Ambrose 5, Kasey Kahne 4, Regan Smith 3, Jeremy Mayfield 1.
Who Voted: Tom Bowles, Tony Lumbis, Mike Neff, Matt Taliaferro, Vito Pugliese, Bryan Davis Keith, Ren Jonsin, Phil Allaway, Kurt Allen Smith.

 

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About Mike Neff

Mike Neff
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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