While many people argued that Matt Kenseth stole or lucked into his Daytona 500 win, no one can deny he was truly worthy of winning the Auto Club 500 this past weekend. That victory solidified Kenseth’s position at the top of the rankings, as he’s the first person since Jeff Gordon in 1997 to start a Sprint Cup season two for two.
But after Kenseth and his “Killer Bees,” our Frontstretch Power Rankings were as fluid as you might expect for just the second week of the season. The competition may be considered boring at California, but it was anything but when you look at the many changes in our top 15 this week. Plenty of people moved up, down, and just plain off the list after 500 miles of racing out west.
So, read on to see if your driver kept from falling asleep at the wheel, or if he won the Oscar for “Most Precipitous Fall From Grace” in this week’s top 15 rankings.
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 25th, 2009|
|Rank||Driver (First Place Votes)||Votes||Last Week|
|1||Matt Kenseth (9)||198||1|
|Fool me once, you’re an upset winner. Fool me twice… the guy with the name we can’t pronounce just made you a bona fide title contender.|
|Unfortunately, Jeff can’t spin Kenseth out from the top spot of the rankings, like he did to him at Chicagoland back in 2006.|
|Busch is now on pace to win 18 Nationwide Series races this year. Gosh, we love Week 2.|
|Which makes Stewart happier: A great start to the season with his new team, or the fact that he now gets free Burger King whenever he wants?|
|Forgot to fly a little passenger called momentum with him to the start of 2009.|
|Biffle must have 3M adhesive on his front bumper, because it’s sure gotten stuck to the back of plenty of cars this year.|
|Looked amazingly average at Cali, so you can bet that he’ll be up front at Vegas this weekend.|
|Someone, somewhere told Kurt Busch it’s a contract year.|
|The class of the RCR stable right now — not to mention he owns the longest streak without a DNF.|
|Winning the Oscar for “Best Packaging Store Stock Car Through Two Races In Cup.”|
|At least he’s beating Logano.|
|Waltrip has a knack for being a chokemaster — but you can’t ignore him being two for two in the good runs category so far this season.|
|13||Kevin Harvick (1)||71||4|
|The first DNF in over two years means the “Turtle” Herman Beam can rest in peace… until Bowyer breaks his record in May.|
|14||Juan Pablo Montoya||65||NR|
|Has anyone noticed he’s 10th in points? We did.|
|The ‘Dinger learned a hard lesson about lugnuts this weekend, but remains #1 over at RPM… for now.|
|Dropped Out: Mark Martin (10), Elliott Sadler (12), Martin Truex, Jr. (14).|
|Also Receiving Votes: David Reutimann (51), Brian Vickers (51), Mark Martin (40), Jamie McMurray (34), Elliott Sadler (28), Reed Sorenson (21), Martin Truex, Jr. (19), Kasey Kahne (17), Casey Mears (14), Marcos Ambrose (14), Dale Earnhardt Jr. (13), Bobby Labonte (7), Travis Kvapil (4), Regan Smith (3), David Stremme (1).|
|Who Voted: Tom Bowles, Tony Lumbis, Mike Neff, Matt Taliaferro, Vito Pugliese, Bryan Davis Keith, Ren Jonsin, Phil Allaway, Kurt Allen Smith, Doug Turnbull.|