NASCAR Race Weekend Central
The All-Star Race is supposed to feature the cream of the crop, a chance for Sprint Cup's top tier to go head-to-head in a battle royale with nothing but money and pride on the line. And after a tame beginning, this race featuring a Who's Who of stock car stardom refused to disappoint, with drivers continuing to beat and bang throughout the last 10 laps of the 25th annual shootout. When the Smoke cleared, it was Smoke himself taking his first trophy as an owner/driver in the series, a move which easily solidified his hold atop our weekly list. But while Tony Stewart leads the pack, how did the rest of your favorite stars fare heading into the Coca-Cola 600? Read on to see if your driver made the most of his All-Star appearance Saturday night to move up our Power Rankings ladder.

Frontstretch NASCAR Power Rankings: Top 15 Heading Into the 2009 Coca-Cola 600

The All-Star Race is supposed to feature the cream of the crop, a chance for Sprint Cup’s top tier to go head-to-head in a battle royale with nothing but money and pride on the line. And after a tame beginning, this race featuring a Who’s Who of stock car stardom refused to disappoint, with drivers continuing to beat and bang throughout the last 10 laps of the 25th annual shootout. When the Smoke cleared, it was Smoke himself taking his first trophy as an owner/driver in the series, a move which easily solidified his hold atop our weekly list.

But while Tony Stewart leads the pack, how did the rest of your favorite stars fare heading into the Coca-Cola 600? Read on to see if your driver made the most of his All-Star appearance Saturday night to move up our Power Rankings ladder.

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: MAY 20th, 2009
Rank Driver (First-Place Votes) Votes Last Week
1 Tony Stewart (8) 177 1
Too embarrassed to climb the wall after Old Spice just wasn’t enough.
2 Jeff Gordon 160 2
Got dumped right before he took the lead for good – but you gotta expect the No. 24 bunch to be strong in the big race on Sunday.
3 Kurt Busch 142 5
Driving a car that looks like it was dipped in infant fecal matter has to cause a certain amount of bad luck for a driver.
4 Ryan Newman 142 6
There isn’t anything broken in the All-Star Race a 10-minute break can’t fix… unless you break things in the final 10 laps, of course.
5 Kyle Busch (1) 136 9
Love him or hate him, there would be a heck of a lot more fans in the stands if NASCAR sent Kyle to the back two random times during a Cup race – forcing him to work his way through the field in a hurry.
6 Mark Martin 129 4
Number 5 Is Alive!!! Remember that from Short Circuit? Good. Because we want to claim it as our own before Mike Joy rips it from us once Mark wins another one.
7 Jimmie Johnson 125 3
The first 50 looked like the old Johnson at Charlotte; but once he forgot the rules, he started to forget how to drive, too.
8 Denny Hamlin 120 8
At his best when he’s got a car good enough for the top five… but never in a position where it makes him nervous enough that he can challenge for the win.
9 Matt Kenseth 103 10
Drew Blickensderfer may have enjoyed the anonymity the last couple of months, but the Killer Bees might just be fixing to win another race again soon.
10 Jeff Burton 100 7
Looks like those experimental engines for Richard Childress Racing Saturday were missing one key ingredient: horsepower.
11 Greg Biffle 99 11
Has been watching Moonraker and The Spy Who Loved Me in a constant rotation lately. For some reason, is really taken with the Jaws character….
12 Carl Edwards 66 13
Betcha someone just “accidentally” threw away his package of Claritin D….
13 Juan Pablo Montoya 51 12
Did he race last weekend? Who knew?
14 Joey Logano 43 NR
Logano may be NASCAR’s next big thing, but trust us, he’s no Ric Flair.
T-15 Clint Bowyer 39 15
Wow. What happened here? Wasn’t that long ago Bowyer was in position to take the lead in the standings… now, he’s on the outside looking in on the Chase.
T-15 David Reutimann 39 NR
Finished ahead of Logano on the track… just not in the fan vote.
Dropped Out: Brad Keselowski (14
Also Receiving Votes: Marcos Ambrose (38), Sam Hornish Jr. (36), Martin Truex Jr. (29), Brian Vickers (21), Kasey Kahne (19), Dale Earnhardt Jr. (17), Brad Keselowski (16), Jamie McMurray (14), Reed Sorenson (12), AJ Allmendinger (6), David Stremme (6), Kevin Harvick (2), Elliott Sadler (2), Paul Menard (1)
Who Voted: Thomas Bowles, Ren Jonsin, Mike Neff, Tony Lumbis, Doug Turnbull, Vito Pugliese, Bryan Davis Keith, Phillip Allaway and Kurt Smith

 

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About Mike Neff

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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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