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NASCAR Race Weekend Central

Frontstretch NASCAR Power Rankings: Top 15 After the 2009 Toyota/Save Mart 350 at Sonoma

The twists and turns of the west coast resulted in several twists to our rankings. One twist that got even tighter once again was Tony Stewart’s death grip on the top spot in our Power Rankings. This week’s winner was one of the three big movers up this week in the rankings, actually moving into the top 10 from outside the top 15. Running off of the asphalt not only hurt the fortunes of several competitors this week, but they also stubbed their splitters in our rankings. Check out our Power Rankings to see if your driver scored a vintage bottle full of points or a jug of vinegar during his trip to Wine Country in California. 

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 their 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)PointsPrevious Week
1Tony Stewart (10)2001
 Heating up more and more as the summer gets here. Hope he doesn’t flame out when the Chase gets here.
2Jimmie Johnson 1852
 Figures Johnson will master road racing about the time NASCAR decides to put one in the Chase.
3Jeff Gordon1763
 The new car and Jeff Gordon are not meshing very well on road courses, but he’s still sold more wine than Stewart has BBQ sauce.
4Carl Edwards1465
 It was a road course, what did you want? Backflips?
5Mark Martin1384
 Winning is the worst thing for this team in 2009. They have followed up their three wins with 43rd-, 17th- and 35th-place finishes at Talladega, Charlotte and Sonoma respectively.
6Juan Pablo Montoya13511
 He’ll never be this high in the rankings again, but it’s a hell of a few good races here for the best Colombian in NASCAR.
7Kurt Busch1308
 Would have loved to see what would have happened if Busch started ripping Johnson a new you know what in his TNT interview while Jimmie quietly lurked in the background.
8Denny Hamlin12513
 JGR just might have something figured out with these new cars and road courses when Eeyore is leading a road race
9Ryan Newman1176
 So maybe Newman isn’t as good of a road racer as we were all led to believe.
9Kasey Kahne117NR
 Gas prices are high, tensions are high overseas and Richard Petty is in victory lane… holy crap, how did it get to be the early 1970s again???
11Greg Biffle1127
 Only one more road race left this season and that’s one too many for Biffle.
12Matt Kenseth8710
 Matt Kenseth is to road courses as Martin is to restrictor plate racing.
13Kyle Busch789
 Busch’s car looked like one of the Transformers after a long, drawn out fight.
14Marcos Ambrose57NR
 This guy could catch lightning in a bottle and squeak into the Chase.
15Clint Bowyer5514
 Jump starting his season after hearing that Childress could be down to two teams next year..  

Falling out: David Reutimann, Jeff Burton 

Also receiving votes: Brian Vickers (51), David Reutimann (46), Jamie McMurray (42), Jeff Burton (35), Elliott Sadler (17), Joey Logano (12), Dale Earnhardt Jr. (11), AJ Allmendinger (11), Martin Truex Jr. (8), Sam Hornish Jr. (4), David Ragan (2), Max Papis (1), Patrick Carpentier (1), Kevin Harvick (1)

Writers voting this week: Thomas Bowles, Ren Jonsin, Mike Neff, Tony Lumbis, Matt Taliafero, Kurt Smith, Bryan Davis Keith, Vito Pugliese, Doug Turnbull and Phillip Allaway