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NASCAR Race Weekend Central

Frontstretch NASCAR Power Rankings: Top 15 After the 2009 Coke Zero 400 at Daytona

The tight packs and unpredictable nuances of Daytona’s draft moved several competitors around our rankings this weekend. While one driver took a large hit thanks to an early wreck, another actually moved up in the standings… even though he was caught in a late-race melee and finished outside the top 10. That, in a nutshell, is what the wackiness of plate racing will do to voting experts trying to sort the innocent victim from the ugly perpetrators of those unavoidable multi-car crashes.

But all the wrangling back in the pack didn’t change one bit who’s firmly entrenched at the top. After his last-lap “pass” of Kyle Busch, Tony Stewart remains King of the Rankings for yet another week. And as for everyone else? Read on to find out if your driver pulled the late-race slingshot to move up the poll – or is picking up the pieces of his battered car en route to falling down the ladder after the Big One.

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.

RankDriver (First-Place Votes)VotesLast Week
1Tony Stewart (10)2001
Having the King blow off that airhorn in every other driver’s motor home the night before the race seems to have finally paid off.
2Jimmie Johnson1872
Johnson avoiding all the plate wrecks? No way! It’s not like he ever has any racing luck or anything….
3Jeff Gordon1743
Pepsi driver Gordon wishes that the Independence Weekend classic would revert back to its old name – the Pepsi 400 – for the sake of his sponsor and his performance. His two finishes since it changed to the Coke Zero 400? 30th and 28th.
4Kurt Busch1664
Two is the perfect number for Busch to run at Daytona, the track where he’s always the bridesmaid but never the bride.
5Carl Edwards1485
Looks like a little Sweet Onion Chicken Teriyaki was all the pit crew needed to get back on track.
6Juan Pablo Montoya1347
That’s right, Montoya moved up a spot further into Chase contention. Don’t look now, but this thing is looking like it just might happen.
7Denny Hamlin12912
Learning from his teammate how to lead a bunch of laps and not close the deal.
8Kasey Kahne1288
Can you finish behind someone when you’re actually underneath them?
9Kyle Busch12711
Once again proved that turning right on an oval is not a good idea.
10Mark Martin976
When the cleanest driver in NASCAR makes contact with the second-cleanest driver in the sport, who loses? The one who is also the driver with the worst luck in NASCAR.
11Greg Biffle959
Former winner of the race doesn’t mean squat when you’re fifth out of five for your organization.
12Ryan Newman7310
Maybe he can get Kentucky Grilled Chicken on the hood for Talladega….
13Matt Kenseth7114
Well, it wasn’t a victory, but it was a top 10 – which certainly helps his cause the way his team has been running as of late.
14David Reutimann6213
No rain and a 36th-place finish? Just another day at the office for Reutimann.
T-15Joey Logano5915
After a rough start, he’s gone from the edges of the Top 35 to challenging for the top 20 in points.
T-15Marcos Ambrose59NR
Who knew getting taught by kangaroos how to “bounce around” in the draft would pay off!
Dropped Out: None
Also Receiving Votes: Clint Bowyer (50), Brian Vickers (37), Jamie McMurray (27), Jeff Burton (26), Elliott Sadler (22), Sam Hornish Jr. (13), Dale Earnhardt Jr. (8), Regan Smith (3), Brad Keselowski (2), Reed Sorenson (2), Casey Mears (1)
Who Voted: Thomas Bowles, Ren Jonsin, Mike Neff, Tony Lumbis, Doug Turnbull, Matt Taliaferro, Vito Pugliese, Bryan Davis Keith, Phillip Allaway and Kurt Smith


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1 thought on “Frontstretch NASCAR Power Rankings: Top 15 After the 2009 Coke Zero 400 at Daytona”

  1. Mike, I’d really like to know what Reutimann has ever done to you. Every time he is mentioned, you always have something bad to say, even when he runs well. Please explain your hatred for him to us. We are concerned!

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