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NASCAR Race Weekend Central

Frontstretch NASCAR Power Rankings: Top 15 After the 2009 Pennsylvania 500 at Pocono

NASCAR went back to the tricky triangle in the Pocono mountains just six weeks after its last race there; and at first glance, it looked like not all that much had changed. Just like in June, Tony Stewart crashed in practice and started at the rear of the field in a backup car. Once again, rain washed out qualifying and even the race itself this August. Then, once the green flag finally flew on Monday, there were a handful of long runs where the cars strung out and became a single-file parade… to the dismay of 80,000 fans in attendance.

But suddenly, over the final 50 laps Pocono started to pack some punch. Pit strategy and white-knuckle action were the norm and not the exception, with track position and caution flags causing positions to change hands faster than the blink of an eye. When the smoke cleared, it was Denny Hamlin riding high with an emotional win… but was it enough to vault him to the top of our rankings? Meanwhile, Clint Bowyer’s surprising third-place finish got him to sneak back into our Power Rankings. But which guy did he knock out in the process? Read this week’s poll to find out which driver’s weekend was all wet and which one was bathed in sunshine by our experts.

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 (8)1981
OK, so starting 43rd twice might not be the best way to win both races at Pocono in a year.
2Jimmie Johnson (2)1922
This team’s an expert at finding every loophole in the book… even when Chad’s not trying to cheat!
3Jeff Gordon1623
I don’t know why he’s got back pain, because Johnson has been carrying Hendrick on his back for most of the last four years now.
4Denny Hamlin1617
Some things just feel right. Rest in peace, Thelma Clark; your grandson did you proud Monday.
5Juan Pablo Montoya1595
Ain’t nothing like a nosy reporter to fire Montoya up just before one of his best tracks: Watkins Glen.
6Mark Martin1564
Hey, at least he didn’t finish second at Pocono again.
7Kasey Kahne1416
Wow… who knew a 20-something kid would like to hang out with his Buds and drink beer? Rain fills suck….
8Kurt Busch1319
Slow and steady used to win the championship; now, it relegates you to fourth place in points – almost 500 out of the lead.
9Brian Vickers11010
If only Vickers had a pit crew who changed tires as good as he drove, Team Red Bull might have visited victory lane by now.
10Carl Edwards1018
Remember when Edwards was the king at Pocono?
11Ryan Newman9511
When’s the Army come back as a sponsor? Newman needs a little extra help late in races these last few weeks.
T-12Matt Kenseth8013
Apparently, lobbying Crown Royal to sanction a gold paint scheme so that he’ll be comfortable in the car next year.
T-12Clint Bowyer80NR
Finally looked like a team who remembered what they were doing back in February and March.
14Greg Biffle6014
Happy that he wasn’t ever in consideration to lose his ride at Roush… especially as inconsistently as he’s been running this year.
15David Reutimann5512
Officially 121 out of the Chase and, for all intents and purposes, out of it for another year.
Dropped Out: Joey Logano (15)
Also Receiving Votes: Marcos Ambrose (47), Joey Logano (38), Kyle Busch (32), Kevin Harvick (25), Sam Hornish Jr. (19), AJ Allmendinger (18), Elliott Sadler (12), Jeff Burton (11), Jamie McMurray (8), Dale Earnhardt Jr. (6), Martin Truex Jr. (3)
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 Pennsylvania 500 at Pocono”

  1. I know! I know! This rating system is subjective at best!


    How in the world could JR. be “awarded” even SIX (6) points?


    Is the Fronstretch crew losing it’s collective minds?

    Or is it a Brian Farce “token” as loyal “NA$CRAP REPORTERS” are obligated to do? Makes it look like Jr. is still in the running!!!


    (sorry, that really was a low blow)

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