As expected Sunday, Jimmie Johnson finished what he started and came home with his fourth consecutive championship. But did his fifth-place finish prove enough to keep him on top of our season-ending poll for the fourth straight year? Read on to find out who our experts tabbed as having the most momentum heading into 2010.
P.S. – Here at Frontstretch, we thank you for taking your time to read the Power Rankings each week. We look forward to serving you again next year!
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: NOVEMBER 25, 2009|
|Rank||Driver (First-Place Votes)||Votes||Last Week|
|1||Jimmie Johnson (9)||199||1|
|Four in a row is impressive in any era… but convincing many in this one will be an equally impressive feat.|
|Five times a bridesmaid, but never a bride… that’s a whole lot of weddings to fall short of the altar, huh.|
|Can seeing Johnson heading toward the history he hoped to make accelerate his urgency to… retire?|
|Held onto Pat Tryson as long as he possibly could; now, we’ll see who they stick on the box to listen to Kurt’s rants next year.|
|5||Denny Hamlin (1)||167||5|
|Possibly the best bet yet to unseat Johnson in 2010… which means he will flop like Kyle Busch and Carl Edwards did in 2009.|
|Under the old points system, he had a shot at the title going into Homestead. Under the current one… well, he still gets punted by Juan Pablo Montoya.|
|7||Juan Pablo Montoya||124||7|
|Provided Stewart with “Juan Problem-O” at Homestead.|
|Figured he had to win a Nationwide championship before winning in Cup. Now, will he try and do the same for Trucks?|
|Having such a disappointing season that not even Homestead could save it.|
|Sucked in qualifying and then finished strong. Burton is back!|
|Was given every reason to fail to start the season, but was the best of the RCR camp by the end of it.|
|Not sure if Blickensderfer is the answer, but with two wins for Roush in a down year, the driver still has the potential to make a championship run again.|
|Making the Chase for RPM was a great job, but his disappointment in the Chase was just more of what we’ve grown accustomed to.|
|Talk about going from the Penthouse to the Outhouse! Edwards’s season was worse than solid waste.|
|Quickly found himself as the fifth man on the Hendrick/Stewart totem pole once the Chase began and that’s not going to win you a title.|
|Dropped Out: David Reutimann (15)|
|Also Receiving Votes: Kevin Harvick (51), David Reutimann (41), Martin Truex Jr. (36), AJ Allmendinger (33), Marcos Ambrose (30), Brian Vickers (29), Joey Logano (22), Jamie McMurray (22), Casey Mears (1), Robby Gordon (1), Bill Elliott (1)|
|Who Voted: Thomas Bowles, Mike Neff, Tony Lumbis, Doug Turnbull, Matt Taliaferro, Vito Pugliese, Bryan Davis Keith, Phil Allaway, Kevin Birge and Kurt Smith|
About the author
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.