NASCAR Race Weekend Central

Frontstretch NASCAR Power Rankings: Top 15 After the 2008 Pepsi 500 at Fontana

California is a wide-open track with plenty of room to run. The drivers had to struggle with the sun as it was going down and ultimately struggled with making their cars handle as the track cooled off. The end result was Jimmie Johnson won the race and moved up two spots in the rankings this week as did Denny Hamlin and Clint Bowyer. To see if your driver was chillin’ in the sun or burnt by the California heat, check out the results of our Top 15 rankings.

Frontstretch NASCAR Power Rankings: Top 15 After the 2008 Sharpie 500 at Bristol

Bristol’s new variable banking has given drivers the option to pass without having to wreck a guy on the racetrack. But as Carl Edwards showed us Saturday night, the bump-and-run can still be the only option if the car in front is just good enough to keep you behind. Ensuring that move remains alive and well, Edwards’s shove of Kyle Busch was enough to move him into the top spot in our Power Rankings this week, displacing Busch for the first time since Richmond in May. This week, we saw two drivers fell out while two more slipped in – with one Chase hopeful working his way back to the top 10 for the first time in weeks. Who is he? You’ll have to read below to find out in this week’s edition of our Power Rankings.

Frontstretch NASCAR Power Rankings: Top 15 After the 2008 3M Performance 400 at Michigan

Four wide-open grooves of racing at Michigan gave the drivers a lot of options Sunday — giving the faster cars a great chance to work their way forward. But for Denny Hamlin and Kasey Kahne, the only racing line they were able to handle was the one that led straight to the garage. Both saw their engines go up in smoke well before 400 miles were complete; and as a result, they slid multiple spots in the points and in our latest power rankings chart. Was Carl Edwards’ second win in three races enough to finally knock Kyle Busch off his perch at the top of our list? To see if your favorite driver kept his ranking intact after 400 miles in the Irish Hills, check out the latest results of our weekly Top 15 poll.

Frontstretch NASCAR Power Rankings: Top 15 After the 2008 Centurion Boats at the Glen

Turning right and left didn’t just cause a litany of Cup veterans some angst — it also gave our writers some sleepless nights in how to figure in a road-course finish into their own Top 15 Power Rankings formula. The series’ best road racer, Jeff Gordon, had himself one of the worst days of his career at one of those venues, leading to a shocking tumble down the list. But for Kevin Harvick, the weekend marked a pleasant surprise with a masterful top-10 performance at the road course. Who else was able to make a major move this week?To find the answers and see how your favorite driver wound up after the twists and turns in New York, read below for the latest edition of our Frontstretch Top 15.

Full Throttle: Kyle Busch May Break the Unbreakable Record

Kyle Busch is having what many people are already considering a dream season. So far this year he has scored 16 victories in the top three national touring series sanctioned by NASCAR. Early in the year there was talk that he might try and run for the championship in all three divisions, but he has since cut back on his schedule and focused most of his energies on the biggest prize, the Sprint Cup championship. Inevitably the discussions turn towards Busch’s place in history and one of those discussions will center on breaking the record that most people, including this writer, have thought for years would be unbreakable: Jeff Gordon’s single season victory record of 13 races in a single NASCAR Cup season.

Frontstretch NASCAR Power Rankings: Top 15 After the 2008 Pennsylvania 500 at Pocono

Considering the range of possibilities ahead, it’s surprising our Power Rankings stayed fairly stable. Brian Vickers was the lone exception; his run of bad luck dropped him out of the list, allowing a fellow Chase hopeful to slide into his place. Who is the mystery man — with a mystery sponsor for ’09 — that’s once again cracked our Top 15? To see how the Xs and Ys were squared to come up with Z this week, check out the results of our top Top 15 rankings — voted on by your favorite Frontstretch writers.

Frontstretch NASCAR Power Rankings: Top 15 After the 2008 Brickyard 400

And the winner of the first annual Indianapolis Heat Race is… Jimmie Johnson! OK, so maybe it was the Allstate 400 at the Brickyard, but the way in which the race was controlled by NASCAR — with competition cautions held every 10 laps — they might as well have renamed it the Allstate 25. With so many stops and starts, it was difficult to gauge the worthiness of driver rankings after both the off week and the debacle that was Goodyeargate 2008. However, your dedicated staff at Frontstretch did their best to see through the cords and rubber dust and give you the best rankings they could possibly compile.

Frontstretch NASCAR Power Rankings: Top-15 Free Agents For 2009

With the off week in full swing, it presented an opportunity for the Frontstretch experts to do something a little different. Instead of grading the Cup guys, we took a look at those drivers who often get shunned from the spotlight these days… the drivers exclusive to the Nationwide and Camping World Truck Series desperate to make a name for themselves. These divisions are filled with established veterans and young guns mixed together to provide a cornucopia of driving talent. And since you never know when a Cup ride will become available… we thought it’s high time to figure out who’s proved himself most worthy of filling the spot as of late. Read on to see if your favorite non-Cup driver made the list in this special edition of the Top 15.

Full Throttle: Racing on History, A Look at Life at Greenville-Pickens Speedway

One of the coolest things about working on a late model race team in the Southeast is you get the opportunity to run on some of the tracks where NASCAR first put down its roots 60 years ago… places like Hickory, Martinsville, and Concord, to name a few. But quite possibly the coolest track to race on is Greenville-Pickens Speedway outside of Greenville, S.C. It is an ultra-flat, half-mile oval that is about as slick as an ice skating rink, and will put even the best drivers to the test.

Frontstretch NASCAR Power Rankings: Top 15 After the 2008 LifeLock.com 400 at Chicagoland

The Chicagoland race was held at night for the first time in its eight-year history, but the cool temperatures didn’t stop the heated action on the racetrack during the final few laps of the event. Kyle Busch’s stunning pass of Jimmie Johnson was one for the ages, and his seventh win of the season was rewarded in our poll by becoming a unanimous number one pick atop the charts. In the meantime, Tony Stewart and Kevin Harvick posted solid finishes to make large moves up the rankings this week — while Denny Hamlin and Jeff Burton had precipitous drops after another week of poor showings. To find out more about where the dust settled after our writers were finished with their stuffed Chicago-style pizzas, read on for this week’s Top 15 poll and analysis.

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