The Desert Southwest held a couple of different surprises for the racers this weekend. Rain and gale force winds threw a lot at the teams; but when all was said and done, it was status quo for the No. 48. Jimmie Johnson led the most laps and won the race handily, all but securing this year’s title heading to Homestead. That dominance was also enough to put almost all of our panel votes behind the point leader, putting him securely in the top spot again this week. But with one week to go, there was quite a bit of movement behind him. Read on to see if your driver was cool and collected or caught in the cactus on rattlesnake hill in this week’s Power Rankings.
History repeated itself for the third time in a row, as the winner at Atlanta in the fall headed to Texas the following week and won again. That victory this week by Carl Edwards stole a couple of first-place votes away from Jimmie Johnson, but didn’t move him out of the top spot just yet. Meanwhile, Jeff Burton’s drive to the championship is done – that is, if you believe the voters in this week’s poll. But just how far did Burton fall? And what Roush Fenway driver made an appearance in our top 12 for the first time? Read on for the answers in this week’s version of the Power Rankings.
Carl Edwards made good on the promise that he showed at the beginning of the spring Atlanta race by taking the win this past weekend. Overshadowed by that performance, however, was a banzai run by Jimmie Johnson from 11th to second in the last eight laps of the race. That strength solidified the points leader’s place at the top of the Power Rankings, where he swept all of the first-place votes again this week. Behind him, positions continue to swap like hotcakes as drivers scrape and claw for every spot they can get on the racetrack. Read this week’s rankings to see if our writers thought your driver has had that extra incentive to wheel it to the front with only three races left – or if he’s been slip-sliding his way right out of our Power Rankings.
If you’re still doubting Jimmie Johnson’s championship future, well, let’s put it this way: our writers are convinced. Johnson pulled off the sweep this week in the Power Rankings, garnering all 10 first-place votes. But what about the big shifts behind him? Kyle Busch, Matt Kenseth, Jeff Burton and Tony Stewart are just some of the Chasers who had major jumps up and down the ladder this week. Check our rankings to see if your driver kept the short track fenders on or finished without his hood in this week’s Power Rankings.
The Chase has reached its halfway point, and for all intents and purposes, we’re down to a three-man race for the title. It’s just not the three men you would have expected after Richmond in September. While Jimmie Johnson remains a major player amongst the Top 15, it’s Jeff Burton and Greg Biffle replacing Carl Edwards and Kyle Busch on the precipice of championship contention. Just how much did Busch and Edwards’ recent mistakes cost them in our Frontstretch rankings? You’ll have to read below to find out just how far they’ve fallen.
One driver in particular made it through the carnage unscathed; and despite running like he was towing an anchor at the finish, Jimmie Johnson did what he had to do to put a third title firmly within his grasp. It also increased his lead in the Frontstretch Top 15, making him a clear favorite to end the year on top. Behind him, the shuffling was as fast and furious as the Talladega draft — and two drivers got left behind. Read on to see if your driver made the slingshot move towards the front of our list, or if his fortunes were swept up by disaster in this week’s Power Rankings.
As the 2008 postseason rolls on to Talladega, Jimmie Johnson continues to make the playoffs his own private playground. The all-time winningest driver in Chase history scored another one this past weekend at Kansas, and it was enough to propel him into first in our weekly rankings. Matt Kenseth, Jeff Gordon, Clint Bowyer, Dale Earnhardt Jr. and Denny Hamlin all moved up along with him this week, but none have the head of steam Johnson’s run towards a third straight title is picking up. Not surprisingly, teams falling down the ladder included a three-car tumble over at Joe Gibbs Racing. Tony Stewart and Kyle Busch were the week’s biggest losers – but just how far did they fall? And which “lame duck” driver worked his way into our poll this week… in what will likely be his final appearance of the season? To see if your driver reaped what he sowed or if his crop was plagued by locusts at Kansas, check out the results of our latest Power Rankings.
The Chase may only be 20% done, but so far, it’s been the Greg Biffle show 100% of the time. Two races and two wins have the six-year veteran on the verge of the championship lead, gunning hard to become the first driver to win the title in all three national touring series. But could the Biff’s recent streak in Victory Lane be enough to put him on the top of our Power Rankings – or would his Roush Fenway teammate Carl Edwards be the one to take control? On the flip side, Kyle Busch tumbled down the charts with his second straight mechanical problem… but which one of his Joe Gibbs Racing teammates found himself slipping even further? For the answers to these questions and more, read below to find out just how much the Monster Mile made our writers change the course of our Power Rankings.
Now that the Chase is officially underway, the standings are becoming chock full of playoff contenders — and they don’t want to move much of anywhere. In fact, the first 12 drivers in this week’s rankings are all the ones eligible to win this year’s championship. However, just because the Chasers are filling the top of the charts doesn’t mean they aren’t moving around amongst themselves. Which driver came oh-so-close to landing themselves a postseason bid — but came up just short and slid out of the Frontstretch Power Rankings in the matter of just two weeks?
The fifth edition of NASCAR’s Chase has three clear favorites: Kyle Busch, Carl Edwards, and Jimmie Johnson. But in a system where 12 drivers are separated by just 80 points, anyone could come out on top in a playoff race that seldom goes according to plan. With so many drivers and so much at stake, how do you sort out the mess? Well, your Frontstretch favorites have given you a head start. All your favorite experts have submitted their Chase picks, giving you their take on the good, the bad, and the ugly for the next 10 weeks.