Race Weekend Central

Frontstretch NASCAR Power Rankings: 2008 Preseason Top 15

Editor’s Note: In our ongoing quest to make our site bigger and better, Frontstretch is proud to expand our power rankings to a full website feature. We do our rankings similar to the Associated Press for basketball and football… each staff member that votes ranks the drivers on a 20-19-18-17-16-15-14… 3-2-1 basis, with the first-place driver scoring 20 points, second-place 19, etc. Then, Senior Writer Mike Neff compiles the votes, adds some one-liners and – voila! – you have a full-cooked recipe of power ranking delight.

So, enjoy it… the Top 15 vote-getting drivers for this Wednesday and every Wednesday during the full 2008 season.

2008 Frontstretch Preseason Power Rankings
Rank Driver Votes Previous Rk
1 Jeff Gordon (2) 134
2 Jimmie Johnson (5) 130
3 Tony Stewart 113
4 Matt Kenseth 99
5 Dale Earnhardt Jr. 95
6 Carl Edwards 87
7 Clint Bowyer 85
8 Jeff Burton 81
9 Kurt Busch 80
10 Martin Truex Jr. 72
11 Kyle Busch 71
12 Kevin Harvick 67
13 Greg Biffle 59
14 Ryan Newman 57
15 Casey Mears 53
  1. Going for his record-tying seventh title in 2008… oops, sorry, wrong points system.
  2. The champion last year, the same team members this year… but three straight won’t be easy.
  3. Is “shut up and drive” Tony’s new mantra? Judging by recent comments, it is. And that’s too bad.
  4. Perhaps the most consistent driver on the track who rarely lets any distractions bother him. Case in point? Expect Kenseth to reach Bristol before he notices that he has a new crew chief.
  5. What’s the over/under on the amount of times Dale “accidentally” tries to get into Kasey Kahne‘s car this year?
  6. We’ll see if a contract year motivates Edwards the same way it does for NFL players.
  7. He’ll win more this year… just not finish as high in the points.
  8. Gets to use the iPhone one more year. At his age, he better use it to find himself a sponsor.
  9. Roger Penske owes Jimmy Fennig a steak dinner for that past champion’s provisional.
  10. Still scratching his head as to why no one reported his winning Dover trophy was removed from the DEI shop to make room for the press.
  11. Ready to prove Hendrick wrong with a vengeance, and he’s got the equipment to do it, too.
  12. Expect this team to tweak their strategy from last year, which was “get all the points you can in the beginning and take the rest of the year off.”
  13. There is no way the sucking out loud tour can continue for him past this year.
  14. With his contract expiring, Newman hopes to generate the same excitement over his plans for next year that Dale Jr. had in 2007. Alright, maybe that was our lame attempt at trying to be funnier than the Top 10.
  15. Got a nice reward this offseason by being promoted to a team that finished in the top five in points. Now, can Casey keep that momentum going?

Also Receiving Votes: Juan Pablo Montoya 22.

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.

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