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Frontstretch NASCAR Power Rankings: After the 2008 Bud Shootout at Daytona

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, without further ado, here’s our latest edition.

2008 Frontstretch Power Rankings For February 13, 2008
Rank Driver Votes Previous Rk
1 Jimmie Johnson (7) 159 2
2 Jeff Gordon (1) 152 1
3 Tony Stewart 136 3
4 Dale Earnhardt Jr. 124 5
5 Matt Kenseth 121 4
6 Carl Edwards 105 6
7 Kurt Busch 102 9
8 Kyle Busch 80 11
9 Denny Hamlin 80 NR
10 Clint Bowyer 77 7
11 Martin Truex Jr. 73 10
12 Casey Mears 70 15
13 Kevin Harvick 69 12
14 Jeff Burton 65 8
15 Ryan Newman 57 14
  1. Follows up his championship with a pole in the 500; this team doesn’t miss a beat.
  2. Here’s a little known fact – Johnson’s not the only one chasing Cale Yarborough. A Gordon victory Sunday ties him with Yarborough with four career Daytona 500 victories… only Richard Petty has more.
  3. Sampson has nothing on Smoke.
  4. The Bud Shootout does not a Daytona 500 make. Two more laps, and Johnson wins that race…
  5. In every interview we’ve seen him in so far, Kenseth looks a little constipated. We’re not sure what this means quite yet, but I guess we’ll figure out soon enough!
  6. Expect a gentler, kinder Edwards to focus energy on racing rather than at his teammates, resulting in a successful year.
  7. If only Kurt Busch knew he’d get off scot free, chances are Tony wouldn’t have driven that car back to the garage.
  8. Hey, Hamlin, how ya like the view from back there?
  9. Let’s look at it this way; at least he beat the UPS car Saturday night. And judging by last week’s comments, he certainly has a strong legion of fans.
  10. The NASCAR world is anxious to see if the 2007 Cinderella story is for real or a one-hit wonder.
  11. We’re not going to lie; it’s a little surprising to see DEI come to Daytona and be this flat.
  12. A popular bandwagon pick going into the 500, but he needs to prove his worth before moving further up in the rankings.
  13. Being the defending Daytona champ counts for something, but there’s been no back-to-back winner in the 500 since Sterling Marlin in 1994-95.
  14. Relieved not to have to worry about a lawsuit every time he mentions his sponsor this year – at least for now.
  15. Odds are still 3-1 he ends up on his roof again at Daytona.

Dropped Out: Greg Biffle (13)

Also Receiving Votes: Biffle 51, Dave Blaney 29, Kasey Kahne 23, Mark Martin 18, Michael Waltrip 18, Juan Pablo Montoya 16, David Reutimann 11, Joe Nemechek 11, Jamie McMurray 9, Bobby Labonte 7, David Ragan 7, Reed Sorenson 5

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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