Race Weekend Central

Frontstretch NASCAR Power Rankings: Top 15 After the 2008 Daytona 500

How the Rankings are Calculated: Frontstretch does their power rankings somewhat similar to how the Associated Press does them for basketball or football — writers on our 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 the power rankings from our dedicated staff.

So, without further ado… here’s our latest Power Rankings following Daytona.

2008 Frontstretch Power Rankings for February 20, 2008
Rank Driver Votes Previous Rk
1 Tony Stewart (2) 160 3
2 Kyle Busch (1) 159 8
3 Ryan Newman (3) 152 15
4 Kurt Busch (2) 151 7
5 Dale Earnhardt Jr. 145 4
6 Jimmie Johnson (1) 109 1
7 Jeff Gordon 98 2
8 Reed Sorenson 98 NR
9 Greg Biffle 93 NR
10 Jeff Burton 85 14
11 Denny Hamlin 84 9
12 Kasey Kahne 75 NR
13 Robby Gordon 70 NR
14 Bobby Labonte 63 NR
15 Matt Kenseth 60 5
  1. Remember when Dale Earnhardt Sr. was asked 7,000 times each year if he was going to win the Big One? Well, how do you think Smoke is going to react to that same kind of attention in years to come? Yeah, we think someone will lose an eye, too.
  2. Cranky, bitter and complaining after his 500 defeat… now those are the Buschisms we know and love.
  3. With all due respect… a blind pig in an oak forest finds an acorn every once in a while. “Drivers never forget” is an phrase used often in NASCAR.
  4. Support for Newman aside, you think Kurt Busch forgot about the Stewart incident when he had to chose between the No. 20 and No. 12 in the final laps?
  5. Better to have tried and failed than never to have tried at all; at the very least, Junior showed flashes of what could be future potential at Hendrick.
  6. One bad 500 does not a bad season make.
  7. Suspension be damned; with Gordon’s wife in the swimsuit edition, maybe the dreaded SI curse hit the No. 24.
  8. Wonder if Sorenson knows that the FOX guys gave him about 100 shoutouts during Speedweeks. Everybody else can still hear them…
  9. A strong showing to start the year means the Biff might have shaken off the doldrums of 2007.
  10. This year’s version of Mark Martin: Popular veteran, winless in the 500, makes a late push but comes up short.
  11. Too bad FedEx couldn’t deliver a new rear quarterpanel during the race Sunday; otherwise, Hamlin had a shot at the win.
  12. Still doesn’t look good in red – or old enough to drink beer. But he ran well…
  13. Going old school and running a Mercury at California!
  14. Can you imagine what this guy would do in Hendrick equipment?
  15. Ooo, Kenseth is maaad. If we were David Ragan, we’d call up AAA and see if he’s insured against “teammate butt-kickings.”

Dropped Out: Carl Edwards (6), Clint Bowyer (10), Martin Truex Jr. (11), Casey Mears (12), Kevin Harvick (13)

Also Receiving Votes: Elliott Sadler 49, Bowyer 41, Edwards 40, Harvick 38, Brian Vickers 30, Truex Jr. 28, Mears 24, Sam Hornish Jr. 13, David Reutimann 12, Dale Jarrett 11, Martin 5, Michael Waltrip 3, Dave Blaney 3, Juan Pablo Montoya 2, Ragan 1

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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