Race Weekend Central

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

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 Fontana.

Rank Driver (First-Place Votes) Points Last Week
1 Kyle Busch (5) 175 2
Just a handful of points away from leading all three series – think he’s not trying to prove something?
2 Tony Stewart 156 1
Either win one soon or leave the Home Depot hat on at all times. Please.
3 Ryan Newman (2) 150 3
After the weekend from hell at California for everyone, Newman probably wishes that whirlwind media tour was seven days, not four.
4 Jimmie Johnson 136 6
Still doesn’t have a handle on the new car despite the second-place finish at Fontana – watch out for when they finally do.
5 Kurt Busch (1) 134 4
Thanks to Sam Hornish Jr., Kurt was well behind the Casey Mears fiasco. That’s karma for you, Mr. Penske.
6 Carl Edwards (1) 121 18
Had to share a motorcoach with ZZ Top, who, ironically, looks just like Carl’s coach driver did a few years ago. The Office Depot team is working hard to make sure that doesn’t happen again.
7 Jeff Gordon 117 8
Seen readjusting the horseshoe after his engine blew when the caution flew.
8 Matt Kenseth 119 5
How much Green Bay Packers paraphernalia do you think David Ragan sent to Matt last week? Yeah, we think Brett Favre’s jock strap was probably included as well.
9 Kasey Kahne 96 12
Already has a quarter of the top-10 finishes he had in all of 2007. Yep, it must be an even-numbered year…
10 Jeff Burton 92 10
The silent assassin continues to get the job done year after year.
11 Dale Earnhardt Jr. 85 5
Kind of ironic that the most famous driver in NASCAR can’t seem to get a break at the track closest to L.A.
12 Greg Biffle 81 9
Beginning to look as slightly above average as he was in 2007… and 2006… when’s he leaving Roush again?
13 Martin Truex Jr. 68 N/R
Good thing Martin has that discount for rain gear at the Bass Pro Shops.
13 Brian Vickers 68 N/R
A recent article stated that Vickers is highly interested in the development of hydrogen power for cars; but he may have a change of heart after how well his Sunoco-powered Camry has been running.
15 Kevin Harvick 65 N/R
We heard that McDonald’s is eliminating the plastic Ronald McDonalds outside its restaurants in an attempt to achieve a classier look. Well, so much for Harvick’s backup career!

Dropped Out From Last Week: Denny Hamlin (11), Robby Gordon (13), Bobby Labonte (14)

Also receiving votes: Reed Sorenson (54), Denny Hamlin (37), Bobby Labonte (31), Robby Gordon (29), Elliott Sadler (29), Clint Bowyer (18), Casey Mears (12), David Reutimann (9), Dale Jarrett (5), Sam Hornish Jr. (3), Michael Waltrip (3), Juan Pablo Montoya (3), Mark Martin (2), David Ragan (2), David Gilliland (1), Scott Riggs (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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