Race Weekend Central

Frontstretch NASCAR Power Rankings: Top 15 After the 2008 Food City 500 at Bristol

Despite scoring his worst finish of the season, Kyle Busch holds the top spot in the Frontstretch Power Rankings for the second straight week in a row. But the high banks of Bristol wreaked havoc on the rest of the list, forcing movement up and down the line… and even leaving some surprising names on the outside looking in. So where does your favorite driver sit heading into the first off weekend of the season?  Read this week’s Power Rankings to find out.

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.

Rank Driver (First-Place Votes) Points Last Week
1 Kyle Busch (7) 174 1
  Considering cable steering for Martinsville.
2 Kevin Harvick (1) 157 4
  Like my high school football coach always said, “If you’re going to make a mistake, make it at full speed.”
3 Greg Biffle 156 3
  Let’s lose silly “The Biff” nickname and dub Greg “The Tax Man.”
4 Dale Earnhardt Jr. (1) 153 6
  After years of confusion, the ugly truth is revealed; when Earnhardt Jr. speaks English, all Tony Eury Jr. hears out of his mouth is Japanese.
5 Jeff Burton 144 8
  Karma personified!
6 Tony Stewart  133 5
  Lesson we learned from this weekend: even two hotheads can’t be hot towards one another if the bond of friendship is formed.
7 Carl Edwards 110 2
  Vapor lock is worse than a brain lock at Bristol.
8 Matt Kenseth 104 9
  Tired of looking up the synonyms, so we’ll just say it: The No. 17 is looking remarkably consistent. Again.
9 Kasey Kahne 99 11
  Missed the cool “shaky hand” thing Kahne usually does after wrecking at Bristol.
10 Jeff Gordon  96 10
  So this is what it feels like to drive for the other teams!
11 Clint Bowyer 83 NR
  “You wait until we get all the way here before telling me Lynchburg is in a dry county, Richard? What the…”
12 Ryan Newman 78 7
  Subscribing to the “Daytona 500 will be the highlight of my season” club. Harvick, Michael Waltrip, Ward Burton all members this decade.
13 Kurt Busch 77 12
  Wintry weather blasted the Bristol region again, but this time there were no snow angels to be found.
14 Denny Hamlin 73 NR
  Just don’t ask Hamlin to get gas this week; yeah, probably a bad idea.
15 Martin Truex Jr. 65 15
  Finishing behind the No. 8… just like old times.

Falling out of the rankings: Jimmie Johnson, Brian Vickers

Also receiving votes: Jimmie Johnson (60), Brian Vickers (35), Bobby Labonte (28), Juan Pablo Montoya (24), David Gilliland (10), David Ragan (9), Scott Riggs (6), Elliott Sadler (4), Travis Kvapil (3), David Reutimann (3), Casey Mears (3), Mark Martin (1), Robby Gordon (1), Aric Almirola (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.

Sign up for the Frontstretch Newsletter

A daily email update (Monday through Friday) providing racing news, commentary, features, and information from Frontstretch.com
We hate spam. Your email address will not be sold or shared with anyone else.

Share via