Race Weekend Central

Frontstretch NASCAR Power Rankings: Top 15 Drivers You Aren’t Seeing on Sunday

The first off week of the season allowed our staff to take a look at the other racing series that NASCAR has to offer; as such, they did a little ranking of some other drivers that the fans love to follow. Whether they are seasoned veterans in the waning years of their career, or young drivers who are trying to prove themselves, they were all considered for this poll of the best stock car driver without a full-time ride in the Sprint Cup Series. Check below to see if your budding superstar – or old favorite – made our list!

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
1 Mike Bliss 97
  The influx of Cup veterans is making everyone Bliss-fully unaware of how good the Fitz Motorsports No. 22 team has been.
2 Brad Keselowski 92
  It’s not often you say things like, “This young talent might have a win under his belt if not for the reckless driving of Mark Martin.” In fact, has that ever been said before? But  seriously… right now, Keselowski is sixth in Nationwide points, just 121 off the lead and making Dale Jr. proud.
3 Todd Bodine 88
  The onion may leave a bad taste in your mouth, but he can still wheel it.
4 Ron Hornaday Jr.  84
  The defending CTS champ looks like he hasn’t lost a step… even with his 50th birthday on the horizon.
5 Kelly Bires 71
  Jon Wood who? That guy never drove this car the way this former high school wrestler has.
6 Chad McCumbee 70
  Small screen Dale Jr. will be in Cup within the next two years.
7 Mike Skinner 68
  The current definition of Sprint Cup “super sub,” Skinner’s simply super in the Truck Series… if he could ever get some luck to go his way.
8 Johnny Benson 63
  Many think Benson’s past his prime; but we just don’t think he’s given enough time in the spotlight.
9 David Stremme 50
  Making Chip Ganassi look dumber with each race that Dario Franchitti runs.
9 Jason Leffler 50
  With a haircut that makes him look like he’s 12, Leffler fits right in with the “young guns” of the Nationwide Series.
11 Mike Wallace  47
  Obviously, Mike’s been driving better this season because of the pressure from Loren to take his ride in the year 2013.
12 Bobby Hamilton Jr. 42
  Probably won’t ever get credit for what he’s done in less than stellar equipment for years.
13 Jason Keller 29
  Speaking of that, this guy does more with less than anyone in any of the top-three series; and now that they have a sponsor on board, you better watch out.
13 Scott Wimmer 29
  Finally got the monkey off of his back about underperforming in the No. 29.
15 Phillip McGilton 27
  Obviously learning something by hanging around with Benson and Skinner.


Also receiving votes: Rick Crawford (26), David Starr (23), Marcos Ambrose (17), Brad Coleman (15), Jack Sprague (9), Joey Logano (8), Steve Wallace (8), Ted Musgrave (7), Cale Gale (5), Dennis Setzer (5), Justin Marks (4), Colin Braun (4), Bryan Clauson (3), Matt Crafton (3), Stacy Compton (2), Jon Wood (2), Terry Cook (1), Marc Davis (1)

Writers voting this week:
Tom Bowles, Kim DeHaven, Tony Lumbis, Mike Neff, Vito Pugliese and Bryan Davis Keith

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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