The Monster Mile wasn’t as much of a monster as it’s been in the past – that is, after an early race melee involved six of the top 12 drivers in the points standings. But while the rest of the day may have put you to sleep, it did allow for some decisive moves in the rankings this week. The Roush Fenway brigade all climbed up in the order except for David Ragan, while Kasey Kahne, Tony Stewart and Clint Bowyer were among those who took big hits in the poll this week.
Behind them, what underdog driver received enough love to move back into the top 15 – kicking out someone who’s spent nearly all year cruising along in the top 12 in points? Read on to find out, and see if you agree or disagree with the latest choices by our Frontstretch writers.
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.
|FRONTSTRETCH TOP-15 POWER RANKINGS: JUNE 4, 2008|
|Rank||Driver (First-Place Votes)||Votes||Last Week|
|1||Kyle Busch (9)||198||1|
|There is no doubt; the Busch is no longer the Shrub.|
|He’s not Busch — and he’s not his biggest rival, either — but the No. 99 is still damn fast.|
|For being the second-place guy in points, the only time you ever really see Burton on TV these days is in those Holiday Inn commercials.|
|4||Dale Earnhardt Jr.||162||2|
|Joe Gibbs now has four wins and 271 reasons to show why Junior’s lagging behind the man he replaced.|
|When the wheels stay intact, the No. 16 car shows signs of returning to the form it showed back in 2005. Now, if he’ll just sign that contract…|
|It doesn’t matter how he got them; Gordon has back-to-back-to-back top fives for the first time all season long.|
|If you already have a win and five top 10s, but people are asking, “What’s wrong?!”…well, you must be doing something right.|
|You’re supposed to learn when to pick and choose your fights. Denny has opted to challenge a driver with a sponsor whose inventory features Tomahawk cruise missiles, Super Hornets and SEALs. Way to plan that one out.|
|9||Kasey Kahne (1)||106||6|
|Learned the “Fan Vote” ticket to success is good for Lowe’s Motor Speedway only.|
|He’ll be in the top 10 in points by the Chase, and you won’t even see it coming – unless you’re from Wisconsin.|
|Following his latest run-in with Elliott Sadler, not shopping at Best Buy is probably going to be a lot easier for him than avoiding McDonald’s.|
|No one would’ve picked him to be in Chase contention this far into the season.|
|The wheels may not be falling off… but they sure are bent.|
|14||Martin Truex Jr.||60||NR|
|If there is a team on the verge of turning things around, it appears to be the No. 1 car..|
|You couldn’t even use smoke and mirrors to hide the job Kvapil’s doing in unsponsored equipment.|
|Dropped Out: Kevin Harvick (13), Mark Martin (15), Bobby Labonte (15)|
|Also Receiving Votes: Kevin Harvick (48), Brian Vickers (38), Ryan Newman (35), Dave Blaney (29), Mark Martin (28), Bobby Labonte (25), Juan Pablo Montoya (15), David Reutimann (10), Jamie McMurray (9), Kurt Busch (8), Elliott Sadler (6), Sam Hornish Jr. (3), David Gilliland (1)|
|Who Voted: Ren Jonsin, Tom Bowles, Cami Starr, Mike Neff, Tony Lumbis, Matt Taliaferro, Vito Pugliese, Bryan Davis Keith and Doug Turnbull|
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.