Race Weekend Central

Frontstretch NASCAR Power Rankings: Top 15 After the 2008 LENOX Industrial Tools 301 at Loudon

The LENOX Industrial Tools 301 at Loudon was billed as a race that went “the extra mile,” but it’s actually all the miles that didn’t happen which led to a major jumble in both the race – and our Power Rankings.

With rain wreaking havoc on the final running order, you had Kurt Busch, Michael Waltrip and JJ Yeley as the top-three finishers with just 284 laps completed – a wild conclusion to a wacky finish at the Magic Mile of the Northeast. But could any of the weekend’s big surprises gain enough momentum to enter the top 15 in our exclusive list? And what about perennial Power Rankings leader Kyle Busch; contact with Juan Pablo Montoya left him spinning under the race’s final caution and spiraling down to a 25th-place finish. Did the open-wheel convert accomplish his goal of knocking Busch out of the top spot?

Read on to find the answers you seek, and see if you agree with how the Frontstretch writers voted this week.

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) Votes Last Week
1 Kyle Busch (7) 190 1
Has decided to boycott Colombian coffee after Sunday’s race. Thank God; we think a decaffeinated Busch can be nothing but a good thing for the competition.
2 Carl Edwards (1) 177 2
Looks like the Bill Buckner Boston Red Sox scheme makes all the Roush Fenway cars unlucky.
3 Jeff Burton 172 4
The king of Loudon was quite mortal this Sunday.
4 Dale Earnhardt Jr. 171 3
Seen throwing all of the purple Crown Royal bags out of his motorhome in the rain Sunday evening.
5 Jeff Gordon 150 6
See Gordon. See Gordon knock on door. See pile of victories about to answer the call.
6 Matt Kenseth (1) 149 5
The drive to the Chase hit a minor speed bump. It won’t be off track for very long, though.
7 Jimmie Johnson (1) 145 8
Who’d have ever thunk it that Johnson would be better off if he just stopped listening to Chad Knaus?
8 Tony Stewart 111 10
Conspiracy theorists believed that everything about the No. 8 team was sabotaged after Junior announced his departure. Oh, well; looks like they’ll have a whole new subject to run wild on this year.
9 Greg Biffle 105 9
Finally doesn’t have a pit-road penalty – so he gets caught by a freak caution instead.
10 Kasey Kahne 103 7
How do you retaliate against someone that’s got the whole U.S. Army backing him up?
11 Denny Hamlin 99 11
Fortunately for Hamlin, his picture can be taken off of the milk cartons.
12 Brian Vickers 84 12
A top 20 at Loudon is like a top 10 for Vickers, especially considering his history at that track.
13 Martin Truex Jr. 62 15
Let’s see if the fish mobile can make it two top fives in a row; then, maybe we’ll talk DEI extension, right?
14 Kevin Harvick 54 NR
The bleeding has stopped for now, but let’s see what Daytona holds.
15 David Ragan 47 13
In the Race to the Chase, Ragan’s been racing toward’s the wrong side of the tracks these last two weeks.
16 Clint Bowyer 47 14
The early season magic is gone from this team; and if Bowyer doesn’t watch it, the Chase may be gone soon, too.
Dropped Out: None
Also Receiving Votes: Ryan Newman (40), Kurt Busch (33), Elliott Sadler (30), Casey Mears (22), Travis Kvapil (22), Bobby Labonte (16), Mark Martin (14), Dave Blaney (13), Jamie McMurray (12), David Gilliland (12), Michael Waltrip (7), JJ Yeley (3), David Reutimann (2), Reed Sorenson (1)
Who Voted: Ren Jonsin, Tom Bowles, Cami Starr, Mike Neff, Kim DeHaven, 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.

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