Turning right and left didn’t just cause a litany of Cup veterans some angst – it also gave our writers some sleepless nights in how to figure in a road-course finish into their own Top 15 Power Rankings formula. But when all was said and done, there was a surprising amount of movement; and in some cases, the changes really surprised us. The series’ best road racer, Jeff Gordon, had himself one of the worst days of his career at one of those venues, leading to a shocking tumble down the list.
But for Kevin Harvick, the weekend marked a pleasant surprise on the one-year anniversary of his infamous tangle with Juan Pablo Montoya; instead of fighting on the racetrack, he was fighting his way up our chart with a masterful top-10 performance at the road course.
Who else was able to make a major move this week – and what famous driver celebrated a contract extension with a jump into the Power Rankings? To find the answers and see how your favorite driver wound up after the twists and turns in New York, read below for the latest edition of our Frontstretch Power Rankings.
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: AUGUST 13, 2008|
|Rank||Driver (First-Place Votes)||Votes||Last Week|
|1||Kyle Busch (6)||191||1|
|Purposely counted the number of wins on his fingers to show fans that not only can he drive a car – but he’s smart, too!|
|2||Carl Edwards (1)||187||2|
|Never mind, Carl… Kyle’s got the number one seed locked up after all.|
|3||Jimmie Johnson (3)||184||3|
|“Kyle is in a slump?” Them’s strong words from a man with only two wins this year – one of which was due to freakishly good gas mileage and the other at a race that featured no more than 12 consecutive green-flag laps.|
|One can only imagine the carnage – and Stewart in victory lane – if he didn’t need to finish second to make the Chase.|
|5||Dale Earnhardt Jr.||142||4|
|Tony Eury could’ve used Kyle Busch’s fingers when counting the number of laps in his pit strategy.|
|Being the best in the RCR stable doesn’t mean as much as it did a few months ago.|
|Betcha those Allstate girls wouldn’t be stalker fans if Kahne needed to turn left AND right every week.|
|Looks like he’s going to make the Chase – he’s just not going to contend for the title.|
|It’s expected that Gordon would be battling some of the best names in road racing, but you didn’t expect one of those names to be PJ Jones.|
|A top 10 on a road course still looks like crap when your teammates finish 1-2.|
|Was faster than he finished this weekend – a rather familiar theme for Biffle this year.|
|Seriously, is this guy even on the track? You’d never know it if not for the box score or the points standings.|
|13||Martin Truex Jr.||81||NR|
|Not going to make the Chase, but runs like this weekend could get him a “bonus” for 13th in the standings at the end of the year.|
|Nothing cures a Watkins Glen hangover for a Roush driver better than Michigan.|
|Finishing right behind Junior on a road course is never a good thing.|
|Dropped Out: Ryan Newman (15)|
|Also Receiving Votes: AJ Allmendinger (42), Ryan Newman (37), Jamie McMurray (37), Mark Martin (28),
Brian Vickers (26), Elliott Sadler (19), Marcos Ambrose (19), Juan Pablo Montoya (16), Kurt Busch (12), Bobby Labonte (10)
|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.