Race Weekend Central

Frontstretch NASCAR Power Rankings: Top 15 After the 2008 Camping World RV 400 at Kansas

As the 2008 postseason rolls on to Talladega, Jimmie Johnson continues to make the playoffs his own private playground. The all-time winningest driver in Chase history scored another one this past weekend at Kansas, and it was enough to propel him into first in our weekly rankings. Matt Kenseth, Jeff Gordon, Clint Bowyer, Dale Earnhardt Jr. and Denny Hamlin all moved up along with him this week, but none have the head of steam Johnson’s run towards a third straight title is picking up.

Not surprisingly, teams falling down the ladder included a three-car tumble over at Joe Gibbs Racing. Tony Stewart and Kyle Busch were the week’s biggest losers – but just how far did they fall? And which lame-duck driver worked his way into our poll this week in what will likely be his final appearance of the season? To see if your driver reaped what he sowed or if his crop was plagued by locusts at Kansas, check out the results of our latest 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.

Rank Driver (First-Place Votes) Votes Last Week
1 Jimmie Johnson (6) 191 3
He has a Chase win, a second-place finish, and is now leading the points standings after Kansas. In other news, the sun is hot, water is wet and the sky was blue this morning.
2 Carl Edwards (1) 186 1
He explained his reasoning for that banzai move at Kansas as, “I tried it in video games before.” Hey Carl, here’s a little piece of advice for Talladega: Up twice, Down twice, left, right, left, right, B, A, Start.
3 Greg Biffle (2) 182 2
Starts the Chase with a first, a first and a third, but still trails Johnson by 30. Tells you just how difficult it’s going to be to knock off the Nos. 48 and 99.
4 Kevin Harvick 169 4
Graduated from the Jeff Burton school of top 10s – which means his Chase diploma will read, “Close, but no cigar.”
5 Matt Kenseth 150 7
Loose may be fast, but that slide through two was a wee bit too loose.
6 Jeff Burton 147 6
The guy who will top 10 you to death has an average Chase finish of 6.66 so far. Hmm, the mark of the beast? His teammate was once Mark Martin. His number was 6. 666… the mark of the Burton!
7 Jeff Gordon 131 9
Scored a fourth-place finish while sick as a dog and is now 143 points out of first. For people who had written off the four-time champ, bring some salt and ketchup. You may need it to eat that crow.
8 Clint Bowyer 123 10
Home cooking was sweeter than the other intermediate tracks have been for him this year.
9 Dale Earnhardt Jr. 116 11
Toned down radio chatter makes 13th place far less entertaining.
10 Denny Hamlin 105 12
Still doing his best to keep Kyle Busch from finishing 12th.
11 Tony Stewart 100 5
That was kind of funny when he took himself out trying to tap out Brian Vickers, apparently in retaliation for the gas can guy falling on his hood, and another Red Bull crewman kicking his rocker panel. That’ll show ‘em!
12 Kyle Busch (1) 85 8
Added to the pool of the Frontstretch Newsletter Trivia Questions – What do Busch and the New York Mets have in common?
13 David Ragan 79 14
It’s too bad for Ragan all of the races can’t be on intermediate tracks.
14 David Reutimann 57 15
Wondering just how he’s going to ask for a raise after having to lug the MWR banner around on his back all year.
15 AJ Allmendinger 44 NR
Consumers everywhere should wonder just what is in Red Bull these days after company owners dismiss Allmendinger following the best run of his career.
Dropped Out: Mark Martin (13)
Also Receiving Votes: Mark Martin (38), Casey Mears (36), Ryan Newman (34), Kasey Kahne (32), Martin Truex Jr. (22), Elliott Sadler (18), Brian Vickers (13), Jamie McMurray (12), Bobby Labonte (10), Kurt Busch (8), Juan Pablo Montoya (5), David Gilliland (3), Tony Raines (2), Travis Kvapil (1), Bill Elliott (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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