Race Weekend Central

Frontstretch NASCAR Power Rankings: Top 15 After the 2008 Dickies 500 at Texas

History repeated itself for the third time in a row, as the winner at Atlanta in the fall headed to Texas the following week and won again. That Dickies 500 victory this week by Carl Edwards stole a couple of first-place votes away from Jimmie Johnson, but didn’t move him out of the top spot just yet. Meanwhile, Jeff Burton’s drive to the championship is done – that is, if you believe the voters in this week’s poll.

But just how far did Burton fall? And what Roush Fenway driver made an appearance in our top 12 for the first time? Read on for the answers in this week’s version of the Power Rankings.

Rank Driver (First-Place Votes) Votes Last Week
1 Jimmie Johnson (8) 195 1
Seventh place or better in two successive races and the title is his.
2 Carl Edwards (2) 192 2
Carl is doing what he has to do; it just isn’t going to be enough.
3 Greg Biffle 170 3
Got his first top-five finish in over a month; at this point it’s a few weeks too late.
4 Jeff Gordon 160 5
Finally figuring out the new car just in time to save Steve Letarte’s job.
5 Matt Kenseth 139 6
Still looking like the only driver to make NASCAR change their points system in the last two decades – but consistency doesn’t cut it in this format.
6 Kevin Harvick 137 7
Continuing to prove that RCR is good – just not quite good enough.
7 Clint Bowyer 131 10
A top five on an intermediate track could be a good sign for ’09.
8 David Ragan 118 8
Sizzling sophomore still missing that win to put the finishing touches on that Most Improved Driver Award.
9 Jeff Burton 111 4
No championship this year, but at least he’s assured of getting invited to New York.
10 Kyle Busch 108 12
Busch may be a brash, young punk, but he still understands history and his place in it; just ask Sam Ard.
11 Denny Hamlin 92 9
At least he finished ahead of Joey Logano.
12 Jamie McMurray 85 14
Word came recently that McMurray will be reacquiring former crew chief Donnie Wingo. Good idea – might want him to go back to running mid-pack where he’s more familiar.
13 Tony Stewart 85 11
Just practicing for next year at this point.
14 Dale Earnhardt Jr. 83 13
If not for bad luck and blown tires, he might have had a chance at third in Texas.
15 Martin Truex Jr. 61 NR
Enjoying outrunning teammate Mark Martin for now, since it isn’t going to happen very often next year.
Dropped Out: Kurt Busch (15)
Also Receiving Votes: Casey Mears (53), Kurt Busch (34), David Reutimann (31), Mark Martin (20), Brian Vickers (20), AJ Allmendinger (16), Kasey Kahne (13), Elliott Sadler (11), Juan Pablo Montoya (9), Bobby Labonte (9), Paul Menard (5), Ryan Newman (4), Brad Keselowski (3), Scott Riggs (2), Robby Gordon (1), Reed Sorenson (1), Sam Hornish Jr. (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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