Race Weekend Central

Frontstretch NASCAR Power Rankings: Top 15 After the 2009 Lifelock 400 at Michigan

The 2-mile oval in the Irish Hills of Michigan brought us a fuel-mileage race for the second straight week on the Cup tour. In the end, it was Mark Martin who had a little extra gas in his tank… but was it enough to move all the way to the top of our chart? Meanwhile, Michigan’s reputation as a Blue Oval speedway took one heck of a hit, as none of the Roush cars finished higher than fourth. How much did our experts penalize them for their surprising slump?

Read on to find out in this week’s version of the Frontstretch Power Rankings.

How the Rankings Are Calculated: Frontstretch does our power rankings somewhat similar to how the Associated Press does them for basketball or football – writers on 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 one batch of Power Rankings to serve to our fans.

Rank Driver (First-Place Votes) Votes Last Week
1 Tony Stewart (9) 199 1
For all those who think this points lead is just a temporary thing, here’s a news flash: Summer doesn’t start until next weekend. Looks like Tony’s just warming up.
2 Jimmie Johnson 182 2
Old-school Mark Martin buzzcut has brought about old-school Mark Martin luck.
3 Jeff Gordon 169 4
He used to be carrying this team on his back; now, it’s a Sunoco gas can.
4 Mark Martin (1) 168 7
Last week, we sarcastically speculated Tony Eury Jr. must have been sent to the No. 5 team after they blew several top-five finishes in a row. The next week, they win Michigan on fuel mileage – just like Dale Earnhardt Jr. last season. Maybe we know what we’re talking about after all.
5 Carl Edwards 155 5
First on the “best car not built by Hendrick” list right now. Here’s the problem: there’s one hell of a lot of Hendrick cars.
6 Ryan Newman 149 3
He’s better at Infineon than you might think, which is a good thing after looking like he was waving the white flag on Flag Day.
7 Greg Biffle 146 6
Never really got too mad after his car ran out of gas, because after gritting his teeth for the last 44 laps, the braces got hooked together and he couldn’t talk.
8 Kurt Busch 121 8
Apparently, when Roger Penske sold Michigan to ISC, he also forfeited any and all opportunities for his cars to win there.
9 Kyle Busch 109 9
Battling with Junior for 13th not quite as exciting as for the win at Richmond last May.
10 Matt Kenseth 108 10
The clear frontrunner to replace Martin in the perpetual bad luck department.
11 Juan Pablo Montoya 99 13
After a sixth-place finish at Michigan, this is the perfect week to have a road course coming up. JPM might just be Chase material, after all.
12 David Reutimann 90 11
You’d think with all those sponsor commercials aimed at saving people money, Reutimann would be just at good at saving fuel.
13 Denny Hamlin 68 14
So, you’re telling us the car made it past the first lap and it didn’t run out of fuel? That’s just not possible.
14 Clint Bowyer 58 NR
Look on the bright side, Clint: number 1 at RCR is still ahead of number 4 at Hendrick.
15 Jeff Burton 52 15
Not even The Mayor is immune from a lack of speed or fuel economy at RCR.
Dropped Out: Kasey Kahne (12)
Also Receiving Votes: Kasey Kahne (47), Brian Vickers (47), Jamie McMurray (42), Dale Earnhardt Jr. (25), Joey Logano (19), Marcos Ambrose (13), Bill Elliott (11), Sam Hornish Jr. (10), David Ragan (6), Martin Truex Jr. (3), Elliott Sadler (2), Robby Gordon (2)
Who Voted: Thomas Bowles, Ren Jonsin, Mike Neff, Tony Lumbis, Doug Turnbull, Matt Taliaferro, Vito Pugliese, Bryan Davis Keith, Phil Allaway and Kurt Smith


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.

Sign up for the Frontstretch Newsletter

A daily email update (Monday through Friday) providing racing news, commentary, features, and information from Frontstretch.com
We hate spam. Your email address will not be sold or shared with anyone else.

Share via