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.
|FRONTSTRETCH TOP-15 POWER RANKINGS: JUNE 17, 2009|
|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.|
|Old-school Mark Martin buzzcut has brought about old-school Mark Martin luck.|
|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.|
|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.|
|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.|
|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.|
|Apparently, when Roger Penske sold Michigan to ISC, he also forfeited any and all opportunities for his cars to win there.|
|Battling with Junior for 13th not quite as exciting as for the win at Richmond last May.|
|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.|
|You’d think with all those sponsor commercials aimed at saving people money, Reutimann would be just at good at saving fuel.|
|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.|
|Look on the bright side, Clint: number 1 at RCR is still ahead of number 4 at Hendrick.|
|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.