Race Weekend Central

Frontstretch NASCAR Power Rankings: Top 15 After the 2009 LENOX Industrial Tools 301 at Loudon

Mother Nature interfered in yet another race this season, causing some drivers who don’t normally run in the top 15 to come home with quality finishes in Loudon, N.H. Joey Logano was perhaps the happiest of all to see the raindrops, becoming the youngest driver ever to win a Cup race at just 19 years old. But was setting the record with a little extra gas enough fuel for the experts to vote him inside our poll’s top 15? On the flip side, many of this year’s Chase contenders struggled through a jumbled finish that had them losing several spots in the final running order. Did that cause them to fall a few more notches down the Frontstretch ladder?

Well, you’ll just have to read below to find the answers. Check out this week’s Power Rankings to see if your driver found gold at the end of the rainbow – or if his hopes were just left out in the rain at the Magic Mile.

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 (10) 200 1
Who would have ever thought that both Stewart and the No. 20 car would have the same amount of points wins at this stage of the season – and that number was greater than zero.
2 Jimmie Johnson 183 2
What are you doing down there, Jimmie? Finishing ninth, Chad!
3 Jeff Gordon 179 3
The Drive for Five may be alive, but it still has to go through the No. 48.
4 Kurt Busch 143 7
Making nice with Johnson last week, then playfully horsing around with Gordon this week. How long before we see the next hot rumor that Busch is going to Hendrick and taking over for Dale Earnhardt Jr.?
5 Carl Edwards 142 4
Barely making the top 20 isn’t going to get it done when the big trophy is on the line. Cousin Carl better get the feathers out of his car and start racing with a purpose.
6 Mark Martin 133 5
Bit by bad weather luck for the third time this year… but then again, he does have three wins.
7 Juan Pablo Montoya 126 6
A plate race, Indy and a road course in the next seven races. By God, he probably will make the Chase!
8 Kasey Kahne 122 10
Apparently, Kahne’s annual five-race hot streak started a little later this year.
9 Greg Biffle 117 11
He’s “this” close to putting together a bunch of wins – if he could only keep the car out of the wall.
10 Ryan Newman 115 9
Well, look at the bright side, Ryan – at least you won’t have to defend yourself all week long about “stealing” a victory.
11 Kyle Busch 107 12
This kid could save a little old lady from drowning, and people would still be pissed at him for wrinkling her clothes when he pulled her out of the water.
12 Denny Hamlin 101 8
With everything that’s happened to him already this year, the 10-week “Race to the Chase” is a heart attack waiting to happen for Hamlin.
13 David Reutimann 84 NR
Leads all drivers in “rain-shortened” points so far this season.
14 Matt Kenseth 62 13
Hard to believe that a Roush driver would want to go back to Daytona, but Kenseth has to feel some kind of positive Mojo going back to where the season started so well.
15 Joey Logano 54 NR
Has a Magic Mile’s worth of momentum after Sunday; the big question is whether it’ll stick for the rest of the year.
Dropped Out: Marcos Ambrose (14), Clint Bowyer (15)
Also Receiving Votes: Clint Bowyer (49), Marcos Ambrose (39), Jeff Burton (33), Jamie McMurray (29), Brian Vickers (24), Sam Hornish Jr. (21), Dale Earnhardt Jr. (20), Casey Mears (7), Elliott Sadler (5), Brad Keselowski (2), Reed Sorenson (2), Martin Truex Jr. (1), John Andretti (1)
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.

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