Race Weekend Central

Frontstretch NASCAR Power Rankings: Top 15 After the 2009 Heluva! Good Sour Cream Dips at the Glen

Turning right and turning left was good for some at Watkins Glen, but turned others into a knot they never wriggled out of. After his record-breaking fifth victory at the track, Tony Stewart was able to once again garner all of the first-place votes for this week, but the remainder of the spots in our poll were up for grabs. In all, 13 of the top-15 positions changed hands as a second straight rain delay threw a wrench into more than a few teams’ summer momentum.

Read this week’s Power Rankings to find out which drivers avoided the gravel trap and head to the Irish Hills as the favorites.

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
Trying to steal the spotlight as much as he can before his equipment gets a sudden “downgrade” come September.
2 Jimmie Johnson 188 2
Yes, he won the pole, but don’t confuse that with winning the race. Road courses are still J.J.’s only weak point.
3 Denny Hamlin 168 4
May be the standard-bearer for JGR, and if Kyle Busch doesn’t make the Chase it just might play out well having him win the races instead of Johnson.
4 Juan Pablo Montoya 158 5
Sixth on a road course yet seventh in the points? What a long, strange trip it’s been.
5 Jeff Gordon 152 3
Gordon wants to keep racing for several more years, but a few more hits like Monday’s and his back might not be on board with that.
6 Kurt Busch 146 8
One of those days where finishing seventh was frustrating instead of fulfilling.
7 Kasey Kahne 135 7
So much for those ludicrous ideas of a road-course sweep by Kahne.
8 Carl Edwards 132 10
Bounced back big time with a Chase-clinching run just before heading to Ford’s playground this weekend. Could it be his best chance yet for a win?
9 Mark Martin 114 6
Another week or two like the Glen, and he will wind up with the most wins and miss the Chase. Expect another change to the format on the way.
10 Brian Vickers 96 9
Red Bull now considering one-week contracts after seeing how Vickers performs when his future is uncertain.
11 Clint Bowyer 93 T-12
He’s the source of the scratching and clawing sounds that you hear each week.
12 Greg Biffle 82 14
Hopefully, Biffle won’t just routinely start pulling over to let people by at the end of races after these last few gas-mileage deals.
13 Marcos Ambrose 80 NR
David Reutimann‘s pissed at Hamlin for a Pocono crash that took him out. But what about Ambrose? Give him back a top-10 finish last Monday and he’d be the one with an outside shot at the Chase.
14 Ryan Newman 71 11
With all that his team went through this weekend, a lead-lap finish was easily equal to a victory.
15 Matt Kenseth 70 T-12
He may not hate road courses as much as Reutimann, but it’s close.
Dropped Out: David Reutimann (15)
Also Receiving Votes: Kyle Busch (62), Joey Logano (43), David Reutimann (33), AJ Allmendinger (29), Elliott Sadler (10), Max Papis (8), Dale Earnhardt Jr. (6), Jeff Burton (5), Jamie McMurray (5), Kevin Harvick (5), Martin Truex Jr. (4), Casey Mears (4), Sam Hornish Jr. (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.

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