Race Weekend Central

Frontstretch NASCAR Power Rankings: Top 15 After the 2009 AMP Energy 500 at Talladega

The wildcard of the Chase might not have taken Jimmie Johnson out of the points lead, but it certainly mixed up the standings in this week’s Power Rankings. With half our list in shambles after two terrible wrecks decimated the field, our pollsters were left scratching their heads and putting the pieces together the best they could after a typical Talladega finish.

So, read this week’s rankings to find out which drivers crossed the finish line in one piece and which ones could use an AMP after a Big One left them on the outside looking in on our 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 Jimmie Johnson (10) 200 1
They said Dale Earnhardt Sr. could see the air at restrictor-plate races. Looks like Johnson can see the wrecks before they happen and somehow avoid them.
2 Jeff Gordon 149 2
The “Drive For Five” just turned down a dead end street.
3 Mark Martin 143 3
We can see this question on the written portion of the Rookie test: Johnson is to winning at Charlotte, that _____ is to getting wrecked at Talladega.
4 Juan Pablo Montoya 137 4
Would he have run out of gas if Havoline was still on the hood?
5 Tony Stewart 119 5
Guessing seeing a teammate flying through air is not what he had in mind when asking for something to keep him alert.
6 Kasey Kahne 117 11
Surplus Dodges seem to still be running OK.
7 Greg Biffle 95 13
Trying hard to fit back on last year’s Cinderella slipper to get to victory lane before it’s too late.
8 Kyle Busch 91 9
So much for the Steve Addington farewell win.
9 Joey Logano 79 NR
Still flipped more than both Martin and Ryan Newman, and did so on a track more than half as short.
10 Jamie McMurray 76 NR
Now, if he can just put on some waders, he might secure a ride for next year.
T-11 Kurt Busch 72 6
Bet the team meeting this week at Penske is going to be interesting after Brad Keselowski dumped him on the way to the white flag.
T-11 Clint Bowyer 72 12
Survived the carnage just like BB&T survived the liquidity crisis.
13 Matt Kenseth 68 10
Had to be screaming when they dropped the rag while he was running out of gas when they kept the caution out for everyone else.
14 Ryan Newman 65 8
Really wished his radio had been working when he was hanging upside down for an eternity.
15 Denny Hamlin 62 7
Under the old points system, he still wouldn’t have a shot in hell of winning.
Dropped Out: Carl Edwards (14), Casey Mears (15)
Also Receiving Votes: Jeff Burton (55), Carl Edwards (48), Brian Vickers (43), Kevin Harvick (41), Casey Mears (40), Brad Keselowski (28), Elliott Sadler (25), Michael Waltrip (24), Bobby Labonte (18), Dale Earnhardt Jr. (17), David Ragan (8), Reed Sorenson (6), David Reutimann (5), Robert Richardson (4), Marcos Ambrose (3), Martin Truex Jr. (3)
Who Voted: Thomas Bowles, 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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