Race Weekend Central

Frontstretch NASCAR Power Rankings: Top 15 After the 2009 Dickies 500 at Texas

A crash on lap 3, combined with 111 points lost to his closest competition at Texas, didn’t faze any of our voters in this week’s poll. Not only did Jimmie Johnson maintain his first-place position in unanimous fashion, he maintains a rather healthy points lead in our Power Rankings over second place with just two more polls left to go. But the fuel strategy that played out at the end of a wild finish Sunday certainly shook up the spots behind him.

While one Busch left with a trophy, the other one left in a huff as Lady Luck only played out for one. But did Kyle’s late-race trouble with his fuel tank leave us hesitant to hand him more votes?

You’ll have to read on to find out. Check out the Power Rankings to see who our experts have gaining the most momentum – or losing it – with the season quickly winding to a close.

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
Superman is human, after all!
2 Mark Martin 184 3
Is this a real chance at a title, or – like our Managing Editor likes to say – is Lucy putting that football down for Charlie Brown to try to kick it just one more time?
3 Jeff Gordon 171 2
Texas will forever be known as this man’s kryptonite.
4 Kurt Busch 156 T-11
Finally, we have somebody who looks sillier in a cowboy hat than Gordon.
5 Tony Stewart 154 5
The most surprising Chase flameout. However, under the old points system, he’d have a 93-point lead over Gordon with two races left.
6 Kyle Busch 134 8
So much for the Dave Rogers welcome aboard win.
7 Juan Pablo Montoya 128 4
Looking more like Martin with the luck he’s been having these days.
T-8 Greg Biffle 115 7
Who would have believed Biffle would be the highest-running Roush driver at this point – at seventh in the standings?
T-8 Matt Kenseth 115 13
Too bad they didn’t decide to run that next-generation chassis in August instead of October.
10 Denny Hamlin 113 15
Hey, he didn’t blow up, crash, or run into a longhorn steer on the track.
T-11 Ryan Newman 83 14
Tough Chase, but we’re pretty sure he’ll get to go to the banquet – which is more than Brian Vickers and Carl Edwards can say.
T-11 Clint Bowyer 83 T-11
If they’re testing for next year, they’re definitely heading in the right direction.
13 Kasey Kahne 76 6
So much for his prowess on 1.5-milers… or Richard Petty Motorsports even bothering to worry about how their Dodges perform anymore.
14 Jeff Burton 59 NR
Working hard to rebuild his trademark consistency for 2010 – and it’s working.
15 Joey Logano 58 9
Last year at Texas, Logano ran dead last for much of the race and some wondered if he’d ever make it in Cup. This year? Well, he still ran pretty bad, but he also has a win and a pending Rookie of the Year title to hang his hat on.
Dropped Out: Jamie McMurray (10)
Also Receiving Votes: Carl Edwards (55), Kevin Harvick (49), David Reutimann (42), Casey Mears (26), Brian Vickers (26), Marcos Ambrose (24), Jamie McMurray (21), AJ Allmendinger (13), David Ragan (9), Elliott Sadler (3), Dale Earnhardt Jr. (2), Martin Truex Jr. (1)
Who Voted: Thomas Bowles, Mike Neff, Tony Lumbis, Doug Turnbull, Matt Taliaferro, Vito Pugliese, Bryan Davis Keith, Phil Allaway, Kevin Birge 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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