NASCAR Power Rankings – Tony Stewart is the Boss
Tony Stewart won the Coke Zero 400 but not without controversy. Kyle Busch, the BetUS favorite in the race, attempted to block Stewart late in the race, but Stewart, as he often does, made a race winning move that resulted in Busch’s car spinning out of control.
Busch crashed and Smoke won. Smoke actually deserved the victory as he led most of the laps in the Coke Zero 400.
Busch won’t see it that way and maybe he shouldn’t but trying to block a guy when you really don’t have the space to do it is on you, Kyle, not on Tony who was racing to win.
Let’s take a look at the Nascar power rankings.
NASCAR: Sprint Cup Power Rankings with Odds
1. Tony Stewart +250 - – Smoke’s move to win the Coke Zero 400 was classic Stewart. Hey, if you want to play with the big boys, Kyle, then you better be ready! Not only did Smoke pick up the victory but he did it in the Burger King car. The owner/driver thing is working just perfect for one of the true legends of NASCAR.
2. Jeff Gordon +400 – - Gordon’s 28th finish in the Coke Zero was horrible considering that he started out 2nd. A good race was expected because he finished 2nd a week ago in the Lenox Tools 301. He’s still one of the top drivers in the Sprint Cup Points Standings but the top place in tenuous.
3. Jimmie Johnson +300 - – Because of Kyle’s spin out towards the end of the race, Jimmie got himself into second place once they crossed the finish line in the Coke Zero 400. Great luck for Jimmie who had been terrible at Daytona lately. Johnson continues to be consistent and no doubt will be ready for the Chase.
4. Kurt Busch +1200 – - It was a fantastic 5th place finish for Kurt Busch who, like Johnson, has been awful at Daytona. The elder Busch was just trying to stay consistent and because of little brother’s goofy antics, he found himself in the top ten at the end of the race on Saturday night.
5. Carl Edwards +700 - – Edward’s ended up 4th in the Coke Zero 400 which is good considering the year he’s having. He hasn’t won a race yet, but the 4th place finish should take away some of the nervousness surrounding the Rough Racing team. Carl will try to build on that this week in the LifeLock 400.com in Chicago.
6. Denny Hamlin +1500 - – Hamlin took a big leap up the Power Rankings by finishing 3rd. The odds on him to do so were pretty good in the sportsbook. He made some gamblers happy! Because of Kyle’s lack of discipline, Hamlin might turn into Joe Gibbs’s best option to win a Sprint Cup Championship.
7. Ryan Newman +1000 – - The usually consistent Newman finished 20th in the Coke Zero 400. It was better than what he did two weeks ago in the Lenox Tools 301 but it still wasn’t nearly as good as what he had been doing earlier in 2009. Still, a move up from last week to this week on the track, if not in the power rankings, is nice.
8. Kyle Busch +500 – - Until Kyle starts driving like a professional, like he did all last year, and forgets about just going for the win every time, he will never win a Sprint Cup Championship. Watch Tiger play golf, Kyle, know when to lay-up and just take it easy out there. You could have finished 2nd and actually moved up the power rankings and in the Sprint Cup Points Standings instead of barely hanging on at #8.
9. Greg Biffle +1500 – - Biffle got into the top 20 with an 18th place finish in the Coke Zero 400. It was actually a good run by Biffle who has had his problems at Daytona. Edwards has slowly taken over as the top driver for Roush but that shouldn’t worry Biffle who should just be concentrating on making the Chase.
10. Matt Kenseth +2500 – Kenseth couldn’t duplicate his Daytona 500 victory by winning the Coke Zero 400 but he did well enough to get a top 10 finish when crossing the line in 8th place on Saturday night. That puts him right back into the thick of it.
11. Mark Martin +900 – - Martin’s 38th place finish in the Coke Zero 400 was the worst out of the Hendrick team on Saturday night. Martin ahs done this before…two great races and then a real bummer, but Hendrick is getting way more out of the #5 car then they have in a very long time. So, they aren’t complaining.
12. Juan Montoya +4000 - – Another top ten finish for Juan Pablo, this time at 9th, signals that Montoya has definitely arrived! He needs to start creeping up, getting into the top 3 spots, but at least he’s not making those same mistakes he was two years ago, when hitting drivers when leaving the pit area, or cutting drivers off when there wasn’t any room. He’s definitely matured and it’s starting to show on the track.