Ipreseason Power Rankings/I
February 15, 2006 | 10:08 A.M. EST
1. Greg Biffle: On the strength of last season's series leading six wins and finishing only 35 points behind Tony Stewart in the championship, Biffle is the early favorite to become the first driver in NASCAR history to win titles in the Craftsman Truck, Busch Series and NEXTEL Cup Series.
2. Jeff Gordon: After a disappointing season last year despite winning the Daytona 500 and four total wins, Gordon is already ahead of many teams and back-to-back Daytona 500 wins would be a jumpstart in his quest for a fifth title.
3. Tony Stewart: It's always hard to repeat, but don't discount Stewart and the Joe Gibbs team this season. However, if the "old" emotional Stewart makes a return, and based on last weekend's Bud Shootout postscript it could, the No. 20 may be in for a long year.
4. Carl Edwards: The amazing first full season is still the talk of the garage area and there doesn't seem to be any reason to believe Edwards will slow down in year two.
5. Jimmie Johnson: Without crew chief Chad Knaus for Daytona, as well as the possibility of three more races if the suspension talk comes to fruition, Johnson will start the year behind the eight ball.
6. Mark Martin: No reason to think there won't be a carryover from 2005, but Martin needs a strong start so he doesn't have to stress out and play catch-up later.
7. Elliott Sadler: Although he didn't win the Daytona pole as expected, Sadler has a strong car this weekend and looks to keep a consistent pace all year.
8. Dale Jarrett: Robert Yates Racing hopes its duo will stay in the hunt all year and Jarrett seems to have a renewed enthusiasm.
9. Jeff Burton: Richard Childress kept telling everyone his team would be back this year and Burton got things off on the right foot with the Daytona pole. Can he keep the No. 31 in the mix all season?
10. Denny Hamlin: His performance in the Bud Shootout was so impressive, Hamlin has already made himself a favorite for the "Rookie-of-the-Year" title.