Racingone Power Rankings

Jimmie Johnson used a little bit of luck and strategy at Talladega Superspeedway to extend his points lead and move back into the top spot in the rankings. RacingOne's rankings are based on a combination of season-to-date loop data, season standings and staff selections by Jeff Wackerlin and Rachael West.

1. Jimmie Johnson: Johnson used a little bit of luck and strategy at Talladega to extend his points lead and move back into the top spot in the rankings. After losing a lap early in the AMP Energy 500, Johnson and crew chief Chad Knaus employed numerous pit strategies to finish ninth. This weekend Johnson will look reclaim the throne at his sponsor's track - Lowe's Motor Speedway - where he has won five times, but not since 2005.

Last Week's Rank: Second

2. Jeff Burton: Burton moved up three spots in the rankings after claiming his fifth consecutive top 10 of the season. Burton was the only driver in the rankings to not fall lower than 29th place throughout the 188-lap at Talladega Superspeedway. He finished fourth in the AMP Energy 500 to close within 99 points of championship leader Jimmie Johnson. This weekend Burton will look to continue his top 10 streak at Lowe's Motor Speedway where he has finished in the top six in the last two events.

Last Week's Rank: Fifth

3. Greg Biffle: Biffle fell from the top spot in the rankings after his teammate Carl Edwards help spoil his impressive finishing average of 1.7 he had going for him in the Chase. Biffle wound up finishing 24th - his first DNF since Daytona in July - after Edwards got into the back of his No. 16 Ford in the wrong spot through Turns 3 and 4. Now Biffle will look to get back on track at Lowe's Motor Speedway where he had a successful test last month.

Last Week's Rank: First

4. Carl Edwards: As a result of triggering "The Big One" at Talladega Superspeedway, Edwards slipped from 10 points to 72 out in the point standings. He took the blame for the incident after posting his second DNF of the season saying, "I was worried about the idiots when you come here and I was the guy that caused that one." Edwards will look to redeem himself at Lowe's Motor Speedway this weekend when he shoots for his third win on a 1.5-mile track this season.

Last Week's Rank: Third

5. Tony Stewart: Stewart extended his streak of at least winning one race every year since his rookie season after winning the AMP Energy 500 at Talladega Superspeedway. He led the most laps (24) in the race that saw a new Sprint Cup record of 28 different leaders. Stewart gained the most positions among all drivers in the points standings after jumping four spots as result of the win. If Stewart can make it back-to-back wins with a victory at Lowe's Motor Speedway it will mark the 12th track in which he has won multiple times with in his 10 year tenure with Joe Gibbs Racing.

Last Week's Rank: 11th

6. Kevin Harvick: Harvick's top 10 streak came to an end at nine races on Sunday after he finished 20th in the AMP Energy 500. The No. 29 Shell team was able to get Harvick back on track, after an spin and then from heavy damage after getting caught up in "The Big One," to help him extend his DNF streak to 74 races. This weekend Harvick will be shooting for his first top 10 since 2003 at Lowe's Motor Speedway.

Last Week's Rank: Fourth

7. Clint Bowyer: Bowyer recorded his first top five in the Chase with a fifth-place finish at Talladega Superspeedway. It was also a career-best finish for the driver of the No. 07 Chevrolet in six starts at the 2.66-mile superspeedway. The Talladega result moved him up two spots in the championship standings to fifth. Last year at Lowe's Motor Speedway, Bowyer captured his first top five with a second-place run in the fall race.

Last Week's Rank: Eighth

8. Dale Earnhardt Jr: Dale Earnhardt Jr. might have lost two positions in the standings, but he moved up one in the rankings after his performance at Talladega Superspeedway. Earnhardt Jr. proved once again that he had one of the cars to beat in the race up until getting caught up in the tangle between the Roush-Fenway teammates. Two times over the weekend Jr's special fan paint scheme, which took 200 hours to complete, was destroyed after incidents not of his doing. This weekend Earnhardt Jr. will be looking for his second consecutive top five at Lowe's Motor Speedway with Hendrick Motorsports.

Last Week's Rank: Ninth

9. Jeff Gordon: Gordon recorded his fifth DNF of the season at Talladega Superspeedway after swerving into the wall when trying to avoid David Reutimann, who cut a tire on his No. 44 Toyota. His 38th-place finish dropped him two positions in the standings to eighth. He will look to rebound at Lowe's Motor Speedway where he is the defending race winner. He was also the fastest in the test session there last month.

Last Week's Rank: Sixth

10. Matt Kenseth: Kenseth was another driver that had a great car at Talladega Superspeedway up until getting caught up in "The Big One" that was triggered by his teammate Carl Edwards. Kenseth completed the most quality passes (passing a car running in the Top 15 while under a green flag) with 349 en route to a 26th-place finish. In May, Kenseth finished seventh at Lowe's Motor Speedway for his eighth top 10 at the track.

Last Week's Rank: Seventh

11. David Ragan: Ragan posted the best driver rating in the AMP Energy 500 en route to his sixth top five of the season. The finish also gave him a 117-point cushion for the 13th spot in the standings. This weekend Ragan will be looking for his first top 10 at Lowe's Motor Speedway.

Last Week's Rank: 12th

12. Elliott Sadler: Sadler is coming off his first consecutive top 10s of the season with his 10th-place finish at Talladega. The pair of finishes has lowered his season average to 22.5. Now Sadler will have the opportunity to go for three in-a-row at Lowe's Motor Speedway where he finished eighth in May.

Last Week's Rank: 13th

13. Bobby Labonte: Labonte's sixth-place run at Talladega Superspeedway marked his best finish with Petty Enterprises since 2006 when he placed third at Martinsville. The finish also marked his 13th top 10 since joining the team. Labonte will look to build on his Talladega finish with a strong run at Lowe's Motor Speedway, which happens to be his best track on the circuit based on his 12.7 finishing average.

Last Week's Rank: N/R

14. Paul Menard: Menard posted career numbers on Sunday in the AMP Energy 500 at Talladega. He completed the most laps in the top 15 (155) and had the best average running position (9.7) en route to his first top five in 69 Sprint Cup Series races. Now Menard will head to Lowe's Motor Speedway in hopes of improving upon his 25.7 average finish there.

Last Week's Rank: N/R

15. Scott Riggs: Riggs' seventh-place finish at Talladega was his first top 10 of the season. It came in one of the cars that race winner Tony Stewart will own next season. This weekend he will make his second start at Lowe's Motor Speedway in the No. 66 Chevrolet. He finished 28th there in May.

Last Week's Rank: N/R



Previous 2008 RacingOne Power Ranking Appearances
Jeff Burton
28
Kyle Busch
28
Dale Earnhardt Jr.
28
Jeff Gordon
28
Jimmie Johnson
28
Tony Stewart
28
Greg Biffle
27
Carl Edwards
27
Kevin Harvick
27
Matt Kenseth
25
Denny Hamlin
24
Clint Bowyer
19
Kasey Kahne
16
David Ragan
16
Martin Truex Jr.
10
Brian Vickers
10
Ryan Newman
9
Kurt Busch
8
Mark Martin
6
Elliott Sadler
5
Jamie McMurray
4
Casey Mears
4
David Gilliland
3
David Reutimann
3
Aric Almirola
2
Juan Pablo Montoya
2
Michael Waltrip
2
Dave Blaney
1
Travis Kvapil
1
Regan Smith
1

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NASCAR Sprint Cup, 2008

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