Statistical Power Rankings After Daytona

James LittleContributor IJuly 6, 2009

DAYTONA BEACH, FL - JULY 04: Tony Stewart, driver of the #14 Burger King Chevrolet, crosses the finish line ahead of Jimmie Johnson, drive of the #48 Lowe's Kobalt Tools Chevrolet, to win the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series 51st Annual Coke Zero 400 at Daytona International Speedway on July 4, 2009 in Daytona Beach, Florida.  (Photo by Jerry Markland/Getty Images for NASCAR)

This is my statistical debut for NASCAR power rankings.  I have always liked reading power rankings every Monday on various sports websites.  I thought I would give it go, but with a little twist.  I will give my thoughts and opinions on the top 15 drivers, but my formula will actually give the order of the top 15 drivers.  I've been working on this formula for the last couple of days trying to get it correct and accurate as possible. 

A little bit about the formula I use.  There are two parts of the formula.  First, I give points per win, top 5, top 10, top 15, and top 20.  These points are the season points.  But when it comes to rankings, it is a lot about "what have you done lately."  Because of that, I also give points to the top 10 drivers in the last three races.  I feel this helps with the rankings being more accurate to the last few races.

Here are my Statistical NASCAR Sprint Cup Power Rankings

#1: Tony Stewart (324 Points) - NSC Ranking: 1st

- He's clearly the number one guy in NASCAR right now.  No one, including Tony Stewart, could say at the beginning of the season that he would have two wins and be leading the Sprint Cup standings after 18 races.  Even though he didn't want to win a race by spinning Kyle Busch, he has to be happy where he and Stewart Haas Racing is.

#2: Jimmie Johnson (271 Points) - NSC Ranking: 3rd

- Finished second at Daytona.  With finishes of 1st, 7th, 22nd, 4th, 9th, 2nd, JJ has clearly shown that he's back and ready for his fourth consecutive title.  Who's going to stop him? Tony Stewart might give him a good run.

#3: Jeff Gordon (266.5 Points) - NSC Ranking: 2nd

- I bet he's not too happy with his 28th place finish at Daytona.  He has Chicago up next where he usually does pretty well.  Expect a bounce back week from Jeff Gordon.

#4: Kurt Busch (244 Points) - NSC Ranking: 4th

- Top fives are great at restrictor plate tracks because you just don't know when the big one will happen.  He was able to stay out of trouble and get that top five.

#5: Denny Hamlin (195 Points) - NSC Ranking: 6th

- After the disaster at Pocono, it looks like Hamlin has turned it around with results of 3rd, 5th, 15th, and 3rd.  Can he keep it going?

#6: Carl Edwards (194 Points) - NSC Ranking: 5th

- When he saw Kyle Busch go up in the air and get hit around, he had to be thinking about what happened to him earlier this year. With the way this new car is built, it can handle just about anything.

#7: Matt Kenseth (174 Points) - NSC Ranking: 10th

- It's about time he get a top ten again.  It took him a month to snap out of some average results.  Kenseth is much better than what his team has done from week 3 on. 

#8: Kasey Kahne (167.5 Points) - NSC Ranking: 12th

- He really wasn't a factor in the Daytona race.  15th place finish isn't that bad, but after a win a couple of weeks ago, I guess I started to expect more out of him.

#9: Juan Pablo Montoya (167 Points) - NSC Ranking: 11th

- Montoya is becoming very consistent and with that, he is gaining more confidence.  I know he said he is points racing, and I think that is a good strategy for him.  Because of that, he's had finishes of 8th, 6th, 6th, 12th, 9th.  If he keeps that up, he should get into the chase and contend for a win or two.

#10: Kyle Busch (166 Points) - NSC Ranking: 8th

- Must be hating Daytona right about now.  He could see the checkered flag one second and the next he could see Joey Logano in his side window going about 180 at him.  One thing though about Kyle Busch is he is tough as nails.  He's had a little tough luck so far, but expect him to get to victory lane soon.

Rest of the Top 15:

#11: Mark Martin (165 Points) - NSC Ranking: 13th
#12: Ryan Newman (162 Points) - NSC Ranking: 7th
#13: Greg Biffle (158 Points) - NSC Ranking: 9th
#14: David Reutimann (156.5 Points) - NSC Ranking: 14th
#15: Jeff Burton (138 Points) - NSC Ranking: 15th