June 17, 2009

Week 25 Unified Power Rankings

With Formula 1 taking another week off, no one has been able to challenge Jenson Button, so he remains the hottest driver in auto racing. It's hard to argue the point since he has won six of the first seven events on that calendar.

Tony Stewart remains second on the Unified Power Rankings after posting a solid seventh-place finish at Michigan International Speedway. He's been both consistent and strong with 10 consecutive Cup races in which he's finished on the lead lap. To prove his versatility, in recent months he's also won a dirt late model race at Paducah International Raceway and finished sixth in the Dream at his Eldora Raceway—one of the premier races for that type of car.

And in the Indy Racing League, Helio Castroneves continues to tower above his peers. Currently, Castroneves is about five percentage points better than Ryan Briscoe and eight better than Dario Franchitti, but there could be a shakeup in next week's standings since neither Castroneves nor Briscoe have been overly impressive on the IRL short tracks.

Castroneves was 14th at Iowa last year and since that is the next venue on the calendar, he's going to have to pick up the pace. He also finished outside the top 10 in Richmond in 2007, which outbalances his second-place result there last year.

In two short track starts last year, Briscoe finished seventh at Iowa and 15th at Richmond. In stark contrast, the last time Franchitti was on these two tracks, he swept victory lane.

The biggest mover inside the top 10 last week was Mark Martin. The aged veteran used a fuel mileage strategy to win his third NASCAR Sprint Cup race of the season, which ties him with Kyle Busch. He's skipped the last four road races while running a part time schedule, but this driver once posted 23 top-10 finishes in 24 starts on that track type from 1989 through 2001, so you can expect him to keep his momentum.
Nationwide Regular Jason Leffler has done a great job of staying in the Unified Power Rankings' top 10. He finished sixth in the standalone race at Kentucky Speedway, but don't start thinking his strong effort was because there were so few Claim Jumpers in the field. That was his ninth consecutive top-10 finish in NASCAR's second series.
Unified Power Rankings
Top 50

RankDriverPointsLast week+/-
1Jenson Button110.5710
2Tony Stewart97.1520
3Helio Castroneves95.8030
4Ryan Briscoe90.6751
5Mark Martin88.77105
6Jason Leffler88.0960
7Jimmie Johnson88.084-3
8Dario Franchitti87.677-1
9Rubens Barrichello87.1490
10Mark Webber85.29111
11Ryan Newman85.198-3
12Scott Dixon84.50120
13Kurt Busch84.33130
14Brad Keselowski84.00151
15Danica Patrick83.3314-1
16Erik Darnell83.00NR
17Jeff Gordon82.8316-1
18Kyle Busch80.4817-1
19Denny Hamlin80.42234
20Matt Crafton79.6719-1
21Carl Edwards79.4818-3
22Greg Biffle78.47264
23Timo Glock78.4322-1
24Dan Wheldon78.17240
25Matt Kenseth77.7620-5
26Juan Montoya77.50271
27Joey Logano76.9525-2
28Jeff Burton76.8221-7
29Fernando Alonso74.0028-1
30Nico Rosberg72.57300
31Kasey Kahne72.1729-2
32Sebastian Vettel72.0031-1
33David Reutimann70.4332-1
34Marco Andretti70.0033-1
35Tony Kanaan69.8334-1
36Justin Allgaier69.82382
37Steve Wallace69.4536-1
38Jason Keller68.0035-3
39Dale Earnhardt Jr67.80390
40Ron Hornaday Jr67.33422
41Tayler Malsam67.338544
42Brian Vickers66.94431
43Clint Bowyer66.87441
44Jamie McMurray66.58462
45Jarno Trulli66.2940-5
46Johnny Benson Jr66.0041-5
47Marcos Ambrose65.5837-10
48Rick Crawford64.8345-3
49Burney Lamar63.636516
50Kevin Harvick63.2849-1

Previous Unified Power Rankings:

Week 24
Week 23
Week 22
Week 21
Week 20

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