June 24, 2009

Week 26 Unified Power Rankings

For only the second time this year, there was chink in Jenson Button's armor, and unlike the Chinese Grand Prix where he still finished third, he struggled in last week's British Grand Prix. Finishing sixth still earned points in what remains a nearly insurmountable lead for the World Drivers Championship, but it opens the door for some alternate fantasy picks in coming weeks. If Red Bull Racing continues their assault, the game just got more interesting.

Tony Stewart remains the hottest NASCAR driver. Since the Samsung 500 at Texas Motor Speedway, he's finished outside the top 10 only twice and both require an asterisk. One poor finish came as the result of crash damage at Talladega SuperSpeedway—in a race that is more lottery than contest—and the other came in the rain-altered Coke 341 at Lowe's Motor Speedway. Otherwise, he's been as close to perfect as fantasy owners could want with seven top-fives in the other eight races.

In the Indy Racing League, Ryan Briscoe leapfrogged Helio Castroneves with a second-place finish versus seventh. Castroneves struggling came as little surprise since he has finished outside the top 10 in two of his last three races on IRL short tracks, (see Short Trackin' Indy Style), but Briscoe also had a spotty record on this track type last year. As the old adage goes, "that's why they run the race."

With a fourth-place finish in the Nationwide NorthenTool.com 250 at the Milwaukee Mile, Erik Darnell leapt into the top 10 and passed Brad Keselowski. That requires an explanation. Since the Unified Power Rankings looks at all the major series, Keselowski's position is currently being hampered by a failure to qualify at Dover International Speedway, for which he received minimal points. In the Nationwide Series, however, he's been great with a second- and two third-place finishes in his last three attempts.

Unified Power Rankings
Top 50

RankDriverPointsLast week+/-
1Jenson Button107.1310
2Tony Stewart100.0020
3Ryan Briscoe92.7141
4Helio Castroneves92.673-1
5Dario Franchitti90.8683
6Rubens Barrichello88.6393
7Jimmie Johnson87.9270
8Mark Webber87.75102
9Erik Darnell85.20167
10Brad Keselowski85.13144
11Scott Dixon85.00121
12Ryan Newman83.8111-1
13Kurt Busch83.58130
14Mark Martin83.545-9
15Jason Leffler81.836-9
16Jeff Gordon81.83171
17Danica Patrick80.8615-2
18Greg Biffle80.47224
19Dan Wheldon80.43245
20Denny Hamlin79.8319-1
21Carl Edwards79.83210
22Matt Kenseth79.13253
23Kyle Busch78.9618-5
24Joey Logano78.90273
25Juan Montoya78.17261
26Timo Glock76.8823-3
27Sebastian Vettel76.75325
28Matt Crafton75.2920-8
29Nico Rosberg74.50301
30Jeff Burton73.2928-2
31Kasey Kahne73.00310
32Stephen Leicht73.00NANA
33Ron Hornaday Jr72.13407
34Jamie McMurray71.424410
35Fernando Alonso69.6329-6
36Steve Wallace69.55371
37Jason Keller69.27381
38Brian Vickers69.00424
39Tayler Malsam68.29412
40Tomas Scheckter68.00NANA
41Jarno Trulli67.63454
42Justin Allgaier67.4536-6
43David Reutimann67.3633-10
44Marco Andretti67.1434-10
45Marcos Ambrose67.00472
46Dale Earnhardt Jr66.0039-7
47Johnny Benson Jr66.0046-1
48Clint Bowyer65.7143-5
49Tony Kanaan65.4335-14
50Ricky Stenhouse Jr65.00NANA

Previous Unified Power Rankings:

Week 25
Week 24
Week 23
Week 22
Week 21
Week 20

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