BEYOND ADVANTAGESin horsepower, tire grip, aerodynamics and the like, what makes one driverbetter than another? SI asked the experts, the Sprint Cup racers themselves, toevaluate their peers. Nearly half the Cup regulars (20) responded (not allanswered every question). Some also provided anonymous comments.
This is an article from the Sept. 15, 2008 issue
Which Cup driverhas the MOST TALENT?
KYLE BUSCH 48%
CARL EDWARDS 14%
JIMMIE JOHNSON 14%
JEFF GORDON 10%
Also receivingvotes: Greg Biffle, Mark Martin, Tony Stewart
"Had thepoints system stayed as it was [before the Chase was introduced in '04], JeffGordon would have six or seven titles [instead of four]."
Which driver isthe HARDEST TO PASS?
RYAN NEWMAN 24%
JUAN PABLO MONTOYA 14%
Also receivingvotes: Sam Hornish Jr., Tony Stewart, Whoever has the Lucky Dog
"It doesn'tmatter if Robby Gordon is a lap down or what. He is going to protect hisposition on the track."
Which driver isthe BEST ON RESTARTS?
KYLE BUSCH 50%
JIMMIE JOHNSON 10%
TONY STEWART 10%
Also receivingvotes: Dale Earnhardt Jr., Jeff Gordon, [Craftsman Truck Series driver] RonHornaday Jr., Scott Riggs
"Junior findsholes where no one else does, and he's not afraid to move to the high side togain spots."
Which driver doyou LEAST LIKE TO SEE in your rearview mirror?
KYLE BUSCH 21%
ROBBY GORDON 16%
I WANT TO SEE EVERYBODY 16%
TONY STEWART 11%
Also receivingvotes: Denny Hamlin, Jimmie Johnson, Jamie McMurray, Elliott Sadler, ReganSmith, Michael Waltrip
"JimmieJohnson is pretty cold-blooded, especially at the end of the race."
Who's the mostUNDERRATED, in terms of talent?
DAVID RAGAN 25%
MARTIN TRUEX JR 15%
CLINT BOWYER 10%
Also receivingvotes: AJ Allmendinger, Greg Biffle, Jeff Burton (right), David Gilliland,Denny Hamlin, Mark Martin, David Reutimann, Scott Riggs, Brian Vickers
"Jeff Burtonis kind of the silent assassin. He's always right there."