NASCAR drivers fare poorly on Autosport list

Autosport is a British magazine that covers motorsports on a worldwide basis. The people who work for it know far more about what's going on around the wide, wide world of racing than I ever will.

I know that a guy like me who has seen one Formula One race live and probably has seen a total of three minutes of World Rally Championship competition on television in his life has no standing when it comes to ranking the world's best drivers. That's why I don't – and won't – try to do it.

Autosport, however, does. The magazine is out with its list of the world's top-50 drivers for 2007 and it should surprise no one that F1 drivers dominate the rankings.

But 12 of the top 18? Twelve?

F1 champ Kimi Raikkonen is first, followed by Lewis Hamilton and Fernando Alonso. World Rally drivers Marcus Gronholm and Sebastien Loeb follow in the top five.

OK, here's where I think these blokes get a little wacky.

Jenson Button, who finished 15th in the F1 standings, is sixth. The rationale, apparently, is that Button had junk (by F1 standards) to drive this year and did a decent job in it.

Dario Franchitti, the Indianapolis 500 and IndyCar Series winner, is seventh (too funny), followed by IndyCar runner-up Scott Dixon (just as funny).

Does it occur to anybody that there's a name that ought to be at least somewhere along here in this part of the list – at the very least?

Jimmie Johnson won 10 races and the Nextel Cup championship. There's no question that he beat better competition in his form of U.S. auto racing than Franchitti did. But even if you give Franchitti points for winning America's most significant single race, doesn't Johnson have to be ahead of Dixon? More….

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