The boys of NASCAR were in Thunder Valley this weekend for the one and only Jeff Byrd 500 at Bristol.
After winning his fourth Bristol Cup race in his past five starts, Kyle Busch jumped three spots in the rankings to third. Carl Edwards assumes the top spot this week. Our biggest movers this week were Paul Menard, Jimmie Johnson, Kevin Harvick, and Bobby Labonte, all up four spots. Our losers this week were AJ Allmendinger and Denny Hamlin, down 7 spots after an early accident.
New this week are Roush-Fenway teammates Matt Kenseth and Greg Biffle. They jump in at the expense of Clint Bowyer and Brian Vickers.
So without further adieu, here are this week’s SCS NASCAR Power Rankings:
1. Carl Edwards(Last Week: 2[+1]): There’s no grass growing under Cousin Carl’s car. Edwards just keeps moving right up, now just one spot out of the points lead.
2. Kurt Busch(LW: 3[+1]): Kurt continues to be solid. The elder Busch is the only driver who hasn’t finished outside the top 10 this season, and he currently leads the standings. Of course, people will still say he should drive more like his brother.
3. Kyle Busch(LW: 6[+3]): I liked it better when Kyle won the fall race at Bristol, where after the race he called out both David Reutimann and Brad Keselowski in the same press conference. That was fun.
4. Ryan Newman(LW: 5[+1]): Another week, another solid run for the Rocketman. All systems are go for Newman so far this season.
5. Tony Stewart(LW: 1[-4]): Insert Australian short-track owner joke here.
6. Paul Menard(LW: 8[+4]): You see that car on the track? That bright yellow one? You can’t miss it. Better start paying attention to it because it’s dang fast this year.
7. Jimmie Johnson(LW: 11[+4]): Kudos to Jimmie on the good run. But seriously, somebody needs to either get the whole pit road “timing lines” thing figured out or quit telling this guy where the heck they are.
8. Juan Pablo Montoya(LW: 4[-4]): Juan was so-so most of the day, but a loose wheel did him in at Bristol. He’ll do better next week when he can go wide-open.
9. Dale Earnhardt Jr(LW: 12[+3]): This close. This close to three top 10s in a row. That’s ok, Junior Nation would have killed for an 11th-place run last year.
10. Martin Truex Jr(LW: 7[-3]): Truex flexed some muscle at Bristol, but faded late. My only problem is Larry Mac’s comment about how we should call him “Concrete Martin”. The guy’s only won one race, dude. Let’s not get ahead of ourselves.
11. Kevin Harvick(LW: 15[+4]): Not-So-Happy was in good form at Bristol, and he even rebounded from a crash to finish sixth. Although I do have to agree with his feelings about the guy ranked seventh on this list.
12. Mark Martin(LW: 13[+1]): Mark hit everything but the pace car during the final 150 or so laps of the race, and still brought it home 12th. That’s Bristol for ya.
13. Kasey Kahne(LW: 16[+3]): You have no idea how hard it is to write a blurb about this guy. C’mon Kasey, give me some material here. Ok, he finished ninth at Bristol and moved to 12th in the standings. Sorry guys, that’s all I’ve got.
14. Jeff Gordon(LW: 14[+/- 0]): I thought I was being mean to Jeffy until I saw he’s only 19th in the standings, even with his win. No matter; he’s still in the Chase as we speak.
15. Bobby Labonte(LW: 19[+4]): Bobby and the #47 team have been solid, but not flashy, to start the season. The NASCAR season is a marathon, not a sprint, so Labonte and Co. are in good shape right now.
16. AJ Allmendinger(LW: 9[-7]): According to Fox, Dinger was not involved in the lap 28 crash. According to his result, he definitely was.
17. Denny Hamlin(LW: 10[-7]): He was behind Dinger in the rankings before Bristol. He finished behind Dinger at Bristol. He’s behind Dinger in the standings after Bristol. Verdict: Hamster stays behind Dinger.
18. Matt Kenseth(LW: NR): Great run for Matty K. at Bristol. Like Kasey Kahne, that’s about all I’ve got for him.
19. Marcos Ambrose(LW: 18[-1]): I expected more from Marcos at Bristol. But seeing as how he drove his wheels off all day, I blame the car and not the driver.
20. Greg Biffle(LW: NR): Biff finished worse than he performed…again. Still, I’m sure Biffle will take the eighth-place run just to get out of the woods a little bit. Oh, and to join my rankings, of course.
Tags: AJ Allmendinger Bobby Labonte Bristol Carl Edwards Dale Earnhardt Jr Denny Hamlin Fantasy Ins Greg Biffle Jeff Gordon Jimmie Johnson Juan Pablo Montoya Kasey Kahne Kevin Harvick Kurt Busch Kyle Busch Marcos Ambrose Mark Martin Martin Truex Jr. Matt Kenseth Paul Menard Ryan Newman Tony Stewart