The boys of NASCAR were in California this week. Yay. Who took victory and who…ah heck, let’s just get to it.
Carl Edwards holds the No. 1 spot, simply because he’s better than everybody. Yeah, I said it. Auto Club winner Kevin Harvick moves up five spots, as he and Matt Kenseth are this week’s big movers in the rankings. Our big loser is Tony Stewart, down four spots.
New this week are Clint Bowyer and Brian Vickers. They replace Bobby Labonte and Denny Hamlin.
So without further adieu, let’s get to this week’s SCS Power Rankings:
1. Carl Edwards(Last Week: 1[+/-0]): As I said above, Cousin Carl is simply better than everybody else. That’s why he’s #1.
2. Kyle Busch(LW: 3[+1]): When he’s not winning, he’s leading the most laps. When he’s not leading the most laps, chances are it’s probably a weekday and he’s not racing anyway.
3. Ryan Newman(LW: 4[+1]): Rocketman has become a model of consistency. And I think it’s gonna be a long, long time…before we see him go away.
4. Kurt Busch(LW: 2[-2]): Kurt no longer has a top 10 in every race this season, or the points lead. Which means he’s probably now a mere afterthought to brother Kyle.
5. Jimmie Johnson(LW: 7[+2]): Whenever Jimmie complains about his car, it seems like he always ends up in contention for a win. That and knowing how to speed on pit road makes him the ultimate driving machine.
6. Kevin Harvick(LW: 11[+5]): Not-So-Happy found Victory Lane at Auto Club. That sound you hear is a collective sigh of relief from his pit crew. They get a few days off without being yelled at.
7. Paul Menard(LW: 6[-1]): Kind of a rough day for Paul on Sunday. Still, he’s had more good runs than bad and is still the best Childress car to this point.
8. Juan Pablo Montoya(LW: 8[+/-0]): Good day for JPM. Started on Pole, finished tenth, and maintained his eighth-place spot in the standings. He could use more days like that this season.
9. Tony Stewart(LW: 5[-4]): Another fade for Stewart, and another finish outside the top 10. A few more runs like this and he’ll be “down under”, if ya know what I mean…
10. Kasey Kahne(LW: 13[+3]): Kasey’s rattled off three top 10s in the last four races. If he can stay consistent, he won’t even have to battle for a Chase spot.
11. Dale Earnhardt Jr(LW: 9[-2]): Junior loses two spots merely because of his drop in the points. His four-straight top 12 finishes mark his best streak since 2008.
12. Martin Truex Jr(LW: 10[-2]): Martin started strong, but like at Bristol he faded late. That’s something Napa Know How can’t fix, but Truex and Co. need to figure out how they can get it fixed soon.
13. Matt Kenseth(LW: 18[+5]): All of a sudden Matty K. has back-to-back fourth-place efforts and occupies the tenth spot in the standings. I wonder if anybody noticed he was there.
14. Mark Martin(LW: 12[-2]): Mark sustained no damage at Auto Club and finished a woeful 20th. We now know the secret to his success.
15. AJ Allmendinger(LW: 16[+1]): Dinger finished 14th at Auto Club; his fourth top 20 of the season. Now it’s time to turn those top 20s into top 10s.
16. Jeff Gordon(LW: 14[-2]): Gordon has one top 10 this season. Of course, it was a win so right now he’d be in the Chase. But this is pretty pitiful stuff we’re seeing out of Big Daddy.
17. Greg Biffle(LW: 20[+3]): The Biff’s steady climb up the standings has finally reached the top 20. He still has a ways to go, but it’s a start.
18. Clint Bowyer(LW: NR): Amazing what Clint can do with a little good luck. His seventh-place finished jumped him to 17th in the standings.
19. Brian Vickers(LW: NR): BV hadn’t raced in almost a year, and now through five races he has more top 10s than Denny Hamlin, Greg Biffle, Jeff Burton, Clint Bowyer, Jamie McMurray…well, you get the picture.
20. Marcos Ambrose(LW: 18[-2]): No prestige goes with the 20th spot this week. My apologies to Marcos and his fans, but he was pretty much the best of the worst this week. And by worst, I mean Hamlin, Labonte, and everybody else who didn’t make the rankings.
Topics: AJ Allmendinger, Auto Club, Brian Vickers, Carl Edwards, Clint Bowyer, Dale Earnhardt Jr, 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, Power Rankings, Ryan Newman, Tony Stewart