The boys of NASCAR were in Texas this week for a showdown under the lights. Who got to wear the cowboy hat and who got smoked? We’ve got you covered!
Matt Kenseth was the winner this week, both on the track and in the rankings as he moves up 7 spots this week to second. The big losers were teammates Jeff Gordon and Mark Martin, each down 5 spots after their Texas-sized troubles.
New this week are Greg Biffle and Marcos Ambrose. They jump in at the expense of Jamie McMurray and Martin Truex Jr.
So without further adieu, here are this week’s SCS NASCAR Power Rankings:
1. Carl Edwards(Last Week: 2[+1]): Cuz didn’t contend for the win, but he did finish third and reclaimed the top spot in the standings(and rankings) despite an upset stomach, though I will admit throwing his mom under the bus wasn’t cool. He owes her big-time come Mom’s Day.
2. Matt Kenseth(LW: 9[+7]): The hottest driver in NASCAR right now is…Matt Kenseth?!? You read that right. Matty K. has compiled finishes of 4th, 4th, 6th, and 1st respectively in his last four races.
3. Kyle Busch(LW: 1[-2]): Kyle had a shot at a top 5, but had wheel problems late in the race. And when I say “wheel” problems, I don’t mean as in “a loose nut behind the…”
4. Jimmie Johnson(LW: 4[+/-0]): Fox was kind enough to show us how NASCAR determines whether or not J.J. actually speeds on pit road Saturday night. Personally, I actually bought into it. Now was that so hard, NASCAR?
5. Kevin Harvick(LW: 3[-2]): Not-So-Happy blamed his early misfortunes on a bad pit stall, then had the announcers bail him out after he caused a three-car crash. Have we met the next Dale Jr? If he starts winning once every three years, then I guess we’ll know for sure.
6. Dale Earnhardt Jr(LW: 8[+2]): Speaking of Junior, he actually kept his mini-role going with a nice eighth-place effort on Saturday. Don’t look now, but he’s sixth in the standings.
7. Ryan Newman(LW: 5[-2]): Rocketman has had a couple of mediocre outings in a row now. It’s lonely out in space, but not around the Chase bubble, which is where Newman will find himself if he’s not careful.
8. Juan Pablo Montoya(LW: 6[-2]): What is it about Juan that makes us think it’s a good day for him if he stays out of trouble? J.P.M. finished 13th at Texas; not great, but(wait for it…) he stayed out of trouble.
9. Kurt Busch(LW: 7[-2]): The elder Busch lucked into his first top 10 since Bristol, and made it very clear he does not like “working”. It’s no wonder he drives cars for a living.
10. Paul Menard(LW: 13[+3]): Paul needed a bounce-back at Texas after a couple of poor runs, and he got it. Top 5s make a driver look legit, and Menard has two of them through seven races. Not bad.
11. Clint Bowyer(LW: 15[+4]): If Matt Kenseth is the hottest driver in NASCAR, Clint may be second. Three straight top 10s have catapolted him from 24th to 12th in the standings.
12. David Ragan(LW: 17[+5]): David Ragan is officially on a roll with back-to-back top 10s, the first time he’s done that since his career year in 2008. He earned his first career Pole at Texas this weekend, and don’t be surprised if he earns his first career win at Talladega next weekend.
13. Tony Stewart(LW: 14[+1]): Smoke ran into Dave Blaney on pit road(through no fault of his own), then had his strategy crushed by a speeding penalty. If you can find a way to tie all that into an Australian short-track owner joke, let me know.
14. AJ Allmendinger(LW: 12[-2]): Another week, another run in the teens for Dinger. On another note, I miss his avocado/lime-green Insignia car.
15. Mark Martin(LW: 10[-5]): The Martin Truex Jr. Hard Crash Victim of the Week Award goes to…(drum roll, please)…Mark Martin! For full details, see: Harvick, Kevin.
16. Jeff Gordon(LW: 11[-5]): I’m not gonna sugar-coat this: I have not seen Jeff Gordon look this pathetic since 2005, when he missed the Chase. Of course, he does have that win in his back pocket, so he has that going for him.
17. Greg Biffle(LW: NR): Biff benefited from a stellar performance out of the entire Roush-Fenway camp this weekend. If anybody wants to see a repeat of 2005, it’s this guy.
18. Kasey Kahne(LW: 16[-2]): Never really know what to expect from Kasey. Some days he can go out and run consistently in the top 10. Other days he can go out and lay an egg, like he did Saturday night.
19. Marcos Ambrose(LW: NR): Stat of the Week: On tracks owned by Bruton Smith, Ambrose has an average finish of 8.3. On tracks not owned by Smith, he has an average finish of 27.5.
20. Denny Hamlin(LW: 18[-2]): The biggest issue at the moment isn’t who will unseat Jimmie Johnson or when will Junior finally win, but rather when will Denny break out of this slump. No doubt the disappointment of the season so far.
Topics: AJ Allmendinger, Carl Edwards, Clint Bowyer, Dale Earnhardt Jr, David Ragan, Denny Hamlin, Greg Biffle, Jeff Gordon, Jimmie Johnson, Juan Pablo Montoya, Kasey Kahne, Kevin Harvick, Kurt Busch, Kyle Busch, Marcos Ambrose, Mark Martin, Matt Kenseth, Paul Menard, Power Rankings, Ryan Newman, Texas Motor Speedway, Tony Stewart