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From the Marbles

Chase Power Rankings: After Martinsville, and then there were …. two?

Jay Busbee
From The Marbles

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We have absolutely no idea what's going on here. (Getty Images)


The seventh race of the Chase is over, and that means it's time for Power Rankings! But we're doing things a little differently now that we're in the postseason. It's all-Chasers, all the time. Good job, good effort for those of you that didn't make it, but we've got bigger fish to focus on. We'll be judging who's running well, considering not just finishing position but quality of run, expected potential, and general gut feelings. As always, we hate your guy and are biased against him. Now, enjoy.

1. Jimmie Johnson. Relentless. That's the way Johnson has been all season, and this weekend it finally paid off. Johnson was expected to run well at Martinsville, and he did exactly that, winning both the pole and the checkered flag. How many grandfather clocks does one man need? Last week: 1.

2. Brad Keselowski. It's tough to say that a sixth-place finish is a victory, but that must have been what it felt like for Keselowski, starting 32nd and facing Johnson and Denny Hamlin at one of their best tracks. Now we got us a race. Last week: 2.

3. Clint Bowyer. An outstanding run for Bowyer. This has to be frustrating as hell for anybody who's not the 2 or the 48; those guys just will not quit. But Bowyer is fast becoming a top-tier driver right before our very eyes. Last week: 4.

4. Denny Hamlin. How many ways can Denny Hamlin lose? That was just cruel, seeing how his championship chances evaporated Sunday. NASCAR needs to have a shooting range where you can just take out your frustrations when your season goes up in smoke. Last week: 3.

5. Kasey Kahne. Another strong run from HurriKa - er, nope, let's not use that nickname. What will be interesting is seeing whether the new stars of this year's Chase (Kahne, Bowyer, Keselowski) follow in the footsteps of previous ones (Edwards, Harvick). Last week: 6.

6. Martin Truex Jr. Ain't going to lie: kind of running out of stuff to say about the non-Cup contenders this late in the season. So let's take a moment and talk about Halloween. What's your favorite candy? I'm going with Reese's. I used to inhale those things. We'll continue this theme next entry. Last week: 5.

7. Jeff Gordon. JG has dressed in a few lively Halloween costumes in his day, including the One Night Stand. Slick. My best? Fat Axl Rose. Shut up. Last week: 9.

8. Matt Kenseth. Worst Halloween candy has to be Mounds. That stuff bites. In order to conceal from our parents how much candy we were eating, we used to throw the wrappers back into the pillowcase where we kept our loot. The result was that within a week or so, we'd be digging through wrappers like garbage pickers, pulling out a lone Mounds or a bank lollipop or something equally lame. Last week: 7.

9. Greg Biffle. Hey, Biff. Continuing: what is the protocol for someone who gives you non-candy in the 21st century? Like popcorn or apple slices or pennies in a bag? You have the right to torch their car if they do that, right? Last week: 10.

10. Tony Stewart. What's your favorite Halloween rumor? Mine is "look out for the kids spraying Nair!" The idea being, of course, that if somebody sprayed you with that, your hair would instantly fall out. Tony Stewart would be interested in that. Last week: 9.

11. Dale Earnhardt Jr. If I was Dale Earnhardt Jr., I'd go out on Halloween wearing a Bud No. 8 firesuit and see how many people yelled at me because "Junior doesn't wear that sponsor anymore." If I was Dale Earnhardt Jr., I'd spend a lot of time messing with people. Last week: 12.

12. Kevin Harvick. Whoever the guy is who's been dressed as Kevin Harvick all Chase, stop it. Go put on a Bane costume or something. And let Harvick out of whatever closet you've been keeping him in. Last week: 11.

Non-Chaser of the Week: Aric Almirola. Wait, Double-A finished fourth? This was a rain-shortened race, right? No? Did everyone else crash? No? Huh. Nice job; he's going to make people remember that No. 43.

All right, you're up. Who goes where? Have your say.

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