Our Power Rankings are far from a scientific formula. In fact, it's the perfect blend of analytics and bias against your favorite driver. And you think we dislike your favorite driver, so it makes sense, right? Direct all your complaints to us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
1. Jimmie Johnson (LW: 2): Before smoking the field at Dover, Johnson revealed he had hernia surgery after the banquet in December. He actually had three; bilateral hernias and one near his bellybutton. So of course, we need to ask if Johnson will have more hernias or Sprint Cup Series titles in his lifetime. (No, we don't.) Anyway, let's get back to the race. Johnson's best track statistically is Dover and after leading 272 laps on Sunday, he's now led more than 50 percent of the laps at Dover since 2009. Yeesh.
Jimmie Johnson has led 53.2% of all Sprint Cup laps raced at Dover since 2009. Unreal.— Geoffrey Miller (@GeoffreyMiller) June 2, 2014
2. Matt Kenseth (LW: 4): Oh man, we've got another winless points leader. How is the world going to survive this madness? As with Johnson, it's pretty obvious that Kenseth is going to get a win sometime soon. You don't run up front like he has (and lead laps late) without getting a win sooner, rather than later. But even without a win, Kenseth is in a good spot right now. He's not going to miss the Chase if he's near the top of the standings without a win.
3. Jeff Gordon (LW: 1): The handling on Gordon's car flat disappeared late in the race and his finish of 15th is not indicative of the speed he had all day. Before he started falling to the back, he worked his way up into the top five and was fifth on the next-to-last restart. Suddenly he started falling back and never recovered. No points lead is no big deal, especially because Gordon has the Kansas win, but do you really think he wanted to lose it?
4. Kevin Harvick (LW: 3): Another fast car, another something that went wrong for Harvick. This time it was a flat tire that derailed him while he was leading. It necessitated a green flag pit stop and Harvick lost laps that he was never able to recover. The bad finishes Harvick is piling up with fast cars are a bit of a double-edged sword. He's not wondeing about his car's speed on a weekly basis, which is a great thing. But at the same time, he's wondering what could go wrong next.
5. Dale Earnhardt Jr. (LW: 7): Pick a driver, any driver! We're going to go with Junior after hie finished ninth, one spot ahead of Joey Logano, five spots ahead of Carl Edwards and a whole bunch of spots ahead of Kyle Busch. While Junior is likely content with another top 10 finish, he may be happier about his Tuesday morning eBay purchase.
6. Carl Edwards (LW: 5): With every week of no news about Edwards' contract status, the speculation about his future is only going to increase. And based off previous timing of Roush announcements, we may not know for a few more weeks at least. When Edwards re-upped with Roush in 2011 it was announced in August and when Kenseth departed for Joe Gibbs Racing in 2012 he was announced at his new team in September after informing Roush he was leaving in late June.
7. Brad Keselowski (LW: 10): Brad sure tried like craszy to catch Jimmie Johnson over the final laps of the race, but there was just no way he was going to do there. You could tell how aggressively he was driving his car into the corners, but the aggressiveness was sapping his corner exit speed. For the space he gained on Johnson into the corners for the first few turns, he lost it all (and then some) as Johnson cruised away from him on acceleration. Yeah, the No. 48 team had a really, really good car.
8. Joey Logano (LW: 8): Similar to Charlotte, Logano had a good car but not a great one, and hovered near the front of the field all day, even if he wasn't "at" the front. It was Logano's seventh top 10 of the season and he's looking like he's heading towards a second straight season of a better than 50 percent top 10 rate. In four seasons at Joe Gibbs Racing he never did that.
9. Jamie McMurray (LW: 9): McMurray was very fortunate that he was able to avoid smashing into the backstretch wall after the chunk of Dover concrete ate the front splitter of his car. And the people in the pedestrian bridge above turn 2 were also incredibly fortunate that the piece of concrete that cracked a window up there wasn't big enough to pierce it and hurt someone. But props to Dover's track crew for getting the track patched in such a quick fashion and that the patch held so well.
10. Kyle Busch (LW: 6): Had Busch gotten to Clint Bowyer's bumper and retaliated against him after the two wrecked, what do you think the punishment would have been for him? It was reminiscent of what happened in 2007 between Kurt Busch and Tony Stewart at Dover. Heck, it was almost the same type of incident. Kurt Busch shut the door on Stewart, though he got the worst of the crash.
You may remember that after the wreck, Busch and Stewart had some shenanigans on pit road and Busch was parked for the rest of the race after a crew member of Stewart's had to avoid his car. In addition to the parking, Busch was docked 100 points later in the week. Had Kyle crashed Bowyer (and given what happened at Texas in 2011), it's not much of a stretch to think that a parking would have been appropriate Sunday.
11. Denny Hamlin (LW: NR): The two drivers at the bottom of Power Rankings last week had problems so it's time for two new faces. Hamlin moved up a couple positions on the final restart of the race thanks to a two-tire pit stop. He was the first car to come down pit road for tires and was able to make up some ground, finishing fifth. And despite missing a race, Hamlin is ninth in the standings. Yes, with just four top 10s and one missed race, Hamlin is in the top 10. Avoiding bad finishes will do that to you.
12. Kyle Larson (LW: NR): Anyone else not going to miss a certain NASCAR TV analyst's fascination with Larson? There's not one person who doubts his talent, especially after he's won two Nationwide Series races this year. But much like Chase Elliott in the Nationwide Series, it's OK to give him some space and let him develop. The accolades will (and already have) arrive. There's no need to douse them with hyperbolic lighter fluid. And he, on the space note, it looks like Larson has a lot of it now in his new house.
Got the keys to my first house pic.twitter.com/mHfKq3veTW— Kyle Larson (@KyleLarsonRacin) June 2, 2014
The Lucky Dog: Martin Truex's sixth-place finish was the higest of his season so far. While you wouldn't have guessed Furniture Row would repeate the excellence it had with Kurt Busch, did anyone think Truex would be 25th through 13 races?
The DNF: Greg Biffle and Ricky Stenhouse Jr. got Allmendinger'd, though Allmendinger said Stenhouse came down on him.
Oh, the dog that Stenhouse and Danica Patrick share now has a Twitter account.
Dropped Out: Brian Vickers, Ryan Newman
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