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: 1): Yes, it would be easy to rank a certain shop-mate of Jimmie Johnson's No. 1, but circumstances gave him a win on Sunday. Johnson and team overcame some pretty dicey circumstances and drove through the field to finish sixth. That's impressive stuff. You can argue that damage to the right-front of a Cup car can be the most critical, and that's where Johnson's car was beat up. But after a lot of work, it was still pretty damn fast.
2. Dale Earnhardt Jr. (LW: 5): While it was a longshot win for Junior, it wasn't a fluky one. He had one of the day's best cars, he just wasn't out in clean air like Brad Keselowski was for most of the day. But when Junior was for the final five laps (he led 11 all day to Keselowski's 95), there was no way that Keselowski was going to get close enough to his bumper to make a move for the lead.
3. Jeff Gordon (LW: 3): There were a couple of Gordon Restart moments on Sunday that cost Gordon positions throughout the race. And hell, early on Sunday, it looked like Gordon was going to have one of the few cars that could hang with Keselowski all day. While Gordon's car stayed good, it just wasn't as good relative to the rest of the field as the day progressed. But hey, he still has the points lead.
4. Kevin Harvick (LW: 4): Another fast car, another something that went wrong for Harvick. This time it was a flat tire that derailed him while he was close to leading. Hey wait, didn't I write that last week? Yep, the only thing that was added in was "close to." After his team worked on the car, Harvick got his lap back and finished 14th. But yeah, he should have finished a lot higher than 14th. Very similar to his teammate and car owner.
5. Brad Keselowski (LW: 7): You can go two ways with Keselowski's move, and neither are wrong. First, since he had a win and was already in the Chase, he could have pushed his car to the breaking point in pursuit of a second win. Or, since he had the win in the bank and didn't need it for the Chase, he could play it like he did and see if he could get the debris off the grille and try to win the race. Consider it the 2014 version of whether or not to crash Kyle Busch at Watkins Glen.
6. Matt Kenseth (LW: 2): Wasn't that an odd circumstance with Jamie McMurray that gave Kenseth all the front end damage? McMurray got off the gas and onto the brakes a little earlier than Kenseth apparently was expecting and the just clattered into the back of McMurray's car. The damage put a huge hole in the front of Kenseth's bumper and even after fixing all the damage, he didn't have much speed, finishing 25th.
7. Carl Edwards (LW: 6): We are now deep in the black hole of Power Rankings. Edwards simply had nowhere to go after Kyle Busch ran Kasey Kahne up the track. By the time Kahne was in the wall and slowing down, Edwards was in the throttle and then into Kahne. And subsequently out of the race. The Cheez-Its deserved better. The best snack cracker in the world shouldn't have to go out like that.
8. Joey Logano (LW: 8): That was one ugly restart when Logano couldn't get going. Everyone behind him on the high side saw their chances of making positions up on the restart go away when Logano's car didn't accelerate at the drop of the green flag. Mechanical issues like that are another reason why double-file restarts may not be the most fair things in the world. A driver behind a car with issues can lose four or five spots to cars who are simply in a different line.
9. Jamie McMurray (LW: 9): McMurray certainly got the better end of the collision with Matt Kenseth. While the rear of his car was severely damaged, it wasn't in an as nearly aerodynamic place as Kenseth's damage. Because of it, he was able to stay near the front of the pack and ended up in 10th. Yet he wasn't the best car for Chip Ganassi Racing.
10. Kyle Larson (LW: 12): That goes to Kyle Larson, who apparently had issues shifting before the Pocono race. So Ganassi put him in a Camaro for the week to learn how to shift and then in the ARCA race, where he absolutely dominated the field. He was ahead by so much duirng the race that after committing a pit-road blend line violation under green, he was able to serve a pass-through penalty and still come out with the lead. Oh, and he finished fifth Sunday.
11. Denny Hamlin (LW: 11): Hamlin only led four laps after staring on the pole. That's because he got a bump in turn one on the first lap of the race and went skating up the track. While it wasn't the best on Sunday, Hamlin's car was extremely consistent and he had a good strategy game going with crew chief Darian Grubb that led to a fourth-place finish.
12. Kyle Busch (LW: 10): Busch finished 12th and had the incident with Kahne. It's an abyss down here, I tell you. Busch was also told by Joe Gibbs during the race to use better language on the radio after dropping some fox bombs while getting passed by Dale Earnhardt Jr.
Lucky Dog: It's Martin Truex Jr. again. Is that team turning things around? Truex finished ninth on Sunday.
The DNF: He's been referenced multiple times above, but it has to be Kahne, right?
Dropped Out: No one.
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- Motor Racing
- Sports & Recreation
- Jimmie Johnson
- Brad Keselowski
- Matt Kenseth
- Kyle Busch
- Jeff Gordon