It's time for Power Rankings! After every race, we'll opine about who we think is at the top of the Sprint Cup heap and how and why they got there. Remember, this isn't scientific, as our formula is the perfect blend of analytics and bias against your favorite driver. So let's get on with it, shall we?
Jimmie Johnson (LW: 3): What's the best way to cap off your most dominating win at the track you've dominated the most in your Sprint Cup career to take the points lead? Announce on Tuesday that your second child is due in September. Congratulations, Jimmie and Chandra.
2Denny Hamlin when it comes to Martinsville, but Sunday was his third straight top 10 there. And that ability to finish in the top 10 and therefore keep both of those drivers in sight if they're the ones battling for the lead will serve him well once again in October.
3.Danica Patrick, who got bumped by Brian Vickers. And that incident does bring up a good point: If you're playing the Danica Patrick drinking game, what should the required action have been on lap 467? Kasey Kahne (LW: 2): Pardon me for asking, but unless you're a Kasey Kahne fan, did you have any idea that Kahne finished fourth? Talk about an under the radar top five. Yeah, Kahne was near the front all day, but he was never a focal point throughout the race. But you know what? If you're not in the lead, it's usually not a good thing if you're being focused on at Martinsville.
6Matt Kenseth (LW: 11): Entering Sunday, Kenseth had led 73 laps in his Martinsville career. On Sunday, he led 96. He's never been terrible at Martinsville, but just not good either. So here comes the million dollar question, courtesy of Chad Knaus: How much of that was Kenseth and how much was that his Joe Gibbs Racing car? Clint Bowyer (LW: NR): Yeah, it was a short track, but it's always fun to see a beat up car competing for the lead late in the race, and there's no other way to describe Bowyer's machine. And, thankfully, there were no fireworks between Bowyer and Jeff Gordon late in the race.
Dropped Out: Joey Logano, Denny Hamlin, Kurt Busch.
Lucky Dog: Mark Martin, for grabbing a top 10 after being two laps down.
The Tony Stewart DNF: Seriously Stewart, what's the deal? Smoke went backwards yet again at the end of the race and finished 17th. It's not time to panic just yet, but who'da thunk that two drivers who've missed a race (Martin and Hamlin) are ahead of Stewart in the standings?
- Motor Racing
- Sports & Recreation
- Kasey Kahne
- Denny Hamlin