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): Johnson finished seventh on Sunday and led a single lap. He was third late in the race, but the tires were simply worn and he held on for a top 10, though he was the lowest-finishing driver from Hendrick Motorsports. IS THIS THE BEGINNING OF ANOTHER SLUMP? Look for that piping hot take sometime this week.
2. Jeff Gordon (LW: 3): Gordon moves to second by finishing second. Had he not overdriven a corner with about five laps to go, he might have been able to catch Edwards, but we're going to consider this the road course version of what happened to Gordon at Kansas. While on his way to the checkered flag there, he cautiously slid through turns three and four, which made the margin of victory over Kevin Harvick look much closer than it was.
3. Dale Earnhardt Jr. (LW: 2): The penalty for Junior's best-ever Sonoma finish? Moving down a spot in Power Rankings. We are so cruel. Evil. Despicable. Every Sonoma race has a battering ram and that battering ram happened to be the No. 88 on Sunday. We don't say that with scorn, either. With the way that road courses have become, it's a product of the racing. It's not like Junior has a pattern of being destructive on road courses.
4. Carl Edwards (LW: 11): This is a season of bad "good" seasons. OK, maybe bad is an overstatement, but Edwards certainly fits the category we're trying to explain. What's been the storyline of Edwards' season outside of his contract status? The lack of speed he and his teammates have had. But here he is with two wins and he's sixth in the points standings. You can certainly be successful and not doing as well as possible -- Edwards is proof of that -- but it just seems like a bit of a disconnect.
5. Kevin Harvick (LW: 5): Speaking of disconnects, here's another guy. He's got two wins, solidly in the Chase and has been one of the fastest cars around and the storyline around Kevin Harvick is "what is going to happen next?" Like at Sonoma, when he led laps, had a fast car and then got caught up in a crash after he was back in the field because of pit strategy and caution flags.
6. Jamie McMurray (LW: 10): McMurray started on the pole and finished fourth even if he didn't feel like a contender for the win after he was passed for the lead by A.J. Allmendinger. And if we want to continue the disconnect theme, doesn't it feel that McMurray is having a better season than he's having? He's still only 19th in the points standings. I guess we can blame the All-Star Race for that.
7. Paul Menard (LW: 9): Two straight top fives for Paul Menard? Yes, you're not hallucinating. It's the power of the sideburns. Save for the win at Indianapolis, this may be the best two-week stretch in Paul Menard's career. If he keeps this up, he'll be Chasing, assuming we don't go on a crazy run of first-time winners in the near future.
8. Joey Logano (LW: 6): Logano couldn't even make it an entire lap before his car was beat up. The nose of his Ford was caved in on the first lap and then, much like his teammate Brad Keselowski, he lost the handling on his car. But thanks to the caution flags, he was able to salvage a top-20 finish out of the race and maintain his position in the points.
9. Brad Keselowski (LW: 5): Keselowski drops four spots after getting spun by Kyle Busch and having an ill-handling car for most of the day. While it'd be fun to think of the incident between Busch and Keselowski as a renewal of their rivalry, Keselowski said on the radio after the spin that he deserved to spin out, and heck, he came down to defend his position on Busch in the first place.
10. Matt Kenseth (LW: 7): Kenseth's crash wasn't his fault by any means and it lamost happened a couple of turns earlier. Had TNT not cut away from the first contact between Kenseth and Earnhardt Jr., the crash would have likely happened while cameras were focused on the two. Instead, as soon as Junior moved Kenseth out of the way in turn four, TNT left for the front of the pack and had to immediately come back after Kenseth was being launched into the tires.
11. Kasey Kahne (LW: 12): Here comes Kasey Kahne? He's up to 16th in the standings after finishing sixth at Sonoma, and his sixth-place finish is even more impressive when you realize that he started 30th. Kahne is the From the Marbles pick to win at Kentucky, so don't be surprised if he finishes 25th because of our jinx.
12. Ryan Newman (LW: NR): Newman gets the final spot in Power Rankings because he's eighth in the standings after finishing 11th on Sunday. Did you know he's 8th in the standings? That's despite no top-five finishes, either. Consistency rules more than ever in this points format.
Lucky Dog: Casey Mears' car looked destroyed after he suffered severe front-end damage in a stack-up in turn four, but he ended up 13th.
The DNF: A.J. Allmendinger led 35 laps, had the best car of the weekend and finished 37th.
Dropped Out: Kyle Larson