Welcome to the Inside Track's NASCAR Power Rankings. Each week of the Sprint Cup season, the Gazette's Jeremiah Davis will rank the series' top 10 drivers.
Think the list should be different? Tweet him at @jeremiahdavis10, or comment in the comments section.
New this week: Carl Edwards
Dropped out: Greg Biffle
|1||0||Dale Earnhardt Jr.||1||Oh, so close. Still, this is one of the five best statistical starts to a season in Cup history. Steve Letarte and that No. 88 team have sent a message to the garage, loud and clear: It's on.|
|2||0||Brad Keselowski||1||If not for what Dale Jr. is doing, we might all be fawning over the 2012 champ. Third, third and first to start the season. The new qualifying and points system continue to suit him well.|
|3||0||Jimmie Johnson||0||Jimmie and the crew are on record saying they didn't focus on 2014 during last year's Chase, and are a bit behind. Three top tens to start the season, and they're behind? Ruh roh.|
|4||0||Kevin Harvick||1||Looked like he had another race-winning car at Las Vegas, done in by a seized wheel hub. He wasn't concerned and fans shouldn't be either. No. 4 will see Victory Lane a lot this year.|
|5||3||Jeff Gordon||0||Continues to be impressive so far, and these rankings will quit doubting him until further notice. Another driver with three top tens to start, and has always been good at Bristol.|
|6||4||Joey Logano||0||I know it's early, but he has a "for real" feel to his season. Not stellar at Bristol, but watch out for him at California, where he gave away a win last year messing around with Hamlin.|
|7||2||Matt Kenseth||0||He's dropped four spots in two weeks in these rankings, but only because other guys are off to such good starts. He's also a victim of his success last year. Marginal success looks worse.|
|8||2||Denny Hamlin||0||It took a late gamble to even get him to the front, and even that didn't work out. Hasn't quite matched his Daytona prowess the last two weeks, but some good tracks are coming.|
|9||2||Kyle Busch||0||Looked like a potential winner at times Sunday at his home track, but faded late. That said, it's Bristol this week, and anyone named "Busch" is always a factor at the bullring.|
|10||N/R||Carl Edwards||0||Hung with Dale Jr. for a while at the end on Sunday, but was forced to save fuel and dropped to fifth at the end. He's looked the strongest of the Roush Fenway Fords this season.|