NASCAR Power Rankings: 2014 Week 4

There's a new No. 1 after Dale Earnhardt Jr. struggled in Thunder Valley

Published: March 17 2014 | 3:47 pm - Updated: 1 April 2014 | 9:44 am in The Inside Track,

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: None

Dropped out: None

RANK+/-NAMEWINSTHOUGHTS
1Brad Keselowski1Bad luck kept the new points leader from having yet another strong run. The Penske cars seem to have the new front-end setups figured out, and are taking advantage -- sans luck, that is.
2Dale Earnhardt Jr.1Still not sure what happened to what was a really fast car when the race started. Should be fast at California this week, which is similar to Michigan -- and we all know he's good there.
3Jeff Gordon0The only driver to finish in the top ten in all four races so far? This guy. Hasn't been a serious threat to win yet, but he's not far off. And it should continue. Four-time has three wins in Cali.
4Kevin Harvick1Once again had a car that looked like it could win, done-in by a broken oil line. His Stewart-Haas Racing team is taking some risks, and can afford it with that win in Phoenix.
5Jimmie Johnson0It looked for a bit like he was going to run away with Bristol, but a two-tire experiment backfired. But don't fret, 48 fans. Jimmie is the best in the series at California, and my pick to win Sunday.
6Matt Kenseth0Didn't get the finish he wanted, but gets points from me for driving through the field with the back end of his car torn up. His team is still searching for that 2013 mojo, which they'll find soon.
7Joey Logano0It's hard to overstate how hard racing a car without power steering is -- regardless of if you're a He-Man like Carl Edwards, or a regular dude like Joey. Was bad fast before he lost it.
8Carl Edwards1Withstood rain and a bizarre phantom-caution to get his first win since the first Phoenix race last year. He and the Ford camp are making strides, and now his team can get more creative to do so.
9Denny Hamlin0Didn't make a ton of noise at Bristol, but finished a solid sixth. More importantly, was not in the news for slap-fighting with a former teammate. Should be good next week at California, too.
10Kyle Busch0That's three weeks in a row he was strong early and faded (or wrecked) late. If that continues, it won't be long before some serious frustration sets in, especially with how fast they can be.

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