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: Kurt Busch
Dropped out: Kyle Larson
|1||1||Dale Earnhardt Jr.||1||He reclaims the top spot after rebounding from a poor set of practices and qualifying to lead 25 laps and finish 3rd. He should be fast at Texas, the site of his first Cup and Nationwide victories.|
|2||4||Jimmie Johnson||0||Is taking the win away from this man late in the race two weeks in a row really a good idea? A motivated 48 team can only spell trouble for the rest of the garage, and boy are they motivated.|
|3||1||Brad Keselowski||1||A run-in on pit road led to some strong words for his former teammate after the race. Like Kevin Harvick, trouble has followed him each week since he got his first win of the season at Las Vegas.|
|4||0||Kyle Busch||1||Backed up his California win with a pole and led 22 laps - but faded late to finish 14th. Busch should be one to beat when the tour stops at Texas Motor Speedway, where he won last spring.|
|5||0||Jeff Gordon||0||Thought he would be more of a factory on Sunday at Martinsville, a track he used to own. His team isn't far away from the winner's circle, and hopefully he can stay out of the rumor mill for a while.|
|6||1||Matt Kenseth||0||Moved to second in points with a sixth place finish. Hasn't been a threat to win yet this year, but let me copy and paste my comment here from last week about mile-and-a-half tracks.|
|7||2||Joey Logano||0||Continues to be solid and consistent. Without a parts failure at California, he'd likely be higher on this list, as well as in the points - and he's still eighth. He'll win more than once this year.|
|8||3||Carl Edwards||1||Drops because of success of some other guys, as well as his solo spin towards the end of the race Sunday - a spin that cost him a good finish. Despite that, he's still easily the best Roush car.|
|9||1||Kevin Harvick||1||Dealt with some mechanical issues, but finished seventh at Martinsville. He needs more runs like that to build up some more points. He's 25th still, and can't afford many more poor runs.|
|10||N/R||Kurt Busch||1||Definitely could argue he doesn't belong here, even with a win. But the road he took back to this point was a long one, and seems to have made him into a much different person than he was in 2011.|