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: Tony Stewart
Dropped out: Kurt Busch
|1||3||Kyle Busch||1||Top fives in two of his last three races, including a win. He ran up front all day Monday at Texas. If the more mature Kyle Busch can stick around all season, he'll be in the mix for the championship.|
|2||5||Joey Logano||1||The driver from Connecticut won on the same day UConn won the men's basketball title. He also let us all know his early success this season is no fluke, and burying his Gibbs years in the process.|
|3||2||Jeff Gordon||0||Thought maybe he was going to get one for a second, before Logano's fresh tires won out on Monday. It's odd: he feels close, yet still far from a victory. It'll be an interesting summer for 4-time.|
|4||1||Brad Keselowski||1||A speeding penalty on the final stop put a damper on what could've been a banner day for Penske. Still, Brad K and Co. aren't going away anytime soon. His cars are fast, and they're taking risks.|
|5||4||Dale Earnhardt Jr.||1||A big drop for Dale Jr. because of a mistake that cost he and his teammates the race, barely after the green flag. He also has never been great at Darlington, the next stop on the Cup schedule.|
|6||4||Jimmie Johnson||0||Another week, another disappointment for the No. 48 team. Seems impossible he still doesn't have a win, and one has to be coming soon. If they can avoid more trouble, the competition is in trouble.|
|7||1||Matt Kenseth||0||Feels wrong to drop him after another top-10, but Mr. Consistency isn't the name of the game anymore. He's been a top-10/top-five car all year, but hasn't felt like a real threat to win so far.|
|8||0||Carl Edwards||1||Just an average day for Cousin Carl at Texas. The Roush cars have been disappointing overall, but he's been far and away the best of the group. The Bristol win gives him freedom to experiment.|
|9||N/R||Tony Stewart||0||He's back in the rankings since the preseason thanks to a pole and leading a bunch of laps - plus teammate misfortune. Him running better while still healing is a good sign for Smoke fans.|
|10||1||Kevin Harvick||1||If a problem can happen to a race team, it's happened to Harvick this season. It's been a bizarre and frustrating month or so since Phoenix for the No. 4 team. But they're absolutely still a factor.|