Power Rankings – Camping World 500 From Phoenix

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Joe Camporeale-USA TODAY Sports

Three races.  Three winners.  Some trends are becoming evident this week.  Let’s take a look at the Power Rankings heading into the Camping World 500 at Phoenix International Raceway.

Honorable Mentions

HM. (Last Week: NR) — He said that he is satisfied with week-to-week improvement, but not the results. Keep doing what you’re doing Ryan, results will come... No. 31. Richard Childress Racing. RYAN NEWMAN

KYLE LARSON. HM. (Last Week: NR) — His open-wheel and dirt experience is going to serve him well at Phoenix next week and California two weeks from now is another track where he can run a high groove again. Look for him to move into the top ten if the trend continues.. No. 42. Chip Ganassi Racing

Power Rankings

JEFF GORDON. #10. (Last Week: 5) — Qualifying well and running strong will only carry you so far if you can’t finish. Let’s set a goal for next week of not running into spinning or slower cars in front of you, that should help.. No. 24. Hendrick Motorsports

#9. (Last Week: HM) — He said he was an “8” loose on a scale of 1-10 with 100 laps to go. Nice job of staying with it and taking what the car gave today.. No. 20. Joe Gibbs Racing. MATT KENSETH

#8. (Last Week: NR) — Don’t know if owner Brad Daugherty is happier about the team’s performance or that the NCAA brackets will be out at this time next week. It’s a push.. No. 47. JTG Daugherty Racing. A.J. ALLMENDINGER

#7. (Last Week: 6) — He had Pennzoil Platinum on the car this week. Must have helped him have a fast car. Fast enough for two pit-road speeding penalties 12 laps apart, anyway.. No. 20. Penske Racing. JOEY LOGANO

#6. (Last Week: 1) — Chad, you’re in the Chase. You don’t need to be so aggressive with the right front.  Two right-front blow-outs 16 laps apart?  Two of your last three DNF’s were also due to blown tires. Anyone see a pattern?. No. 48. Hendrick Motorsports. JIMMIE JOHNSON

#5. (Last Week: 9) — He made the most of close calls that could have ended his day early. First, the No. 51 on his first stop and then the damage from the No. 5 and No. 19 tiff.. No. 11. Joe Gibbs Racing. DENNY HAMLIN

Penske Racing. BRAD KESELOWSKI. #4. (Last Week: 10) — He overcame a penalty for a tire getting away from the pit crew and then benefitted from the free pass on the No. 48’s first blown tire. If you’re going to be that lucky twice, you picked the right city to do so.. No. 2

#3. (Last Week: 4) — Three weeks into the season and three top-10 finishes.  Yes, they’re that good, they know it but aren’t overly confident. Just getting the job done each week.. No. 78. Furniture Row Racing. MARTIN TRUEX, JR.

No. 88. Hendrick Motorsports. DALE EARNHARDT, JR.. #2. (Last Week: 3) — If nothing else, FOX analyst Darrell Waltrip kept remarking about taking only two tires with 30 laps to go was a poor decision, you proved otherwise. Another hat-trick for top-four finishes this year. The old man would be proud.

KEVIN HARVICK. #1. (Last Week: 2) — Going back to last season, this team has six consecutive top-two finishes and looking ahead has won 4 of the last 5 races at Phoenix. Be afraid, everyone else. Be very afraid.. No. 4. Stewart-Haas Racing

What do you think?  Did your driver make the list?  Who would you have included?  Excluded?  Discuss below!

Next: NASCAR gives update on Kurt Busch

Mike Hutton is a Staff Writer for BeyondTheFlag.com on the FanSided Network. Follow us on Twitter @Beyond_The_Flag and “Like” us on Facebook.