Power Rankings – Auto Club 400 From California


Ed Szczepanski-USA TODAY Sports

After watching Phoenix’s version of this year’s single-file parade and subjecting myself to Darrell Waltrip for three-plus hours, the Power Rankings heading into the Auto Club 400 from Auto Club Speedway are below.

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Honorable Mentions

HM. (Last Week: NR) —<span class=. No. 41. Stewart-Haas Racing. KURT BUSCH

H. Scott Motorsports. JUSTIN ALGAIER. HM. (Last Week: NR) — Started 28th and was running as high as 9th before Stewart’s miscalculation damaged him enough to drop him to a 17th place finish.. No. 51


Power Rankings

Hendrick Motorsports. KASEY KAHNE. #10. (Last Week: NR) — For my money, Kasey is only significant when the car is balanced and not giving him any trouble. Throw him any adversity, and he’s D-list at best. However, one cannot overlook an average 11th-place finish so far this year, including two top-10’s. He’ll need to keep this up to stay on the list.. No. 5

Hendrick Motorsports. JEFF GORDON. #9. (Last Week: 10) — Your 9th-place finish kept you from falling off the list this week. Perhaps the bad luck is over and your finishes will start reflecting your efforts.. No. 24

#8. (Last Week: 2) — His dog ‘pooped’ in Truex Jr.’s bus this weekend and then his tire ‘popped,’ sending him to the wall and a 43rd-place finish. Try some different letters next week.. No. 88. Hendrick Motorsports. DALE EARNHARDT, JR.

#7. (Last Week: 6) — FOX announcer Mike Joy surmised that the golden horseshoe has indeed been passed from this team. Hitting the golden-colored car of Carl Edwards in the pits didn’t help either.. No. 48. Hendrick Motorsports. JIMMIE JOHNSON

#6. (Last Week: 7) — Out of the gate like a horse, and then faded. It’s OK – young guys sometimes finish early. If he’s going to take off again next week, he might want to make sure he doesn’t fade back… the list of drivers who need to pay him back at California grows each year.. No. 22. Penske Racing. JOEY LOGANO

#5. (Last Week: NR) — Three of four weeks he has qualified top-10 and he has finished 11th and 2nd the last two weeks. Another deserving guy whose finishes could be falling in line with his efforts. How long before Chip and Felix take all the credit, though?. No. 1. Chip Ganassi Racing with Felix Sabates. JAMIE MCMURRAY

Richard Childress Racing. RYAN NEWMAN. #4. (Last Week: HM) — Week-to-week improvement continued this week, and he said after ‘Vegas that’s what’s important to him. Taking just 2 tires on lap 120 gave him track position that he never gave back.. No. 31

#3. (Last Week: 3) — He took four tires and fuel with 75 laps remaining and didn’t need to pit again. FOX analyst Darrell Waltrip must not have picked up on that strategy, because he said Truex’s team didn’t keep up with adjustments this week. Wrong again, DW. Other than Harvick and Logano, Martin is the only driver with four top-10 finishes so far this year. I’d let Dale Jr.’s dog crap me that kind of luck EVERY week.. No. 78. Furniture Row Racing. MARTIN TRUEX, JR.

#2. (Last Week: 4) — He led 52 laps at Phoenix and has improved his driver rating 48 points since Daytona. Some track is gonna let him in if he keeps knocking on this door.. No. 2. Penske Racing. BRAD KESELOWSKI

#1. (Last Week: 1) — Outback Steakhouse is continuing their promotion this year of a free Bloomin’ Onion on Mondays if you mention Harvick’s finish. If this dominance continues, they need to up the ante. I take my ribeye medium, please.. No. 4. Stewart-Haas Racing. KEVIN HARVICK

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

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.