Power Rankings: Duck Commander 500 From Texas


Action from the Duck Commander 500 at Texas Motor Speedway. Photo credit: Jerome Miron-USA TODAY

The Power Rankings for the Duck Commander 500 at Texas Motor Speedway are presented below.  Did your favorite driver make or miss the list this week?  The series now heads back to a high-banked, fast track at TMS before returning to the short tracks of Bristol and Richmond later in April.

As a reminder, these rankings will run only on Tuesdays preceding a Sprint Cup Series race.  The remaining “off” dates for the column this year will be June 16 and August 25.

New to the list this week:  11, 18, 20

Leaving the list this week:  1, 31, 51

Honorable Mentions

HM. (Last Week: NR) – Battled and persevered all day to secure a 7<sup>th</sup> place finish.  Boyfriend Ricky Stenhouse, Jr.’s third spin gave her the lucky dog pass to get back on the lead lap.  Post-race must have been fun too, because Ricky was out of the race early enough to clean up the bus and have dinner ready.. No. 10. Stewart-Haas Racing. DANICA PATRICK

HM. (Last Week: NR) – He started with three strikes against him:  Going to the back at the start because of a driver change, running a car he had never even <em>seen</em> before Sunday and he hadn’t driven at Martinsville for two years.  A 16<sup>th</sup> place finish is worthy of recognition under those circumstances.  All Sprint Cup drivers should know that if they fall ill or get suspended that help is close at hand.. No. 42. Chip Ganassi Racing with Felix Sabates. REGAN SMITH

Power Rankings

No. 48. Hendrick Motorsports. JIMMIE JOHNSON. #10. (Last Week: 8) – While this team already has a Chase berth secured, they’re also experiencing some adversity not commonly seen for their group.  Trying to knock the snot out of the No. 2 car on lap 12 at Martinsville didn’t help; that began the day’s downward spiral.  A similar fate in Texas will drop them out of the rankings.  We can only hope.

#9. (Last Week: 7) – Another vibration in the car took the life of his shifter lever – twice.  If this keeps up, his spotter will have to focus less on track position and pit road speeds and more on telling Dale, righty tighty lefty loosy.. No. 88. Hendrick Motorsports. DALE EARNHARDT, JR.

#8. (Last Week: NR) – Solid 5<sup>th</sup> place finish for the Front Row Motorsport’s driver on temporarily loan to JGR.  Who said green M&Ms don’t have magical, performance-enhancing powers?. No. 18. Joe Gibbs Racing. DAVID RAGAN

No. 20. Joe Gibbs Racing. MATT KENSETH. #7. (Last Week: NR) – I had a trigonometry teacher in high school named Mr. Loring.  We called him “boring Loring.”  Matt has also been called “Mr. Flatline.”  Dry personality aside, Matt was one of JGR’s three cars finishing in the top five at Martinsville.  Oh wait; they’re a four-car team this year.  Has anyone seen Edwards?

#6. (Last Week: NR) – Rallied back from yet another pit penalty for an errant tire to grab the win!  Who knew there was a subtle meaning to Denny’s assertion, “that’s how we roll.”  Keep rollin’.. No. 11. Joe Gibbs Racing. DENNY HAMLIN

No. 24. Hendrick Motorsports. JEFF GORDON. #5. (Last Week: 9) – He was in position to contend for the win, and charged back to a 9<sup>th</sup> place finish after a late pit road speeding penalty.  Stronger car than the finish indicated.  And, since Kenseth didn’t take him up on the steak dinner offer, he’ll have a few extra bucks for a big Texas steak with the family this week.

No. 78. Furniture Row Racing. MARTIN TRUEX, JR.. #4. (Last Week: 3) – Yet another top-10 finish, bringing to six (every race) that this team has accomplished that feat this year.  This type of consistency is similar to Ryan Newman’s performance last year.  Anyone want to poke some holes in that theory for this Richard Childress Racing technical partner?  Get it?  Poke holes.

No.4. Stewart-Haas Racing. KEVIN HARVICK. #3. (Last Week: 2) – So when NASCAR announced that they had sent some of the California tires that were impounded to a third party to confirm NASCAR’s original findings, everyone assumed the No. 4 car was getting busted. How do those folks like their crow, do you wonder?

(Last Week: 6) – Still waiting for another Logano win so that I can stop at a Shell for gas the following Wednesday for 22 cents off per gallon.  Getting roughed up by the No. 46 car and spinning won’t help.  Are you listening, Joey?. No. 22. Team Penske. JOEY LOGANO. #2

#1. (Last Week: 1) – Brad was ranked #1 last week and didn’t do anything to jeopardize that with his 2<sup>nd</sup>-place Martinsville finish.  Jimmie tried to sabotage him early, but that didn’t work too well for the No. 48.  Brad and the boys now head to Texas Motor Speedway, where track President Eddie Gossage is promoting the race as “left turns and right crosses.”  Round two awaits.. No. 2. Team Penske. BRAD KESELOWSKI

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.