Power Rankings: Sprint All-Star Race From Charlotte


Sam Sharpe-USA TODAY Sports

When considering this week’s Power Rankings for the upcoming All-Star weekend in Charlotte, I elected to focus on Saturday night’s main event, because all but one of the drivers appearing on this week’s list have already qualified for the race.  The lone outsider at this point is Martin Truex, Jr., who is certainly capable of a top-two finish in Friday night’s Sprint Showdown and is more than deserving of the fan vote as well. Let’s sure hope he gets in, because he’s earned it.  This week’s rankings are below:

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New to the list this week:  2, 22

Falling off the list this week:  11, 27

Honorable Mentions

Roush Fenway Racing. GREG BIFFLE. HM. (Last Week: NR) – Greg Biffle’s 12<sup>th</sup>-place finish is the highest for a RFR team this year since Daytona.  They also made it into the top 12 round for qualifying for the first time since Daytona as well.  I won’t say that RFR has turned things around by any means, but this is perhaps a move in the right direction.. No. 16

ERIK JONES. HM. (Last Week: NR) –  You cannot deny the speed and talent shown by this young man at Kansas, and it’s too bad that their finish didn’t reflect the quality of the run.  Race winner Jimmie Johnson gave quite a compliment by saying that the No. 18 car looked as though Kyle Busch was back behind the wheel.. No. 18. Joe Gibbs Racing


Power Rankings

#10. (Last Week: NR) – Brad had an uncharacteristically quiet race at Kansas.  Guess he was too busy tweeting pictures of the stormy-looking clouds.. No. 2. Team Penske. BRAD KESELOWSKI

#9. (Last Week: NR) – If anyone wanted to know what the largest number of cars one can pass in a 400-mile race was,  Joey showed them on Saturday night.  Pole winner Logano twice had to race his way to the front after costly pit penalties, and a fifth-place finish after all of this isn’t too bad.  . No. 22. Team Penske. JOEY LOGANO

Chip Ganassi Racing with Felix Sabates. JAMIE MCMURRAY. #8. (Last Week: 7) – Jamie must have put on his ruby slippers and tapped his heels together three times when saying, there’s no place like home, finishing 13<sup>th</sup> after a somewhat hot and cold race.  At times he was quick, at times he was not.. No. 1

No. 20. Joe Gibbs Racing. MATT KENSETH. #7. (Last Week: 8) – Matt must have given the script for how to criticize NASCAR on national TV to teammate Denny Hamlin this week, and Hamlin responded by giving Matt a spot on this week’s list.

No. 41. Stewart-Haas Racing. KURT BUSCH. #6. (Last Week: 3) – As we get to more and more 1.5 mile tracks, the success of this team since Kurt’s return should be proven not to be any fluke.  We’ve seen a well-behaved Busch before, though.  Hope it lasts.

Furniture Row Racing. MARTIN TRUEX, JR.. #5. (Last Week: 4) – Martin lead 95 laps on Saturday night, showing strength in the midst of their consistency this season.  One’s mind boggles at what might lie ahead.. No. 78

#4. (Last Week: 6) – He radioed that he was adjusting the track bar from as high to as low as it would go early on and couldn’t feel any difference in the car.  He must have had the crew do it the old-fashioned way, because he solidly came home fourth.. No. 24. Hendrick Motorsports. JEFF GORDON

#3. (Last Week: 5) – Did he or didn’t he turn the No. 48 onto the apron early in the race?  Crew chief Greg Ives clearly has received his copy of the HMS notebook for 1.5 mile tracks, though.. No. 88. Hendrick Motorsports. DALE EARNHARDT, JR.

KEVIN HARVICK. #2. (Last Week: 1) – He took one look at the Kansas trophy and realized that if Johnson wanted it so badly, he could have it.. No.4. Stewart-Haas Racing

JIMMIE JOHNSON. #1. (Last Week: 2) – About the only things on the planet more God-awful ugly than his race-winning trophy from Kansas are the new IndyCar aero kits. He paid respect to NASCAR and Kansas Speedway for sticking with it on Saturday and getting the whole race in.  He should have also thanked them for the extra caution lap added to the last yellow… ensuring he wouldn’t run out of fuel for choosing to stay out and not pit.. No. 48. Hendrick Motorsports

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

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