Power Rankings: Axalta “We Paint Winners” 400 From Pocono


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The FedEx 400 from Dover is behind us and the Sprint Cup series now moves to the first of two stops at Pocono Raceway. With this come the Power Rankings for the Axalta “We Paint Winners” 400.

Has anyone else noticed that the resurgence of Joe Gibbs’ Racing seemed to coincide with Kyle Busch’s return to competition? Will they be able to close the deal this week? All four drivers practiced, qualified and ran very well at Dover, only to each have disappointing finishes.

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New (or returning) to the list this week:  18, 48

Dropping off the list this week:  19, 20

Honorable Mention

No. 5. Hendrick Motorsports. KASEY KAHNE. HM. (Last Week: NR) – Pit strategy to take just two tires on his last stop put him in position to contend for the win. Up to that point, he was a mid-teens car all day.

HM. (Last Week: NR) – Nice job of not taking more than what the car was giving at each segment of the race. Fortunately, the crew got it right on his last stop and he made the most of it, spending the last 30 or so laps flirting with the top 10.. No. 55. Michael Waltrip Racing. DAVID RAGAN

Power Rankings

#10. (Last Week: NR) – Kyle spent most of his day in the top 5 and certainly looked strong. One wondered if he could perhaps pull off a win.  Brian Scott’s spotter made sure that he didn’t get a chance.. No. 18. Joe Gibbs Racing. KYLE BUSCH

#9. (Last Week: 8) – Denny won’t forget that Bowyer sent him around and out-of-shape at the end. Payback won’t take long. Anyone who has had an eye exam can relate to the doctor asking, “which is better – 1 or 2?” Denny will ask himself the same question about where at Pocono to exact revenge on the No. 15, only the choices will be, “which is better – turn 2 or turn 3?”. No. 11. Joe Gibbs Racing. DENNY HAMLIN

#8. (Last Week: 4) – It’s no fun when you wreck. It’s even less fun when you get taken out from behind when you just about had the spinning car cleared.. No. 41. Stewart-Haas Racing. KURT BUSCH

#7. (Last Week: 9) – In and out of the bottom half of the top 10 all day. Moves up a couple of spots due to some misfortune from those above him last week.. No. 22. Team Penske. JOEY LOGANO

BRAD KESELOWSKI. #6. (Last Week: 7) – Same as Logano, but you and your team seemed to make the car better as the day went on.  You were ahead of Joey last week, so no reason to change that now.. No. 2. Team Penske

DALE EARNHARDT, JR.. #5. (Last Week: 3) – Solid day.  Moved up nicely after starting in the back for changing a rear gear after Saturday’s practice.  Got knocked down a bit again after a lap 249 speeding penalty coming into the pits, but moved up again after that until the end.. No. 88. Hendrick Motorsports

(Last Week: NR) – Whatever.. No. 48. Hendrick Motorsports. JIMMIE JOHNSON. #4

(Last Week: 6) – I’ll acknowledge the strong finishes by Larson and Almirola, but need to see consistency from them, and the No. 20 and No. 41 who were ahead of you last week each had trouble. By default, you’re #3!. No. 24. Hendrick Motorsports. JEFF GORDON. #3

#2. (Last Week: 2) – Should have knocked Kahne through the turn 1 wall for killing your mo getting into turn 1 on the GWC restart. Let’s see some RCR horsepower and your best flat-track chassis next week.. No. 78. Furniture Row Racing. MARTIN TRUEX, JR.

(Last Week: 1) – Ran in the top five (and usually the top three) all day again. Might have done more (if that’s possible) if the track bar hadn’t have been stuck in position.. No.4. Stewart-Haas Racing. KEVIN HARVICK. #1

Did your favorite driver make the list this week? Why or why not, in your opinion? Discuss below!

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