News & Media

Power Rankings: Stewart uses win for big gains

June 05, 2013, Pat DeCola,

Stewart rides victory to Chase spot, solid standing in Power Rankings

Driver                    Change            High/Low            Last race


1. Jimmie Johnson       

Outlook: The Dover restart. It’s certainly something that’s going to be talked about for ages. Johnson’s extraordinary feat of falling a lap down and recovering to lead the race and seemingly have the win in hand before being black-flagged. For Johnson, it hurts. But probably a little bit less, knowing he still has a firm hold on the points lead.
1st, 473 points

2. Carl Edwards          

Outlook: As disappointing as Johnson’s Dover day was, Edwards was probably just as equally upset, if not more. The Monster Mile is one of his best race tracks, and with many of the race’s heavyweights cleared (Kenseth, Hamlin, Kahne, Truex) Edwards missed a supreme chance for a victory.
2nd, 443 points

3. Matt Kenseth            

Outlook: Just imagine a 2013 season in which Matt Kenseth isn’t prone to blown engines. Just imagine the points lead he could have by now. Yikes.
Standings: 4th, 399 points

4. Clint Bowyer           

Outlook: Again, Bowyer hasn’t made the headlines with any wins this season. And he’s still in third place. Assuming his time will come this summer, it’s time to start fully considering last season’s runner-up as a legitimate threat.
3rd, 423 points

5. Kevin Harvick         

Outlook: Harvick ran a really solid, complete race on Sunday and continues to nestle himself into a comfortable position in the Chase run. He might struggle to keep it going at Pocono, where he’ll be looking for his first win in 25 starts there.
5th, 399 points


6. Kyle Busch             

Outlook: The Toyota Racing Development engine bug still irked Kyle Busch at Dover and will continue to be a storyline as the days get longer and temperatures go up over the summer. That being said, a fourth-place finish for Rowdy was a nice recovery week for him.
8th, 374 points

7. Kasey Kahne               

Outlook: Kahne, who appeared to have one of the better cars on the track at Dover, just seemed to lose grip and spun out to all but end his day. Instead of potentially moving up to fourth in the standings, he dropped to seventh.
7th, 392 points

8. Brad Keselowski     

Outlook: Sure, it could have been worse, but with the news of his six-point penalty, Keselowski has now lost a total of 31 points this season. Without the penalties, he'd be in fourth place.
10th, 369 points

9. Dale Earnhardt Jr.      

Outlook: Earnhardt has yet to win since his 2012 victory at Michigan. If he wants to avoid going a whole year without a victory, he’d better hope to perform at Pocono, as Michigan is the week after. Don’t count on it, though. Junior has no wins at the Tricky Triangle in 26 tries.
6th, 398 points

10. Jeff Gordon               

Outlook: Talk about veteran savvy. When Gordon opted for track position at Dover, it showed why he’s one of the best at reading situations and making the right decisions. Needless to say, it worked.
11th, 361 points

11. Martin Truex Jr.             

Outlook: Truex was really, really excited about his Dover prospects. After all, it is the site of his only career Sprint Cup victory. As you might imagine, he was pretty let down by this.
14th, 343 points

12. Tony Stewart               

Outlook: Despite all of his (and his team’s) early season struggles, we all knew it was just a matter of time before Stewart found himself back in Victory Lane. It took 13 races, and it may be just the beginning.
16th, 338 points

13. Kurt Busch                

Outlook: After topping the final Sprint Cup practice, Busch had to like his chances entering Sunday’s race. He even led eight laps and had one of the better cars out there. Safe to say he wasn’t totally pleased with his 12th-place finish.
17th, 337 points

14. Joey Logano               

Outlook: The reigning Pocono winner, Logano will look to make some serious moves this weekend. Throw in his current hot streak (discounting his slight issue last weekend) and Logano could be an excellent dark horse to win this race again.
Standings: 18th, 335 points

15. Paul Menard            

Outlook: The ground is caving in underneath Menard, who has held a Chase spot after every race since Las Vegas but is slipping. It can’t be understated how far a win would stretch for him. With just two top-10s in 12 races at Pocono, don’t count on it coming this week.
9th, 371 points

16. Greg Biffle             

Outlook: Like Menard, Biffle finds himself on thin ice. With six consecutive finishes outside of the top 10, he’ll need to make an impact soon. Very soon.
Standings: 13th, 353 points

17. Denny Hamlin             

Outlook: With two consecutive poles in check, Hamlin’s Chase chances began to look like a no-brainer. And then this happened. Thirty-fourth-place finishes certainly won’t go a long way in making up ground from those four races he missed due to injury.
26th, 249 points

18. Aric Almirola            

Outlook: Almirola’s place in the standings was unchanged from last week, but he handed over his Chase spot to Tony Stewart after Smoke’s big victory. Ask yourself this question: which driver has a better chance of winning one of the remaining races, Almirola or Stewart? Thought so.
12th, 354 points

19. Juan Pablo Montoya     

Outlook: After his second-place-showing at Dover, that’s four top-10s in six races for Montoya. And people are starting to notice. If he can pull off an oval win and succeed in the road courses, Montoya might be sticking around for a playoff run.
22nd, 307 points

20. Ryan Newman          

Outlook: It’s unclear what Newman was thinking when he ended his and David Gilliland’s days by wrecking them both. Luckily, he can make up some ground at Pocono where he has one win and 10 top-10 finishes in 22 starts.
20th, 323 points

In the rearview

Note: These rankings have been determined by a poll that included writers Kenny BruceHolly Cain, David Caraviello and Zack Albert, and video host Alan Cavanna.