CUP: Bristol Power Rankings

Brad Keselowski waged a stirring duel with Matt Kenseth to win the Food City 500 at Bristol Motor Speedway, but it’s Greg Biffle who holds on to the top of this week’s Power Rankings.

This week’s list:

1. GREG BIFFLE — OK, Biffle’s 13th-place finish at Bristol was mediocre, especially after qualifying on the pole. The problem is none of his nearest competitors did much, either. Last week: 1st.

2. MATT KENSETH — The 2003 Cup champion moves up to second in the Power Rankings on the basis of his runner-up finish at Bristol. Last week: 7th.

3. KEVIN HARVICK — An 11th-place finish was better than Harvick ran most of the day, but that’s how championships are made. Last week: 2nd.

4. MARTIN TRUEX JR. — A season’s best third-place finish for Truex, as all three Michael Waltrip Racing cars finish in the top five. Last week: 10th.

5. JIMMIE JOHNSON — Truthfully, Johnson wasn’t especially impressive in finishing eighth at Bristol, a track where he had one victory and three finishes of fourth or better in the prior four races. Last week: 3rd.

6. BRAD KESELOWSKI — A dominant victory for Keselowski, who now has won back-to-back races at Bristol. Last week: 20th.

7. BRIAN VICKERS — In his only race so far this year, Vickers led one-fourth of the laps and finished fifth at a track where he’d never even cracked the top 10 before. Last week: Unranked.

8. DENNY HAMLIN — Another disappointing day for Hamlin, with a second consecutive 20th-place finish. Plus loses points for poorly executed pre-race “Dougie.” Last week: 5th.

9. DALE EARNHARDT JR. — Earnhardt had a fast car, but made contact with teammate Jeff Gordon, putting him in wall, and got caught speeding on pit road, finishing 15th. Duoh! Last week: 6th.

10. CLINT BOWYER — A great fourth-place finish for Bowyer, hot on the heels of a sixth-place run a week earlier. Things are looking up at MWR. Last week: 14th.

11. TONY STEWART — A tough day for Stewart, who gutted out a 14th-place finish after getting punted. Last week: 4th.

12. JOEY LOGANO — For the second race in a row, Logano’s 16th-place finish was best in class among the Joe Gibbs Racing Toyotas. Last week: 15th.

13. PAUL MENARD — Seventh at Vegas and 10th at Bristol. Is it Menardigras time already? Last week: 11th.

14. RYAN NEWMAN — A decent 12th-place finish for Newman, who hung tough most of the afternoon. Last week: 9th.

15. JEFF BURTON — Although he tailed off just a little late, Burton had a strong sixth-place finish. Last week: 16th.

16. CARL EDWARDS — Bummer of a day for Edwards who got taken out in the early race Kasey Kahne crash and finished 39th. Last week: 8th.

17. KYLE BUSCH — Another victim of the Kahne crash, Busch managed to log some laps and finish 32nd. Last week: 13th.

18. JEFF GORDON — Wrecked by his own teammate, Gordon had the kind of day that gives car owners ulcers. Last week: 17th.

19. JUAN PABLO MONTOYA — No jet dryers were harmed in Montoya’s season’s-best eighth-place finish. Last week: 18th.

20. JAMIE MCMURRAY — A great day overall for Earnhardt Ganassi Racing with Felix Sabates, as McMurray finishes a strong seventh. Last week: 20th.

Tom Jensen is the Editor in Chief of, Senior NASCAR Editor at RACER and a contributing Editor for You can follow him online at