CUP: Texas Power Rankings

Kyle Busch swept the weekend at Texas Motor Speedway, winning one pole and leading the most laps twice in winning two races. It was an impressive display that lands him the No. 1 spot in the Power Rankings for the first time this season.

This week’s list:

1. KYLE BUSCH — After two bad races to open the season, Rowdy has two victories and five consecutive top-five finishes in his last five races, plus four NASCAR Nationwide Series victories in just six starts. He is red hot and dangerous. Last week: 3.

2. JIMMIE JOHNSON — Five-time finished sixth at Texas after winning and finishing second in the two races here last year. But he still has the points lead. And he’s still Jimmie Johnson. Last week: 1.

3. CARL EDWARDS — Early in the race, Edwards thought his engine was blowing up, then he had issues with a bad set of tires. Yet he still finished fourth. Last week: 8.

4. BRAD KESELOWSKI — Looks like the reigning champ and NASCAR are going to have another pointed meeting of the minds after Keselowski blew up during post-race. Trouble could follow, especially if crew chief Paul Wolfe gets suspended. Last week: 4.

5. GREG BIFFLE — Like his teammate Edwards, Biffle was invisible for much of the race and suddenly wound up with an outstanding top-five finish thanks to a late charge. Last week: 7.

6. KASEY KAHNE — Frankly, 11th was a disappointing showing for Kahne, who typically excels at 1.5-mile race tracks. But he was off almost all weekend. Last week: 2.

7. DALE EARNHARDT JR. — A disastrous outing for Earnhardt thanks to a battery failure and a horrible screw-up on pit road. Next week will be gut check time for the 88 crew. Last week: 5.

8. CLINT BOWYER — Not a great night for Bowyer, who finished 15th. Another expected contender who simply wasn’t fast in the race. Last week: 6.

9. MATT KENSETH — Twelfth might not sound bad — and it really isn’t — but Kenseth’s finish was the worst of the three Joe Gibbs Racing Toyotas. Last week: 9.

10. JOEY LOGANO — Logano’s car wasn’t even through tech when the order came to fire the engines, yet somehow he rallied to finish third. Amazing. Last week: 13.

11. KEVIN HARVICK — Stop me if you’ve heard this before: Seven races into his final season with Richard Childress Racing and Harvick has just one top 10 to his credit. Last week: 14.

12. PAUL MENARD — Another mediocre run for Menard, but he held onto a top-10 spot in points despite finishing 17th. Last week: 10.

13. ARIC ALMIROLA — From the first practice, Almirola looked good all weekend, ending the race in an excellent seventh. Last week: 18.

14. JEFF GORDON — A failed left-front hub late in the race dropped Gordon from third to 38th, a huge hit in points. Oof. Last week: 11.

15. JAMIE MCMURRAY — Meh. Sixteenth for McMurray, as the Earnhardt Ganassi Racing Chevys continue to struggle. Last week: 12.

16. KURT BUSCH — Fast all weekend, as he has been for most of the year, Busch was undone by fuel system issues. Last week: 15.

17. MARTIN TRUEX JR. — Bummed that he didn’t win after leading almost as many laps as Kyle Busch, Truex saw his car fail post-race inspection. Last week: 17.

18. RYAN NEWMAN. — Tenth was best in class among the Stewart-Haas Racing Chevrolets. Not an encouraging sign. Last week: Unranked.

19. TONY STEWART — Another rotten day for Stewart, who finished 21st. Last week: 17.

20. BRIAN VICKERS — In his first Cup race in the Joe Gibbs Racing No. 11, Vickers finished a more-than-respectable eighth. Last week: Unranked.