CUP: Charlotte Power Rankings

Kevin Harvick came on strong at the end to win his second Coca-Cola 600 in the last three years, but it’s Jimmie Johnson who holds onto the top spot in the Power Rankings for this week.

This week’s list:

1. JIMMIE JOHNSON — After winning the Sprint All-Star Race, finishing 22nd in the Coca-Cola 600 was a huge disappointment for Johnson. Last week: 1.

2. MATT KENSETH — As usual, Kenseth led a bunch of laps, but he got caught up in a late-race crash and finished 15th. Last week: 2.

3. KASEY KAHNE — For most of the weekend, Kahne had the dominant car, finishing second for the third time this year on a 1.5-mile track. Last week: 6.

4. KEVIN HARVICK — Two wins in the last four races for the not-so-lame duck driver from Richard Childress Racing. Last week: 8.

5. CARL EDWARDS — Although he finished a respectable 11th, at no point was Edwards really a serious contender to win. Last week: 5.

6. CLINT BOWYER — Another top-10 finish for Bowyer, who is quietly putting together a very good season. Last week: 9.

7. DENNY HAMLIN — He was not the fastest of the Joe Gibbs Racing cars, but Hamlin finished better than both his teammates. Last week: 7.

8. DALE EARNHARDT JR. — What can you say? Earnhardt and Kyle Busch both blew up on the same lap, enduring ugly endings to their respective races. Last week: 4.

9. KURT BUSCH — From the time he rolled off the trailer Thursday, the elder Busch was bad fast all weekend long. Last week: 10.

10. KYLE BUSCH — Wow. An engine failure strikes Busch again, as he falls out of the top-10 in points. This could be a bad omen after a promising start to the season. Last week: 3.

11. MARTIN TRUEX JR. — With a ninth-place finish, Truex moved into the top 10 in points for the first time all season. Last week: 20.

12. JOEY LOGANO — Fifth place was a good night for Logano, who has the best average finish at CMS of any active driver. Last week: 11.

13. PAUL MENARD — A curious stat: Menard finished 13th in the race, but picked up three positions in the points. Last week: 19.

14. RYAN NEWMAN — A sixth-place finish was Newman’s best result since the season-opening Daytona 500. Last week: 15.

15. BRAD KESELOWSKI — Contact with Danica Patrick put Keselowski into the wall, en route to a 36th-place finish. Last week: 14.

16. JAMIE MCMURRAY — A top-20 finish for McMurray, but overall not a strong night for the driver. Last week: 16.

17. JEFF GORDON — The scariest impact of the night belonged to Gordon, who hit where there was no SAFER barrier. Last week: 12.

18. GREG BIFFLE — Tough night for Biffle, who wrecked in the engine oil let go by Earnhardt’s car. Last week: 13.

19. ARIC ALMIROLA — Contact with Mark Martin resulted in Almirola being involved in the same hard wreck that took Gordon out. Last week: 18.

20. TONY STEWART — The best finish of the season for Stewart, who finished seventh. Will he get hot soon? Last week: Unranked.

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