Tony Stewart held off Jimmie Johnson to win Sunday’s Kobalt Tools 400 at Las Vegas Motor Speedway, but it’s Greg Biffle who moves to the top of this week’s FOXSports.com/SPEED.com Power Rankings.
This week’s list:
1. GREG BIFFLE — Although he’s yet to win a race this season, Biffle has finished third in all three races to date, showing impressive speed and consistency. Last week: 4th.
2. KEVIN HARVICK — Truthfully, Harvick’s 11th-place run at Las Vegas was somewhat disappointing, but he’s still second in points. Last week: 3rd.
3. JIMMIE JOHNSON — Forget Johnson’s 23rd-place ranking in the Sprint Cup standings. He was second at Vegas after finishing fourth the previous week at Phoenix. Last week: 5th.
4. TONY STEWART — Stewart’s victory was the earliest he’s ever won a Cup race in the season. That could be bad news for the competition. Last week: 15th.
5. DENNY HAMLIN — After his stirring victory at Phoenix last week, Hamlin was bog slow all weekend, finishing a disappointing 20th at Las Vegas. Last week: 1st.
6. DALE EARNHARDT JR. — Junior led 70 laps at Vegas, 18 more laps than he led in the entire 2011 season. And yet he finished 10th. Last week: 6th.
7. MATT KENSETH — The Daytona 500 winner got wrecked late in the race after contact with his teammate, Carl Edwards, dropping him to 22nd in the final rundown. Last week: 2nd.
8. CARL EDWARDS — Yes, Edwards finished fifth at Las Vegas, his season’s best result. But he won this race in 2011 and was never a threat this time around. Last week: 12th.
9. RYAN NEWMAN — A fourth-place finish by Newman made it two SHR cars in the top five. Last week: 20th.
10. MARTIN TRUEX JR. — Meh. Truex finished 17th at Vegas but he’s 8th in points. Last week: 7th.
11. PAUL MENARD — An excellent seventh-place in Las Vegas means Menardigras is back, at least for this week. Last week: 18th.
12. MARK MARTIN — The ageless one drew the ire of Dale Earnhardt Jr., who put him into the wall. Last week: 10th.
13. KYLE BUSCH — It was a lousy weekend for Busch, who bounced off the wall en route to a 23rd-place finish. Last week: 8th.
14. CLINT BOWYER — A great sixth-place finish for Bowyer in the MWR Toyota. Last week: 19th.
15. JOEY LOGANO — A 16th-place run by Logano was the best of the three JGR Toyotas, not a happy situation. Last week: 9th.
16. JEFF BURTON — Just an OK day for Burton, who finished 14th in Las Vegas. Last week: 13th.
17. JEFF GORDON — Original four-time was bad most of the weekend, but salvaged a 12th-place finish, Last week: 16th.
18. BOBBY LABONTE — After an excellent start to the season, Labonte slumped to 26th at Vegas. Last week: 14th.
19. MARCOS AMBROSE — The affable Aussie came home 13th in Vegas, a solid effort. Last week: Unranked.
20. BRAD KESELOWSKI — The Blue Deuce was fast, but fuel pressure woes ruined the day for both Penske Dodges. Last week: 11th.
Tom Jensen is the Editor in Chief of SPEED.com, Senior NASCAR Editor at RACER and a contributing Editor for TruckSeries.com. You can follow him online at twitter.com/tomjensen100.