Three Weeks, 3 Different Faces at the Top [NASCAR Power Rankings}
Johnson came to Phoenix with a mission to stink up the show and win the race. Early on it looked like he was going to do just that. However, as the race went on, other drivers caught up to him by adjusting on their race cars. But at the end of the day, he still came home in 4th place. Boy did the 48 team ever need that after the disaster that was Speedweeks 2012!
9. Kyle Busch (+8):
Shrub finished 6th at Phoenix, a much better outcome than the Daytona 500 for him. He led, and was always a threat to win until the very end when 2 guys ran away from the field. I have to give Kyle credit, that suspension and sponsor loss at the end of last year has seemed to wake him up, at least for the start of 2012.
8. Mark Martin (+2):
The Old Man and Sliced Bread finished 9th and 10th at Daytona. This week, they did it again, but in reverse. Martin finished 9th after winning the pole. He's showing that he's still capable of running up front and winning races. Don't be surprised if later this year, we have to say "Harry Gant, move over."
7. Joey Logano (+2):
This boy keeps improving. Now in his 4th full season in the Cup Series, Joey is able to finally pull his own beer bottle in the Bud Shootout, and is also starting off the season very consistently. I wouldn't be one bit shocked to see him win a race or two this year that goes the full distance.
6. Martin Truex Jr. (+6):
Truex is quietly off to a very good start. He was out front again at Phoenix, and had a very solid day, finishing 7th for Michael Waltrip. Aside from Bowyer's miserable day, MWR has started off very well in the first 2 races. Truex hasn't won since the 8th grade picnic, but could get back to victory lane at some point this year.
5. Dale Earnhardt Jr. (-3):
Junior and Kenseth finished right behind each other once again at Phoenix. But this time it wasn't 1-2, it was 13-14. He said he felt he had a 15th place car...pretty much spot on. Hey Junior, can I have the winning numbers for Tuesday's Mega Million?
4. Matt Kenseth (-3):
Kenseth did lead at Phoenix, but never had a car capable of winning. As a result of finishing 13th and 14th, he and Junior fell to 4th and 5th in the standings this week. As a result of that 3 position drop, they drop 3 spots in this week's rankings to 4th and 5th...I wish ranking the drivers was always this easy.
3. Kevin Harvick (+4):
He almost had it. Happy couldn't help but laugh when he was taking his helmet off on pit road. It was almost Mr. "Where did he come from" once again, but instead if was Mr. "Where did he go." He tried, oh did he try, but that gas tank just needed one more ounce of fuel. Harvick ran out coming to the white flag, but he still managed to have such a huge lead over everyone else that he held on to 2nd place.
2. Greg Biffle (+1):
2 races, 2 3rd place finishes, and 2nd in points. You can't be much more consistent than that to start the season. The Biff has started off exceptionally well, and if he keeps this up, he'll not only be a contender for some wins, he'll be a legitimate threat in the Chase. It's a long season, but it's good to see a guy you know is good back at the top.
1. Denny Hamlin (+3):
The only way to eclipse Biffle atop the rankings after 2 weeks? Lead the most laps at Daytona and finish 4th, and win at Phoenix after Harvick tried like hell to get there. That's what Hamlin did, and he finds himself the points leader after 2 races.
Can Hamlin make it 2 in a row? Will the Roushketeers reclaim their throne at Vegas? Can Tony Stewart get back into the rankings where we all know he belongs? We'll find out those answers from Lady Luck this weekend!
Until next time I'm Bryan Kramer for The Blitzburgh Pit Stop saying Lady Luck, PLEASE let the dice stay hot in Vegas!
BK over and out