Power Rankings

Denny Hamlin and Jimmie Johnson

Jimmie Johnson and Denny Hamlin have both won six races this season and have combined to win the last eight races at Martinsville. (Photo: Getty Images)

Jimmie Johnson and Denny Hamlin are battling at the top of the points and the top of the power rankings heading into the sixth race of the Chase at Martinsville, where they have combined to win the last eight Cup races. Motor Racing Network's rankings are based on a combination of season-to-date loop data, season standings and staff selections by Jeff Wackerlin and Rachael West.

1. Jimmie Johnson: Johnson tops the rankings for another week after he showed his championship form at Charlotte. He managed to overcome a spin early in the race that caused damage to his No. 48, lead 15 laps and score a third-place finish, which gained him five points in the standings. He's now scored third or better in his last four races this season, and with a trip to Martinsville on the horizon, it doesn't appear that his success will fall off anytime soon. Johnson has finished in the top 10 in all but his first start at the track. He has six wins out of 17 starts, including five over the course of six races from 2006 to 2009.

Season-to-Date Driver Rating: 108.5
Point Standing: First
Last Week's Ranking:
First

2. Denny Hamlin: Like Johnson, Hamlin looked to be headed to a bad finish early at Charlotte after burning his tires while avoiding a spinning car. A resulting unexpected pit stop shuffled him towards the back of the field, but persistence paid off as he made it into the top 10 within the first 50 laps. His resulting fourth-place finish kept him in contention with Johnson. If anyone can challenge Johnson for some points at Martinsville, Hamlin may be the one. Over the last eight races at the track, he has been the only other driver besides Johnson to win, capturing three victories in his last five starts. He's also finished in the top 10 in all but one of his 10 starts there.

Season-to-Date Driver Rating: 94.9
Point Standing: Second
Last Week's Ranking: Sixth

3. Jamie McMurray: McMurray brought his career full circle with a victory Saturday at Charlotte. He duplicated his first Cup victory in 2002 for Chip Ganassi this weekend, as he earned his third win of the season at Charlotte. After starting 27th, McMurray worked his way up through the field with little adjustments having to be made on his pit stops. With a successful restart late in the race where he got around Kyle Busch, McMurray cruised to the win. He'll try to hold on to his newly gained 13th spot in the standings at Martinsville, where he's coming off a 30th-place finish this spring.

Season-to-Date Driver Rating: 87.8
Point Standing: 13th
Last Week's Ranking: N/R

4. Kyle Busch: Busch jumped back on to the rankings after a strong performance in Charlotte. He made it up to the front of the field from the sixth starting spot early in the race and rarely raced outside the top three for most of the following laps. Busch led a race high 217 laps en route to a runner-up place finish and emerged four spots higher in the standings as a result. He might have trouble keeping the progress going this weekend. He has finished outside the top 20 in four of his five starts with Joe Gibbs Racing at Martinsville.

Season-to-Date Driver Rating: 99.0
Point Standing: Fifth
Last Week's Ranking: N/R

5. Kevin Harvick: Harvick slipped to 77 points behind leader Johnson with an eighth-place finish at Charlotte. Despite starting 24th and battling a loose race car early in the race, he was able to capture his 21st top 10 of the season and first in a Charlotte points race since 2003. Harvick will try to overcome another troublesome track for him this weekend at Martinsville. He has yet to score a top-five finish in 18 starts there and has an average finish of 18.1 with seven top 10s.

Season-to-Date Driver Rating: 96.1
Point Standing: Third
Last Week's Ranking: Third

6. Jeff Gordon: Gordon saw a promising start turn into a disappointing finish at Charlotte. He earned the pole for the first time this season, led the opening seven laps and raced in the top 10 early on before being hit with an ignition issue. He wasn't able to gain back much of his lost track position and recorded a 23rd-place finish. Heading to Martinsville this weekend with a 156-point deficit on the leader, Gordon may be able to make up some ground. He has finished fifth or better in the last 11 races at the track and ninth or better in the last 15. Gordon has won seven races and holds a 6.7 average finish with 35 starts.

Season-to-Date Driver Rating: 102.4
Point Standing: Fourth
Last Week's Ranking: Fourth

7. Carl Edwards: Edwards holds on to his spot in the rankings after nursing his car to a 12th-place finish at Charlotte. He started on the front row for the race but struggled with handling during the night and had trouble even maintaining a spot in the top 15. Still, he walked out of there in seventh in the standings, 200 points behind the leader. Edwards will try to forget his Charlotte troubles and duplicate his spring Martinsville finish this weekend, as it was only one of three top-10 finishes for him at the track in 12 starts.

Season-to-Date Driver Rating: 89.6
Point Standing: Seventh
Last Week's Ranking: Seventh

8. Tony Stewart: Stewart's good fortune found at Auto Club, didn't carry over to Charlotte. He battled an ill-handling race car for much of Saturday night's race and never managed to break into the top 10. His 21st-place finish, as the last driver on the lead lap, dropped him in the rankings and also one spot in the standings. Stewart is coming off a similar finish at Martinsville earlier this year. His 26th-place finish this spring was his first outside the top 10 at the track since starting his own team.

Season-to-Date Driver Rating: 93.2
Point Standing: Sixth
Last Week's Ranking: Second

9. Mark Martin: Martin remains on the rankings for another week after showing some early success at Charlotte. He grabbed the fourth starting spot in qualifying and made it to the front of the pack by lap 77. But, trouble with the restarts kept him back in his charge and he ended up finishing 14th. Martin will hope to not see the same thing happen at Martinsville where he led 25 laps this spring before finishing 21st. In his first two starts there with Hendrick Motorsports last year, Martin finished in the top 10.

Season-to-Date Driver Rating: 81.3
Point Standing: 15th
Last Week's Ranking: Ninth

10. Greg Biffle: Biffle is back on the rankings after battling to a fifth-place finish at Charlotte. The race wasn't easy for him as he started 22nd and worked his way up twice from mid-field, but when the checkered flag dropped Biffle had grabbed two spots in the standings. He may be able to keep the momentum going with a return to Martinsville, where he scored his first top-10 finish since 2007 this spring.

Season-to-Date Driver Rating: 87.5
Point Standing: Eighth
Last Week's Ranking: N/R

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