By: Pete Pistone - @PPistone | MRN.com on June 21, 2011 | 1:46 P.M. EST
Kenseth has pushed his No. 17 Ford to the top of this week's Power Rankings. (Photo: Getty Images)
With three straight top-10 finishes, Roush Fenway Racing's Matt Kenseth leads the rankings going into Sunday's Toyota/Save Mart 350 at Infineon Raceway.
1. Matt Kenseth: The Roush Fenway Racing driver was right in the mix at Michigan International Speedway, as most expected, and came up only a few feet short of running down Denny Hamlin for win No. 3 of the season.
Season-to-Date Driver Rating: 96.0
Point Standing: Sixth
Last Week's Ranking: Second
2. Carl Edwards: If not for fuel strategy going out the window after a late-race caution jumbled things up at Michigan, Edwards was in the driver’s seat for another win. Remains on top of the point standings.
Season-to-Date Driver Rating: 104.2
Point Standing: First
Last Week's Ranking: Fourth
3. Kurt Busch: The Penske Racing pole roll continued with Busch winning his third in a row at Michigan and the fourth consecutive for the team. Rallied back to stay in the hunt with an 11th-place finish.
Season-to-Date Driver Rating: 94.3
Point Standing: Seventh
Last Week's Ranking: Fifth
4. Kyle Busch: A solid third-place finish at Michigan was made even more impressive after the unapproved oil pans put the Joe Gibbs Racing team at the center of controversy.
Season-to-Date Driver Rating: 111.1
Point Standing: Fourth
Last Week's Ranking: Eighth
5. Denny Hamlin: Broke down the door to Victory Lane for the first time this season and continued his mid-season turnaround with another march up the point standings - now sitting ninth.
Season-to-Date Driver Rating: 92.9
Point Standing: Ninth
Last Week's Ranking: Ninth
6. Kevin Harvick: Was not much of a factor in pursuit of a second straight Michigan win after his victory last August. More gambling may come from crew chief Gil Martin in the coming weeks with three wins already to the No. 29 team’s credit.
Season-to-Date Driver Rating: 92.3
Point Standing: Second
Last Week's Ranking: Third
7. Dale Earnhardt Jr.: Almost pulled off a victory at the site of his last Cup win nearly three years to the day, but misfortune in the late going and contact with teammate Mark Martin knocked Junior into the wall and to a 21st-place finish.
Season-to-Date Driver Rating: 89.6
Point Standing: Third
Last Week's Ranking: First
8. Jeff Gordon: Did not mount a challenge for the win at all Sunday at Michigan and turned in one of his most mediocre performances of the season, showing absolutely no momentum from his Pocono win.
Season-to-Date Driver Rating: 91.4
Point Standing: 12th
Last Week's Ranking: Seventh
9. Jimmie Johnson: Spun out all alone on lap eight and played catch-up all day to continue his career misery at Michigan, one of only four tracks where he has not scored a Sprint Cup Series win.
Season-to-Date Driver Rating: 95.1
Point Standing: Fifth
Last Week's Ranking: Sixth
10. Paul Menard: Back to showing some of the early-season form that made Menard one of the year’s surprises. Was on track to take a possible fuel-strategy route to his first Cup win until the late-race yellow flag.
Season-to-Date Driver Rating: 81.6
Point Standing: 16th
Last Week's Ranking: N/R
Dropped this week: Juan Pablo Montoya