Shakeup in Power Rankings

Kurt Busch

Kurt Busch is one of two drivers back in Pete Pistone's Power Rankings this week. (Photo Getty Images)

Well that didn't take long. Only a week after getting knocked off the top spot, Jimmie Johnson moved back to the No. 1 position in this week's Power Rankings:

1. Jimmie Johnson: While some might think Johnson wins every week it's simply not true. His victory Saturday night in Daytona was just the fourth in 18 races this year, which is "only" a .222 average. Heck there are even some Cub players hitting higher (not many).

Season-to-Date Driver Rating: 115.7
Point Standings: 1st
Previous Ranking: 2nd 

2. Matt Kenseth: Came into Daytona with a lot of buzz and rightfully so after his Kentucky win the week before. He was one of the many crash victims in Saturday night's fireworks and wound up with yet another Daytona disappointment in 2013.

Season-to-Date Driver Rating: 112.3
Point Standings: 6th
Previous Ranking: 1st

3. Kevin Harvick: Consistency thy name is Harvick. He's only finished outside the first 15 once since the Daytona 500 and hammered down another top-five performance Saturday night.

Season-to-Date Driver Rating: 94.4
Point Standings: 4th
Previous Ranking: 3rd

4. Clint Bowyer: Bowyer was one of two Michael Waltrip Racing drivers in the top five at Daytona but didn't win over some fans after his "riding around" comment after the race. Although he's been more than consistent so far, a win - or two - would be nice for the 15 team.

Season-to-Date Driver Rating: 95.1
Point Standings: 2nd
Previous Ranking: 4th

5. Kyle Busch: Although his car looked like it had just won the World Figure-8 Championship at Islip, New York (moment of silence for "Wide World of Sports"), Busch somehow managed a 12th-place Daytona finish. And the good news is he didn't make any contact with Kasey Kahne.

Season-to-Date Driver Rating: 101.5
Point Standings: 7th
Previous Ranking: 5th

6. Carl Edwards: If it's not officially the dog days of summer it must sure feel like it around the Edwards camp. After some promising efforts things have really hit the doldrums of late and the 99 team does not have the look of a championship contender at this point of the season.

Season-to-Date Driver Rating: 92.3
Point Standings: 3rd
Previous Ranking: 6th

7. Kurt Busch: Powered his way into the rankings as well as the top 10 in the point standings with a sixth-place Daytona performance. Whether Busch and the Furniture Row team can make the Chase remains to be seen, but this has certainly been a fun story to watch through the first 18 races of the year.

Season-to-Date Driver Rating: 90.2
Point Standings: 9th
Previous Ranking: NR

8. Martin Truex Jr.: That Sonoma win must feel like an eternity ago for Truex. The Michael Waltrip Racing driver continued his free fall out of Chase contention with his early race Daytona wreck.

Season-to-Date Driver Rating: 95.1
Point Standings: 11th
Previous Ranking: 7th

9. Dale Earnhardt Jr.: A steady if not spectacular performance by Earnhardt in Daytona. He really needs to show a capability of contending for a win now and then and not simply finishing inside the top 10 every week, which is impressive but won't be enough to challenge for a crown.

Season-to-Date Driver Rating: 94.4
Point Standings: 5th
Previous Ranking: 9th

10. Tony Stewart: Back to being a force and came up only one spot short of a fifth Coke Zero 400 victory. Like everyone else, Stewart had nothing for Johnson Saturday night but the second-place finish was welcomed for the No. 14 team.

Season-to-Date Driver Rating: 75.0
Point Standings: 10th
Previous Ranking: NR

Dropped out: Joey Logano, Jeff Gordon

Photos

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