Power Rankings: Bowyer Closes on Johnson

Clint Bowyer

Clint Bowyer gained the most ground in this week's Power Rankings, climbing two spots to third after his Watkins Glen run. (Photo: Getty Images)

Jimmie Johnson stayed on top, but there was some movement among the top 10 after Sunday's Cheez-It 355 at Watkins Glen International.

1. Jimmie Johnson: Be honest, how many times did you hear Johnson's name mentioned during Sunday's race at The Glen?  He was invisible all day long yet somehow managed to finish eighth and clinch a Chase spot with four races left in the regular season.

Season-to-Date Driver Rating: 113.7
Point Standings: 1st
Previous Ranking: 1st

 

2. Kyle Busch: Erased the bitter memories of recent Watkins Glen disappointments with a stirring win Sunday to move near the top of the Chase seedings with his third win of the season.  With Bristol and Richmond on the horizon, don't be surprised to see another one of those cool burnouts again before the playoffs begin.

Season-to-Date Driver Rating: 104.2
Point Standings: 5th
Previous Ranking: 2nd

3. Clint Bowyer: He continues to excel on road courses, posting a sixth-place finish at The Glen.  He brings a pretty solid track record into Michigan this weekend with five consecutive top-10 finishes there.

Season-to-Date Driver Rating: 93.9
Point Standings: 2nd
Previous Ranking: 5th

4. Kevin Harvick: The "Dog Days" of summer are starting to catch up with Harvick and the "29" crew with a mediocre 13th-place performance at The Glen.  He's been no better than in the teens in his last three starts.

Season-to-Date Driver Rating: 92.0
Point Standings: 4th
Previous Ranking: 3rd

5. Matt Kenseth: The hot start to the season has definitely changed course for Kenseth, who was caught up in and triggered wrecks on Sunday at Watkins Glen.  The Joe Gibbs Racing driver is stuck in a summer funk that has seen finishes of 19th, 22nd and Sunday's 23rd as the norm.

Season-to-Date Driver Rating: 108.6
Point Standings: 7th
Previous Ranking: 4th

6. Kurt Busch: Another top 10 Sunday pulled Busch within two points of an automatic Chase berth.  He slapped the barrier in a late-race charge that may have cost him an even better finish than his ninth-place effort.

Season-to-Date Driver Rating: 93.2
Point Standings: 11th
Previous Ranking: 6th

7. Carl Edwards: He remains closer to the top of the standings than the bottom despite still not finding Victory Lane since early in the season.  He had a top-10 performance at The Glen and looks to flex his Michigan muscle Sunday in the Irish Hills, where he's only finished outside the top 10 four times in 18 career starts.

Season-to-Date Driver Rating: 92.7
Point Standings: 3rd
Previous Ranking: 7th

8. Dale Earnhardt Jr.: Not much you can say about what happened to Earnhardt at The Glen except wrong place at the wrong time.  While "Junior" didn't have what looked to be a car capable of winning Sunday, he more than likely could have finished better than 30th until the crash with teammate Kasey Kahne.

Season-to-Date Driver Rating: 94.4
Point Standings: 6th
Previous Ranking: 8th

9. Brad Keselowski: Things have been much better for the defending champion in three of the last four weeks, including his runner-up run to Kyle Busch on Sunday at The Glen.  Momentum is on Keselowski's side.  Although he's busted his way into the top 10, Keselowski needs a win in a bad way.

Season-to-Date Driver Rating: 91.9
Point Standings: 8th
Previous Ranking: N/R

 

10. Kasey Kahne: He was on top of the world after his Pocono win a week ago.  Unfortunately, he found himself at the bottom of the scrap heap after a hard crash Sunday.

Season-to-Date Driver Rating: 101.2
Point Standings: 12th
Previous Ranking: 10th

Dropped out: Tony Stewart

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