By: Pete Pistone - @PPistone | MRN.com on August 20, 2013 | 8:11 A.M. EST
Kevin Harvick was able to move up the rankings with a second-place finish while Dale Earnhardt Jr. remains eighth after being knocked out of the race with a blown tire. (Photo: Alan Marler for Chevrolet)
His Michigan jinx continued Sunday with a blown engine in the Pure Michigan 400 but Jimmie Johnson still has enough to stay on top of the Power Rankings:
1. Jimmie Johnson: Went to a backup car after Saturday's Happy Hour crash and despite starting from the rear had strategized his way to the front of the field. It seemed like a perfect plan until Johnson's engine blew to send him home with a 40th place finish and another chapter in his book of Michigan nightmares.
Season-to-Date Driver Rating: 111.3
Point Standings: 1st
Previous Ranking: 1st
2. Kevin Harvick: I don't buy into that "Closer" cliche for Harvick but he did put on a charge in the closing stages Sunday at Michigan only to finish second to Joey Logano. It was the best finish of a pretty good day in the Irish Hills for the entire Richard Childress Racing team.
Season-to-Date Driver Rating: 93.1
Point Standings: 4th
Previous Ranking: 4th
3. Clint Bowyer: His day appeared over before it began when Bowyer spun on lap one. But he somehow managed to fight what at times looked like the worst handling car on the track to finish 5th and in the process took a pretty big bite out of Johnson's point lead.
Season-to-Date Driver Rating: 93.6
Point Standings: 2nd
Previous Ranking: 3rd
4. Kyle Busch: Maybe Busch was looking ahead to this week's trip to Bristol where he is so good but for whatever reason he had a miserable day in Michigan with a pair of spins. Not the way he'd hoped to follow up his Watkins Glen with by any means.
Season-to-Date Driver Rating: 102.9
Point Standings: 5th
Previous Ranking: 2nd
5. Kurt Busch: Started outside the front row and led a lot of laps before sliding in behind Logano and Harvick for a third place finish. Those waiting for Busch and the Furniture Row team to fade away may be in for a pretty long wait.
Season-to-Date Driver Rating: 94.5
Point Standings: 9th
Previous Ranking: 6th
6. Carl Edwards: He's on a pretty consistent finishing streak with a top 10 Sunday at Michigan. Still waiting for the No. 99 team to bust out one of these weeks and get into Victory Lane.
Season-to-Date Driver Rating: 93.0
Point Standings: 3rd
Previous Ranking: 7th
7. Matt Kenseth: Fought his way to the front and then the No. 20 Joe Gibbs Racing team tried a little pit strategy near the end of the Pure Michigan 400. Things didn't quite work out as intended and Kenseth crossed the finish line in 15th place.
Season-to-Date Driver Rating: 108.2
Point Standings: 6th
Previous Ranking: 5th
8. Dale Earnhardt Jr.: Sliding down the point standings at the worst time of the year after a tough day Sunday when despite a strong race car that was near the front of the field early wound up with a blown tire and trip into the wall.
Season-to-Date Driver Rating: 94.1
Point Standings: 7th
Previous Ranking: 8th
9. Brad Keselowski: The defending champion has 11 top 10 finishes including his home game outing at Michigan. He's in the Chase field for now but cannot afford any missteps in the next three weeks at Bristol, Atlanta and Richmond where odds are Keselowski will be strong.
Season-to-Date Driver Rating: 92.8
Point Standings: 8th
Previous Ranking: 9th
10. Kasey Kahne: Rebounded from last week's Watkins Glen disaster with a 7th place finish at Michigan, which was the best of the day for the snakebitten Hendrick Motorsports organization.
Season-to-Date Driver Rating: 100.9
Point Standings: 11th
Previous Ranking: 10th
Dropped out: None