By: Pete Pistone - @PPistone | MRN.com on September 24, 2013 | 9:42 A.M. EST
Matt Kenseth became the third driver in Chase history to win the first two races of the post-season and remains firmly on top of the Power Rankings. (Photo: Getty Images)
Matt Kenseth became the third driver in Chase history to win the first two races of the post-season and remains firmly on top of the Power Rankings.
1. Matt Kenseth: Kenseth's seventh win of the season came at a track in New Hampshire where he's struggled in recent years. Now, he heads to Dover and Kansas over the next two weeks where the former series champion has been very successful throughout his Sprint Cup career.
Season-to-Date Driver Rating: 110.8
Point Standings: 1st
Previous Ranking: 1st
2. Kyle Busch: You can't blame Busch for feeling a little frustrated finding himself 14 points out of the Chase lead despite starting the playoffs with two straight runner-up finishes. But it's still an impressive start for the Joe Gibbs Racing driver.
Season-to-Date Driver Rating: 103.5
Point Standings: 2nd
Previous Ranking: 2nd
3. Jimmie Johnson: The consistency Johnson demonstrated during his run of five straight championships is again on display early in the 2013 Chase. He turned in an efficient effort Sunday at New Hampshire.
Season-to-Date Driver Rating: 105.5
Point Standings: 3rd
Previous Ranking: 5th
4. Kevin Harvick: Most thought the Richard Childress Racing driver would be much better than his 20th-place finish at New Hampshire, including Harvick himself. But the whole RCR organization struggled to find handling in Loudon.
Season-to-Date Driver Rating: 92.7
Point Standings: 6th
Previous Ranking: 3rd
5. Kurt Busch: It was a frustrating afternoon for Busch and the Furniture Row Racing team in New Hampshire, where a number of different adjustments were tried without success. Will need some magic for the fairy tale to continue the rest of the way.
Season-to-Date Driver Rating: 94.9
Point Standings: 7th
Previous Ranking: 4th
6. Carl Edwards: Good news for Edwards was a ninth-place finish in New Hampshire. The bad news? Despite being fourth in the championship standings, he's 36 points behind Kenseth.
Season-to-Date Driver Rating: 93.9
Point Standings: 4th
Previous Ranking: 6th
7. Jeff Gordon: Had at least a top-five car Sunday, but a mistake on pit road proved fatal to his chances for victory. Despite taking the blame, it doesn't help Gordon falling 42 points off the pace.
Season-to-Date Driver Rating: 90.2
Point Standings: 8th
Previous Ranking: 7th
8. Greg Biffle: One of Sunday's Loudon surprises, given Biffle's recent outings at "The Magic Mile." He turned in a very impressive third-place finish thanks to some very aggressive driving in the closing laps.
Season-to-Date Driver Rating: 83.3
Point Standings: 5th
Previous Ranking: N/R
9. Joey Logano: A 14th-place finish fell far short of what Logano needed to erase the hole he fell into after blowing an engine in the Chase opener at Chicagoland Speedway.
Season-to-Date Driver Rating: 89.6
Point Standings: 12th
Previous Ranking: 9th
10. Clint Bowyer: Found himself at the front of the field for several laps Sunday, but it disappeared quickly and Bowyer's tough weekend ended with a 17th-place finish and some less-than-encouraging words from sponsor 5-hour ENERGY.
Season-to-Date Driver Rating: 93.5
Point Standings: 10th
Previous Ranking: 10th
Dropped Out: Kasey Kahne