By: Pete Pistone - @PPistone | MRN.com on April 1, 2014 | 7:46 A.M. EST
Dale Earnhardt Jr.'s run at Martinsville Speedway was good enough to keep him atop Pete Pistone's Power Rankings. (Photo: Getty Images)
Dale Earnhardt Jr. held serve this week in the STP 500 at Martinsville Speedway with a third-place finish to stay on top of this week's Power Rankings:
1. Dale Earnhardt Jr.: Started 26th and overcame a couple of adventures at Martinsville. Junior leads the point standings and also in top-five finishes.
Season-to-Date Driver Rating: 108.8
Point Standings: 1st
Previous Ranking: 1st
2. Jimmie Johnson: Led a race-high 296 laps but did not have enough to hold off a hard-charging Kurt Busch 11 laps from the finish and was forced to settle for second place at Martinsville. Still hasn't won but the No. 48 has been very fast the last few weeks.
Season-to-Date Driver Rating: 115.6
Point Standings: 5th
Previous Ranking: 6th
3. Matt Kenseth: Martinsville was perplexing for Kenseth during his Roush Fenway career, but that changed when he joined Joe Gibbs Racing. Led five times on Sunday and wound up finishing sixth in the STP 500.
Season-to-Date Driver Rating: 102.4
Point Standings: 2nd
Previous Ranking: 7th
4. Carl Edwards: Had a strong car and was challenging for the lead late in the race until he spun out. Edwards did his best to rally and was able to salvage a 13th-place finish.
Season-to-Date Driver Rating: 96.2
Point Standings: 3rd
Previous Ranking: 4th
5. Jeff Gordon: One of Martinsville's "Big Three" who didn't have the best day. A 12th-place finish for Gordon was terrible and it marked only the fourth time in his last 23 Martinsville starts he didn't wind up inside the first five.
Season-to-Date Driver Rating: 99.7
Point Standings: 4th
Previous Ranking: 5th
6. Kevin Harvick: Another week with a very fast car that Harvick had to rally back from adversity. He charged toward the front of the field to manage a seventh-place finish on a day that could have been much worse.
Season-to-Date Driver Rating: 101.4
Point Standings: 25th
Previous Ranking: 9th
7. Kurt Busch: Ran down the “Martinsville Master” Jimmie Johnson in the closing stages of the STP 500 and went by for the lead 11 laps from the finish to win. Busch started the year poorly but in recent weeks has shown the promise team co-owner Gene Haas saw when he brought him to the No. 41 ride.
Season-to-Date Driver Rating: 85.9
Point Standings: 20th
Previous Ranking: NR
8. Kyle Busch: The Auto Club Speedway winner started his weekend right with a pole-winning run in Martinsville. But the younger Busch brother wasn't much of a factor in race trim and came home 14th on Sunday.
Season-to-Date Driver Rating: 102.0
Point Standings: 6th
Previous Ranking: 3rd
9. Brad Keselowski: His celebrated incident on pit road with Kurt Busch and subsequent war of words made headlines in Martinsville. But at the end of the day, all Keselowski had to show for his efforts was a 38th-place finish and a badly damaged Miller Lite Ford.
Season-to-Date Driver Rating: 102.1
Point Standings: 7th
Previous Ranking: 2nd
10. Joey Logano: Had the best day of the Team Penske stable with 39 laps at the front of the field and a fourth-place finish. Logano and the Shell/Pennzoil No. 22 team look very much like a group ready to win in the next few weeks.
Season-to-Date Driver Rating: 104.0
Point Standings: 8th
Previous Ranking: 10th
Dropped Out: Kyle Larson