By: Pete Pistone - @PPistone | MRN.com on April 15, 2014 | 7:46 A.M. EST
Kevin Harvick climbs to No. 1 in Pete Pistone's Power Rankings after not being in the top 10 the previous week. (Photo: Getty Images)
Kevin Harvick's second win of the Sprint Cup Series season Saturday night at Darlington rocketed the Stewart-Haas Racing driver to the No. 1 position in this week's Power Rankings:
1. Kevin Harvick: He becomes the first repeat winner in 2014 and scored his first career Darlington win. He dominated but still had to work overtime to win the Southern 500.
Season-to-Date Driver Rating: 100.1
Point Standings: 22nd
Previous Ranking: NR
2. Jeff Gordon: Make that six top-10 finishes this year for Gordon, who remains atop the point standings. Didn't appear to have anything for Harvick, but you have to wonder if poor restarts will continue to haunt the No. 24 team.
Season-to-Date Driver Rating: 105.0
Point Standings: 1st
Previous Ranking: 1st
3. Dale Earnhardt Jr.: Came one position short of a Southern 500 victory, but it was a heck of a rebound from his last-place finish at Texas.
Season-to-Date Driver Rating: 100.2
Point Standings: 4th
Previous Ranking: 7th
4. Matt Kenseth: The defending Darlington race winner wasn't terrible by any means but did not put on a charge for a repeat victory. Kenseth did match his season-high finish with a fourth.
Season-to-Date Driver Rating: 101.7
Point Standings: 2nd
Previous Ranking: 2nd
5. Jimmie Johnson: Terrible early in the race by Jimmie Johnson standards, the six-time champ rebounded nicely in the second half and was in contention for his first win of the season before settling for third after a two-tire call.
Season-to-Date Driver Rating: 106.0
Point Standings: 5th
Previous Ranking: 8th
6. Kyle Busch: Not a bad night at Darlington for Busch, who dominated the previous night's Nationwide Series race but had nothing to show for it. Busch continues to be consistent in Cup with another top-10 finish.
Season-to-Date Driver Rating: 103.8
Point Standings: 6th
Previous Ranking: 4th
7. Carl Edwards: He remains third in the point standings, but the Darlington effort was another so-so performance.
Season-to-Date Driver Rating: 91.4
Point Standings: 3rd
Previous Ranking: 6th
8. Joey Logano: Continued his amazing streak of qualifying performances by starting second in Darlington, but mechanical issues forced Logano out of the race late and home with a 35th-place finish.
Season-to-Date Driver Rating: 105.2
Point Standings: 8th
Previous Ranking: 3rd
9. Brad Keselowski: Surprisingly not competitive in Darlington with only a 17th-place finish to show for the effort and setting the stage for a disappointing night for Team Penske.
Season-to-Date Driver Rating: 104.5
Point Standings: 7th
Previous Ranking: 5th
10. Kyle Larson: The weekend started poorly when Larson wrecked his primary car in practice, but he steered his back-up to a top-10 Southern 500 finish.
Season-to-Date Driver Rating: 78.3
Point Standings: 14th
Previous Ranking: 9th
Dropped Out: Paul Menard