By: Pete Pistone - @PPistone | MRN.com on April 8, 2014 | 8:30 A.M. EST
Jeff Gordon nearly pulled off his first win of the season Monday in Texas but was still good enough to rise to the top of this week's Power Rankings. (Photo: Getty Images)
Jeff Gordon nearly pulled off his first win of the season Monday in Texas but was still good enough to rise to the top of this week's Power Rankings:
1. Jeff Gordon: Came up one spot short of win number one in 2014 but turned in a solid effort in Texas, the latest performance in what so far has been an impressive start to the campaign for Gordon.
Season-to-Date Driver Rating: 102.8
Point Standings: 1st
Previous Ranking: 5th
2. Matt Kenseth: Still searching for his first victory of the season after winning seven times a year ago. Kenseth had a decent day in Texas with a seventh-place finish.
Season-to-Date Driver Rating: 100.0
Point Standings: 2nd
Previous Ranking: 3rd
3. Joey Logano: Scored his fourth career Sprint Cup Series win in a dramatic fashion with a last lap pass in Texas after clearly having the strongest car in the race all afternoon.
Season-to-Date Driver Rating: 108.1
Point Standings: 4th
Previous Ranking: 10th
4. Kyle Busch: Had four fresh tires after the last pit stop and was in position to try and steal a second win of the year. But Busch could not get around the top two before the checkered flag flew and settled for third.
Season-to-Date Driver Rating: 103.6
Point Standings: 6th
Previous Ranking: 8th
5. Brad Keselowski: Started from the outside of the front row and ran behind Team Penske teammate Joey Logano until the last caution when a pit road speeding penalty ended any chance for Keselowski to become the season's first repeat winner.
Season-to-Date Driver Rating: 105.1
Point Standings: 8th
Previous Ranking: 9th
6. Carl Edwards: A 14th-place finish for Edwards on Monday in a pretty non-descript effort for the entire Roush Fenway Racing team.
Season-to-Date Driver Rating: 94.6
Point Standings: 3rd
Previous Ranking: 4th
7. Dale Earnhardt Jr.: Had his day come to a fiery end after clipping the infield grass and then slamming hard into the outside wall. Not a memorable return to Texas where he made Sprint Cup Series memories with his first career win back in 2000.
Season-to-Date Driver Rating: 97.3
Point Standings: 5th
Previous Ranking: 1st
8. Jimmie Johnson: A victim of circumstances when his car was damaged thanks to debris from teammate Dale Earnhardt Jr.'s run through the infield grass. As usual the 48 team somehow battled their way back from a giant hole to at least a smaller one on Monday.
Season-to-Date Driver Rating: 106.6
Point Standings: 7th
Previous Ranking: 2nd
9. Kyle Larson: Charged his way back into the rankings with a stellar run to a top five finish in Texas. Ran the high side about as good as anyone has in recent memory.
Season-to-Date Driver Rating: 77.8
Point Standings: 15th
Previous Ranking: NR
10. Paul Menard: Scored his fourth top-10 finish in his last five starts with another solid performance at Texas Motor Speedway.
Season-to-Date Driver Rating: 82.3
Point Standings: 10th
Previous Ranking: NR
Dropped Out: Kevin Harvick, Kurt Busch