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Power Rankings After ISM Raceway

Driver Ratings

Who else but Kevin Harvick after three straight wins could be on top of this week’s edition of Pete Pistone’s Power Rankings.

1. Kevin Harvick – Don’t make Harvick angry is the best advice for the rest of the Cup garage after he stormed to win number three in a row on Sunday. He has won nine Cup races at ISM Raceway and has a winning average of .750 over the first four races of 2018. He’ll try to make it four straight Sunday at Auto Club Speedway and the way he’s going it’s going to be hard to bet against Harvick right now.

Driver Rating: 127.2
Point Standings: 1st
Previous Ranking: 1st

2. Martin Truex Jr. – The defending champion has shaken off his Daytona 500 disappointment with a string of solid outings including another one Sunday in Phoenix. Truex Jr. has finished third and fifth in his last two Phoenix races, something to keep in mind when the series returns there in November.

Driver Rating: 103.6
Point Standings: 3rd
Previous Ranking: 4th

3. Kyle Busch – He led a race-high 138 laps on Sunday but even that strong effort wasn’t enough to get anything but a second-place finish behind Kevin Harvick. Busch is starting to become frustrated even after putting three top-10 runs up in the opening quartet of races.

Driver Rating: 101.8
Point Standings: 2nd
Previous Ranking: 10th

4. Denny Hamlin – He was mixing it up at the front of the field in the late going but just didn’t have enough to challenge for the win. Still Hamlin scored another top five and has finished there three times in the season’s first four races.

Driver Rating: 98.1
Point Standings: 6th
Previous Ranking: 6th

5. Brad Keselowski – His weekend started strong with a strategic win in Saturday’s Xfinity Series race. However, Sunday’s main event didn’t have the same feel and although he did improve 10 spots from his 25th place qualifying effort Keselowski’s overall performance was lackluster by his standards.

Driver Rating: 96.2
Point Standings: 7th
Previous Ranking: 2nd

6. Aric Almirola – The first four races of Almirola’s new career at Stewart-Haas Racing have gone great. Chalk up another good run for the No. 10 car Sunday in Phoenix as Almirola brought home a second straight top-10 finish.

Driver Rating: 84.7
Point Standings: 9th
Previous Ranking: 7th

7. Ryan Blaney – He wasn’t able to keep up the early season magic and his day was symptomatic of the overall performance from Team Penske in Phoenix. Blaney could never mount a serious charge to move up to the front of the pack and stayed stuck in the middle of the field most afternoon.

Driver Rating: 98.7
Point Standings: 5th
Previous Ranking: 5th

8. Joey Logano – A Phoenix winner back in 2016, Logano didn’t make a run at another trip to Victory Lane Sunday. Although he qualified very well with a fifth-place effort, Logano faded back as the race wore on and took the checkered flag mired back in the 19th spot.

Driver Rating: 96.4
Point Standings: 4th
Previous Ranking: 3rd

9. Kyle Larson – Got off to a good start in Phoenix from his outside front row starting spot and had the lead for 58 laps. But Larson spun out later in the race and could rebound before finally settling for a very disappointing 18th-place finish.

Driver Rating: 88.9
Point Standings: 8th
Previous Ranking: 9th

10. Clint Bowyer – He continued his early season surge with a very nice Phoenix performance. Bowyer started 19th on Sunday and moved up 12 spots to take the checkered flag sixth as one of all four Stewart-Haas Racing drivers in the top-10.

Driver Rating: 88.8
Point Standings: 10th
Previous Ranking: NR

Dropped Out: Paul Menard