Magic Mile Power Rankings: Richmond
That's all she wrote on the regular season. With Brad Keselowski's win on Saturday night at Richmond International Raceway, Greg Biffle and Ryan Newman were the last two drivers to make the Chase, which enters the Challenger Round. It all begins Sunday at Chicagoland Speedway, where someone may punch their ticket into the next round.
But, where the regular season stops, the Magic Mile Power Rankings continue. His win on Saturday night certainly went a long way to moving him into the MMPR, but exactly how far did Keselowski climb? And was anyone able to eclipse Joey Logano for the top spot?
Win - 10 points
Top-5 - 5 points
Top-10 - 3 points
Most Laps Led - 2 points
Pole - 1 point
21-30 - Minus-1
31-40 - Minus-3
41-43 - Minus-5
*The most recent five races are counted.
Here's a look at the MMPR (last five weeks' point total in parentheses) heading into the first race in the Challenger Round at Chicagoland Speedway on Sunday:
1. Joey Logano (34 points) - He's been the most consistent driver over the last two months, chalked up a plethora of top-fives and 10s. The best advice for the 22 Team right now is to just keep doing what its doing and deep run is very much possible.
Previous ranking: First, --
2. Brad Keselowski (26 points) - Jumping from unranked to second, Keselowski is right where he belongs as he enters the Chase. The sexy favorite to win it all, Bad Brad and Sliced Bread have Penske delivering a nasty 1-2 punch at the top of the MMPR.
Previous ranking: NR
3. Jeff Gordon (25 points) - It's hard to believe that it's been 13 years since he won his last championship, but no driver has been more consistent or stronger than the 24 Team this season. Gordon has to be the favorite to capture his fifth championship.
Previous ranking: Fourth, +1
4. Kevin Harvick (23 points) - This is going to be one scary driver should the switch in pit crews pay off. Harvick should have another 3-4 wins this season had it not been for some ill-timed gaffes on pit road. That said, the 4 Team has speed every week and will be a threat for sure at Chicagoland to open the Chase, a track he has won at twice in 13 career starts.
Previous ranking: Third, -1
5. Jimmie Johnson (21 points) - He hasn't won a race since winning three of four midway through the season, but if he's in the Chase than he's got a shot to win it all. Now, let's just hope that cooler scooter loss to Jimmy Fallon on Wednesday night doesn't effect his mental makeup.
Previous ranking: Eighth, +3
6. Carl Edwards (17 points) - Cousin Carl is making the move to Joe Gibbs Racing in 2015, but after years of dedicated service with Roush Fenway, you know Edwards will put forth everything he has to leave RFR as a champion.
Previous ranking: Seventh, +1
7. A.J. Allmendinger (16 points) - Look, he's seventh because of his win at Watkins Glen five weeks ago. But that's just it. He won. Now, if the team can rally together and get him up front somehow, it would be a feather in this team's cap for him to get out of the Challenger Round - in fact, that would be a pretty big deal, indeed.
Previous ranking: Ninth, +2
8. Kurt Busch (16 points) - Busch has turned things around of late and should be considered a threat entering the Chase, especially in a format that emphasizes winning. The Outlaw can win anywhere and for that reason alone he shouldn't be counted out.
Previous ranking: NR
9. Kasey Kahne (15 points) - Well Dick Vitale didn't take Kahne at Wednesday's "Chase Across North America" media tour in Boston, but the 5 Team has to be happy with getting a win and being a contender in the Chase. And with New Hampshire on the docket, there's no reason Kahne can't punch his ticket to second round on Sept. 21.
Previous ranking: Sixth, -3
10. Jamie McMurray (13 points) - The only driver on this list that's not in the Chase, McMurray has been awesome of late. Should this team find more consistency and, more importantly, a win, this would be a dangerous driver come Chase time. Pencil him in as a Chase contender in 2015.
Previous ranking: NR
Wave Around: Clint Bowyer - He did everything he could to win that race on Saturday night, but in the end there was simply no catching Keselowski. But like Bowyer said, he only wants to make the Chase if they have a chance to win it all - and that simply wasn't the case this season.
*This list is comprised of drivers that compete in the Sprint Cup Series on full-time basis.