Magic Mile Power Rankings: Fontana
Last week it was a user error by the flagman that created controversy. This week, at Auto Club Speedway, tires were the talk of the town. But in the end it was Kyle Busch beating rookie Kyle Larson in a sprint to the finish line. The win makes Rowdy the fifth winner in five races and gives him inside position to the Chase for the Sprint Cup championship.
Here's a look at the MMPR heading into Race 6 at Martinsville Speedway on Sunday:
1. Carl Edwards - A win and a top-10 has Cousin Carl atop the MMPR for the first time this season. Edwards, who was solid on the short runs, moved up seven spots in the final 20 laps to finish 10th.
Previous ranking: Third, +2
2. Dale Earnhardt Jr. - Junior salvaged a good day after a tire went down early. But back-to-back weeks outside the top 10 has brought the 88 team back down to earth a bit after a strong start.
Previous ranking: Second, --
3. Brad Keselowski - Bad Brad also ran into tire trouble, but too late in the race for him to make up enough ground. It's the second consecutive week Mr. Twitter has finished outside the top 10 after beginning the season with a pair of thirds and a win at Las Vegas.
Previous ranking: First, -2
4. Jeff Gordon - The 24 team was victimized by a speeding penalty on pit road and a rough restart in the final laps. Other than that, Gordon was solid all day, leading on four different occasions for 23 laps.
Previous ranking: Fourth, --
5. Matt Kenseth - With a solid fourth at Auto Club, it's only a matter of time before last year's seven-time winner finds victory lane.
Previous ranking: Seventh, +2
6. Kyle Busch - No one is better in the sport when it comes to restarts, and Sunday was validation of that with Busch jumping out to a great start and holding off a rookie looking to make his mark.
Previous ranking: 10th, +4
7. Kyle Larson - Back-to-back strong finishes for Larson puts the rookie into the MMPR for the first time in his career. Larson has been a force the past two weeks and is on pace to become the first rookie to win a Cup race since Joey Logano at New Hampshire in 2009.
Previous ranking: NR
8. Joey Logano - It's been a couple of rough weeks for Logano, who has faltered after a strong start. Logano finished 39th on Sunday, his worst finish since a 40th at New Hampshire last July.
Previous ranking: Sixth, -2
9. Jimmie Johnson - One of many victimized by tire issues at Fontana, Johnson led a race-high 104 laps and was clearly one of the cars to beat before running into some bad luck.
Previous ranking: Sixth, -3
10. Ryan Newman - Another ho-hum day for Newman, who drops another three spots after a 20th-place finish.
Previous ranking: Seventh, -3
Wave Around: Kurt Busch - It was the best finish of the season, so far for Busch, who has struggled to find consistency in his first season with Stewart-Haas Racing. A third at Auto Club, though, was a step in the right direction.
Out of MMPR: Ricky Stenhouse Jr.
Previous MMPR No. 1s
Week 1 - Dale Earnhardt Jr.
Week 2 - Dale Earnhardt Jr.
Week 3 - Dale Earnhardt Jr.
Week 4 - Brad Keselowski
*This list is comprised of drivers that compete in the Sprint Cup Series on full-time basis.