Magic Mile Power Rankings: Kansas
Next Up: Coca-Cola 600 at Charlotte Motor Speedway
Jimmie Johnson is quietly having one of the best seasons of his career. His victory on Saturday night at Kansas Speedway was hardly a surprise given he's been dominant on the mile-and-a-half tracks in his career. But what is surprising is that Johnson is now on pace to equal the best season of his career when he won 10 races en route to the championship in 2007.
With three wins in the first 11 races this year, Johnson has re-established himself as the sport's top driver, even in spite of the great season defending champion Kevin Harvick is having. Johnson has five straight top-three finishes, including a pair of wins.
Those numbers are a guarantee for him to be atop the Magic Mile Power Rankings once again this week, but who's in the second spot: Junior or Happy?
Win: 10 points
Top-5: 5 points
Top-10: 3 points
Most Laps Led: 2 points
Pole: 1 point
*The most recent five races are counted.
(Last five weeks' point total in parentheses)
Here's a look at the MMPR heading into the 12th race of the season at Charlotte Motor Speedway on Sunday, May 24 in Concord, N.C.:
- Jimmie Johnson (37 points)-It's been a great month for Johnson, whose worst finish in the last five races is a third at Richmond. And with Charlotte (seven career wins) and Dover (nine career wins) next on the calendar, it's safe to assume the 48 will still be here in June, too.
Last week: First, --
- Dale Earnhardt Jr.(22 points) - Junior's third on Saturday night was his best Kansas finish since a second-place finish at the midwest speedway back in 2011. He definitely seems to be on the right track after a rough stretch at Phoenix (43rd) and Martinsville (36th).
Last week: Fourth, +2
- Kevin Harvick(17 points) - This guy is just ridiculous. In 11 races this year, Harvick has eight finishes of second or better. Yeah, you read that right. That 38th at Bristol is the only blip on an otherwise flawless radar.
Last week: Second, -1
- Kurt Busch(16 points) - Saturday night was a strong statement from Busch, whose best finish at Kansas in two starts last season was 42nd and 29th. In fact, Busch's eighth-place finish was just his fifth top-10 in 19 career starts.
Last week: Sixth, +2
- Martin Truex Jr.(15 points) - Only Harvick has as many top-10s this season as Truex, who led a race-high 95 laps on Saturday night before fading to a ninth-place finish.
Last week: Eighth, +3
- Matt Kenseth(15 points) - Kansas is a good track for Kenseth, who won back-to-back races there in 2012-13. His sixth-place finish on Saturday night was sixth finish of sixth or better in his last nine starts there.
Last week: Third, -3
- Jeff Gordon(14 points) - Gordon has turned an outside-the-top-10 qualifying position into a top-10 finish in four of his last five starts. The only time he didn't? When he won the pole at Talladega and finished 31st - the only reason he remains seventh on the MMPR.
Last week: Seventh, --
- Joey Logano (11 points)- Sliced Bread's last five finishes: fourth, 40th, fifth, 33rd, fifth.
Last week: 10th, +2
- Ryan Nemman (11 points)- His 12th-place finish at Texas was the worst of a stretch of five races that includes on one top-five.
Last week: NR
- Jamie McMurray(8 points) - Since a 40th at Atlanta in Week 2, McMurray's worst finish is a 21st at Fontana. A victory is the only thing keeping the NASCAR world from taking the 1 team seriously.
Last week: Ninth, -1
Wave Around: Aric Almirola - It's been kind of a ridiculous run for Almirola, who has yet to log a top-10 this season, yet has only one finish outside the top 20. His 11th-place finish on Saturday night was his third of the year.
*This list is comprised of drivers that compete in the Sprint Cup Series on full-time basis.