Magic Mile Power Rankings: Pocono
Next Up: Quicken Loans 400
at Michigan International Speedway
It's been a couple weeks since the last Magic Mile Power Rankings report, but what a week to come back. Martin Truex Jr. has finally found victory lane, and has officially stamped himself into a position to compete for the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series championship title this season.
Truex has been a dominating force of late, leading tons of laps and putting his name in a elite company for the Chase for the Sprint Cup championship.
With 13 top 10s in 14 starts this season, Truex is certainly among this year's serious title contenders. But was his win on Sunday at Pocono Raceway enough to vault him into the top spot in the Magic Mile Power Rankings or is Jimmie Johnson still occupying No. 1?
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 15th race of the season at Michigan International Speedway on Sunday, June 14 in Brooklyn, Mich.:
- Jimmie Johnson (27 points)-This has been one of Six-Time's best seasons, on pace for more top-fives and wins than in any other season in his illustrious career. He is also in the midst of one of his best-career stretches, with two wins, a second and a third in his last five starts. Only a 40th, at Charlotte believe it or not, is keeping his MMPR points total from reaching astronomical levels.
Last week: First, --
- Martin Truex Jr. (25 points) - Sunday's win was a feel-good moment for not only Truex, his family and friends, but NASCAR as a whole. With 454 laps led in his last four starts, none felt as sweet as the last one he led at Pocono, silencing critics who said he couldn't win. It's hard to find anyone better than this guy right now — even the man that sits above him here.
Last week: Second, --
- Dale Earnhardt Jr. (22 points) - His win at Talladega certainly keeps him in this lofty position, but Junior has been quite consistent of late, earning four top-fives in his last eight starts with no finish worse than 16th.
Last week: Third, --
- Kevin Harvick (21 points) - Another runner-up finish for Happy Harvick, who has finished outside the top 10 only once this season and is four top fives away from tying the 14 he hit last year — a season in which he won the championship.
Last week: Fourth, --
- Kurt Busch (15 points) - The elder Busch rebounded nicely after an uncharacteristically bad finish at Dover (31st) last week. His fifth-place finish on Sunday was his third top-five in his last four races at the Tricky Triangle.
Last week: Fifth, --
- Joey Logano (9 points)- The native of Middletown, Conn., has cooled off a bit after a red-hot start, but his fourth on Sunday at Pocono might be a sign of better days ahead.
Last week: Seventh, +1
- Jeff Gordon (9 points) - It's hard to believe that one year after a four-win season in 2014 Gordon is 14 races in without a victory this year. He has struggled in four of his last five starts, but a strong day at Michigan — a track he's won at three times and has a career average finish of 12.1 — could be the perfect spot for a turnaround.
Last week: Sixth, -1
- Ryan Nemman (9 points)- Looks like A.J. Allmendinger has one coming his way after a run-in with the Rocketman this weekend. Expect a bounce-back week for Newman, who hasn't had three straight finishes outside the top 10 since midway through last season.
Last week: Eighth, --
- Jamie McMurray (8 points) - With Truex cracking the win column, the attention now turns to McMurray as the next in a line of drivers that have been consistent enough to battle for a win at some point this season. McMurray, who has six top-10s this season, has led just 14 laps all season, so it's certainly going to take another gear, literally, for the 1 team to replicate his car number with a finish this year.
Last week: Ninth, --
- Matt Kenseth(8 points) - Maybe the most inconsistent driver of the 10 drivers who have now won races this season, Kenseth has as many finishes outside the top 25 as he does top-fives this year. He's been just good enough to lately to squeeze into here, though.
Last week: NR
Wave Around: Kyle Busch - It hasn't been an easy transition for Rowdy, but the younger Busch brother has come back strong and with a win and some solid racing can still sneak into the Chase.
*This list is comprised of drivers that compete in the Sprint Cup Series on full-time basis.