Magic Mile Power Rankings: Sonoma
Next Up: Coke Zero 400 at Daytona International Speedway
For the second straight race it was a Busch celebrating in victory lane, as Kyle picked up his first win of the season (he missed the first 11 races recovering from a broken leg) and is now officially in the hunt to make this year's NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Chase for the Championship.
It's going to take a a great effort from Rowdy, though, as he will need to average a finish of 14.1 in the last 10 races. His average finish this season, including the win Sunday at Sonoma Raceway, is 20.0.
Kyle has done the tough part - and that's win a race. Now he needs to stay hot and start checking off top-10 finishes from here on out. And while Kyle failed to make the Magic Mile Power Rankings this week, was his brother able to find a way past Martin Truex Jr. for the top spot?
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 17th race of the season at Daytona International Speedway on Sunday, July 5 in Daytona Beach, Fla.:
- Martin Truex Jr. (24 points) - You know things are going well for you when you can finish 42nd and stay on top of the MMPR. Truex had his worst finish of the season on Sunday at Sonoma, but every driver is entitled to one bad week.
Last week: First, --
- Kurt Busch (21 points) - While business and personal lives are better left a part, no one would have blamed Busch for having a down season with everything that transpired this offseason. But Busch has handled it as well as anyone could, and his on-track results have been downright amazing.
Last week: Third, +1
- Kevin Harvick(19 points) - After a 29th at Michigan, Happy rebounded with a fourth-place finish at Sonoma, a track he hasn't earned a top-five at since 2010. Do you get the feeling that sometimes he's just toying with everyone else?
Last week: Fourth, +1
- Jimmie Johnson (17 points)-The win at Kansas comes off the point total this week, which drops the six-time NASCAR Sprint Cup Series champion from second all the way down to ... well, fourth. Yeah, he's pretty good.
Last week: Second, -2
- Joey Logano (15 points)- Jimmie Johnson and Kevin Harvick have been the class of the season, so far. But don't forget about Sliced Bread, who ranks second with nine top-fives this season, including his first-ever top-five Cup finish at Sonoma this past weekend.
Last week: Fifth, --
- Dale Earnhardt Jr.(13 points) - Junior fans would probably like to see the 88 in victory lane more often, like the four times he was there last year; but with 10 top-10s, including eight top-fives, Earnhardt is on pace for the most consistent season of his career.
Last week: Sixth, --
- Clint Bowyer(10 points) - With three top-10s in his last four starts, Bowyer could be making a turn toward returning to the form that made him a championship-contender in 2012. His winless streak stands at 93.
Last week: NR
- Matt Kenseth(10 points) - A 21st at Sonoma actually wasn't bad considering he hasn't scored a top-10 there since 2008.
Last week: Seventh, -1
- Kasey Kahne(9 points) - The 5 Team is showing signs of life, but it's going to take a victory before he's taken serious as a Chase contender.
Last week: NR
- Jamie McMurray(9 points) - This is the weekend that the 1 Team officially makes its mark on the season. Daytona is a prime spot for this restrictor-plate guru to find victory lane.
Last week: Ninth, -1
Wave Around: Sam Hornish Jr. - It's been a tough return season for Hornish, but a top-10 at Sonoma is certainly a step in the right direction.
*This list is comprised of drivers that compete in the Sprint Cup Series on full-time basis.