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Magic Mile Power Rankings: Texas
Next Up: Food City 500 at Bristol Motor Speedway
With his win on Saturday night, Jimmie Johnson became only the third driver in the history of Texas Motor Speedway to win both the spring and fall races at the 1.5-mile oval.
More importantly, the 48 team is now a lock to make the Chase for the Sprint Cup championship, having now won two races this season. And while a six-time NASCAR champion should never have anything to prove, a win over the most dominant driver in the sport today - Kevin Harvick - was certainly a boost to the ego for Johnson and company.
Saturday night was also a good night for the likes of Jamie McMurray (9 laps led), Dale Earnhardt Jr. (third) and Martin Truex Jr. (seventh straight top-10). But were those strong runs good enough to push McMurray and Earnhardt into the Magic Mile Power Rankings, and how far did Truex climb the ladder?
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 seventh race of the season at Bristol Motor Speedway on Sunday in Bristol, Tenn.:
- Kevin Harvick (40 points) - Looks like that whole finishing outside the top two thing didn't last very long. Harvick led the second-most laps on Saturday night and might have had enough to catch Johnson if it were 350-lap race.
Last week: First, --
- Brad Keselowski (26 points)- Looks like the 2 team is starting to find its groove after a slow start to the season. A win, including three consecutive top-fives has Keselowski putting a little pressure on Harvick in the MMPR — but more importantly, the entire team looks like they're finding their championship form as it battled back once again from a penalty.
Last week: Second, --
- Joey Logano (20 points)- Two peas in a pod, Sliced Bread is a perfect complement to Bad Brad. The two drivers for Penske Racing are a well-oiled machine, are terrific at sharing information and are running on all cylinders, as Logano picked up his seventh straight top-10 to start the season.
Last week: Third, --
- Martin Truex Jr. (17 points) - One of only three drivers to start the season with a top-10 in every race, Truex's ninth-place finish on Saturday night at Texas was his first at the Fort Worth track since the 2013 spring race.
Last week: Fourth, --
- Kurt Busch (14 points) - A 14th-place finish this weekend was still good enough to move him up the MMPR, but it was probably, overall, a disappointing day for the 41 team, which started the race on the pole and led 45 laps - the third most of any driver.
Last week: Sixth, +1
- Ryan Newman (14 points) - The Rocketman drops down a spot in the standings a bit, but it says a lot that a 12th-place finish at Texas can be considered a bad day.
Last week: Fifth, -1
- Jeff Gordon (13 points) - The 24 team has got things going in the right direction now, following a seventh-place finish at Texas, Gordon's fourth straight top-10 after starting the season with finishes of 33rd, 41st and 18th.
Last week: 10th, +3
- Denny Hamlin (13 points) - The win in Martinsville before the break certainly was what the Joe Gibbs Racing stable needed, but Hamlin cooled off a bit, finishing 11th at Texas.
Last week: Seventh, -1
- Jamie McMurray (10 points) - What a moment that would have been for McMurray had he been able to take the checkers at Texas. So close for so long, McMurray faded in the closing laps, finishing a distant sixth in a race that looked like might be his for the taking before a late caution.
Last week: NR
- Kasey Kahne (8 points) - He hasn't finished worse than 17th all season, but it's still be a very quiet start for Kahne, who hasn't won a race in his last 18 starts.
Last week: Ninth, -1
Wave Around: Jimmie Johnson - It was an about-time moment for the 48 team on Saturday night, winning in the Lonestar State for the fifth time in his career. It's been a rough month, but this win - the team's second of the season - certainly has the ship righted.
*This list is comprised of drivers that compete in the Sprint Cup Series on full-time basis.