Magic Mile Power Rankings: Darlington
Darlington Raceway certainly wasn't too tough for Kevin Harvick to tame on Saturday night, as the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series veteran became the first driver to win two races this season. The No. 4 Budweiser Chevy was dominant , leading 238 of 374 laps en route to a dramatic finish that saw Harvick overcome Dale Earnhardt Jr. under a green-white-checkered finish.
Here's a look at the MMPR heading into Race 9 at Richmond International Raceway on Saturday, April 26:
1. Jeff Gordon - Mr. Consistency does it again. Gordon not only finished seventh at Darlington on Saturday night, but he added eight more laps led, giving him 1,744 in 34 starts at the "Lady in Black."
Previous ranking: First, --
2. Matt Kenseth - He already had two wins at this point last year, but Kenseth is actually off to a better start in 2014 (7.75 average finish) than in 2013 (14.25).
Previous ranking: Second, --
3. Kyle Larson - That's back-to-back top-10s for the rookie, who now has four top-10s in his last five starts. Kid is the real deal.
Previous ranking: Sixth, +3
4. Kyle Busch - The M&M's Toyota was never really a factor on Saturday night at Darlington, but when all was said and done there was the 18, crossing the finish line in sixth. A quiet, yet strong run for Rowdy.
Previous ranking: Fifth, +1
5. Dale Earnhardt Jr. - Had it not been for the last green-white-checkered finish, it likely would have been Junior earning his second win of the season instead of Happy Harvick.
Previous ranking: Seventh, +2
6. Jimmie Johnson - A three-time winner at the "Too Tough To Tame" track, Six-Time was there at the end, but once again didn't have enough to hold on for the win. Is it possible JJ won't win this year? Not likely.
Previous ranking: Ninth, +3
7. Carl Edwards - Three straight finishes outside of the top-10. And while they were respectable finishes (13th, 14th and 13th), one has to wonder if that win at Bristol is going to be a lot more important that it once seemed.
Previous ranking: Fourth, -3
8. Joey Logano - Tough to get too hung up on a 35th given how strong he's been all season. But it is his second finish outside the top 30 in the last four races.
Previous ranking: Third, -5
9. Kevin Harvick - The smart money would have been on any of the previous seven winners to get their second win of the season - other than Harvick, who prior to Darlington had finishes of 41st, 39th, 36th, seventh and 42nd since his win at Phoenix.
Previous ranking: NR
10. Tony Stewart - Smoke has been quietly consistent over the last five races. His ninth at Darlington was his fourth top-10 during that stretch.
Previous ranking: NR
Wave Around: Greg Biffle - Make it back-to-back top-10s for The Biff.
Out of MMPR: Brad Keselowski, Clint Bowyer.
Previous MMPR No. 1s
Week 1 - Dale Earnhardt Jr.
Week 2 - Dale Earnhardt Jr.
Week 3 - Dale Earnhardt Jr.
Week 4 - Brad Keselowski
Week 5 - Carl Edwards
Week 6 - Dale Earnhardt Jr.
Week 7 - Jeff Gordon
*This list is comprised of drivers that compete in the Sprint Cup Series on full-time basis.