Magic Mile Power Rankings: Texas
No one doubted that the 22 had the best car down the stretch on Monday, but the entire team was put to the test during a late caution that provided a green-white-checker finish at Texas Motor Speedway. Logano, who restarted third, overcame a push by Jeff Gordon to win his first race of 2014 and likely earn a spot into the Chase for the Sprint Cup championship for a second consecutive season.
Here's a look at the MMPR heading into Race 8 at Darlington Raceway on Saturday night:
1. Jeff Gordon - The reality is that no one has been more consistent over the first seven weeks of the season than the 24. Gordon has just two finishes outside the top 10 all season (13th and 12th), and finished a very respectable runner-up to Joey Logano at Texas on Monday.
Previous ranking: Third, +2
2. Matt Kenseth - Another model of consistency and the epitome of what the MMPR is all about. Like Gordon, Kenseth has only two finishes outside the top 10 all year, and those too were 12th and 13th. How is it he hasn't found Victory Lane yet?
Previous ranking: Fourth, +2
3. Joey Logano - Sliced Bread was simply dominant on Monday, overcoming a late caution when he was just feet from the finish line to become the seventh different winner in the first seven races of the season. More importantly, it was Logano's fourth top-five of the season. That's good.
Previous ranking: Seventh, +4
4. Carl Edwards - It was a ho-hum day for Edwards, who was never really a fact en route to a 14th-place finish.
Previous ranking: Second, -2
5. Kyle Busch - This was a solid rebound race for Rowdy, who has been hot and cold all season.
Previous ranking: Ninth, +4
6. Kyle Larson - The rookie showed some incredible car control and a tremendous amount of confidence during the late stages of the race on Monday. And his budding rivalry with No. 5 on our list has all the makings of being simply amazing.
Previous ranking: 10th, +4
7. Dale Earnhardt Jr. - Granted, there wasn't much Junior could have done about his car bursting into flames seconds into Duck Commander 500, but a last-place is a last-place finish.
Previous ranking: First, -6
8. Brad Keselowski - The powerful air from the track dryer nearly crippled the No. 2 Miller Lite Ford before the race even started. But Keselowski ended up leading 85 laps before a 15th-place finish.
Previous ranking: Fifth, -3
9. Jimmie Johnson - He didn't lead a lap and he finished 25th. But it's Jimmie Johnson. Moving on.
Previous ranking: Sixth, -3
10. Clint Bowyer - Two straight top-10s for the 15. That's very promising for Bowyer, who's gotten off to a slow start.
Previous ranking: NR
Wave Around: Brian Vickers -He had a very strong car on Monday, earning just his second top-five since winning the 2013 Camping World RV Sales 301 at the Magic Mile.
Out of MMPR: Kurt Busch
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.
*This list is comprised of drivers that compete in the Sprint Cup Series on full-time basis.