Joey Logano’s Win Puts Him in Chase Contention and This Week’s Power Rankings

Joey Logano proved his doubters wrong this weekend at Pocono Raceway by winning his second career Sprint Cup race. On his radio he told his team after he took the checkered flag that it was nice to “win one the right way,” referring to his first career win that was rain shortened.

Now Logano is added to the list of names who is in contention for winning one of the two wild-card spots for this year’s chase. Currently he is tied for the last spot with Ryan Newman who also has one win this season. Let’s see where Logano ends up in this week’s power rankings.

1. Jimmie Johnson- The five-time champ overcame two pit road speeding penalties in four laps to finish in fourth place. Quite an effort from Johnson that went under the radar during the race. Johnson should be thankful that the race was at Pocono this weekend and not Bristol where two pit road penalties would have ruined his day. He still remains the hottest driver right now and will be looking to get his first career victory at Michigan this weekend. Last week: 1

2. Matt Kenseth- He had one of the four cars that looked like could win. It was a typical Kenseth day as he was not flashy and hung around in the top five for most of the day and was threatening for the win. He wound up finishing 7th and is new points leader by 10 points. Last week: 2

3. Dale Earnhardt Jr.- It finally looked like Junior was going to ended his long winless streak at the Tricky Triangle. At times he was over three tenths of a second faster than the rest of field but had to pit late because he didn’t have enough fuel to make it to the end. This weekend Earnhardt will return to the track where he got his only win at Hendrick Motorsports back in 2008. Last week: 4

4. Greg Biffle- The former point leader has struggled the past two weeks and seems to have lost something in his cars. He held the lead briefly at Pocono after some strategy, but besides for that he was in the teens for most of the race. Michigan will be a good sign to see where Biffle and his team are performance-wise. Last week: 3

5. Denny Hamlin- A fifth place finish was nice for Hamlin, but I’m sure he is wishing that the track wasn’t repaved. Heading to Michigan this week I’m sure Hamlin is thinking the same thing since he won there last year. Last week: 8

6. Brad Keselowski- The Blue Deuce had a disappointing finish of 18th after winning the race last year. This race seemed to be perfect for Keselowski and crew chief Paul Wolfe who thrive on strategy races. He returns home this weekend where he looks to collect his third win of the season. Still, he moves up in this week’s ranking due to the lack luster performances by the people around him. Last week: 7

7. Martin Truex Jr.- His whole right side got torn off on lap 1 yet he was able to collect a top-20 finish. Quite an impressive job by that team to get him out while only losing a lap to keep him in contention. His early season success seems to be fading off, but gutsy performances like this might be enough to keep him in the chase. Last week: 6

8. Kasey Kahne- He made an interesting move around the halfway point in the race dive-bombing Hamlin into turn three body-slamming him in the process. This led to his cut tire that ended his day. Now with the Logano win, Kahne needs to make sure that these type of performances stop and needs to be more careful as we enter the end stretch of the regular season. Last week: 5

9. Kevin Harvick- Was he even at Pocono this weekend? He was…news to me. Apparently he finished 14th after starting 21st. His performance, like all of RCR, needs to step up or he will remain winless this season. Last week: 10

10. Joey Logano- Sliced Bread finally got that elusive first Sprint Cup win that wasn’t rain shortened. This isn’t a fluke for Logano as he has been running well as of late, collecting three top 10 finishes in the past six races. Now he is a serious contender to make his first ever chase. Last week: NR

11. Clint Bowyer- For some reason he has not come into the power rankings the past few weeks even though he has scored the fourth most points in the last six races. Bowyer has been steady the past month and a half and is slowly but surely making himself safely inside the top 10 in points. Last week: NR

12. Mark Martin- He may be a part-time driver this year, but he needs to be mentioned in this week’s rankings. This season Martin has been stellar in every race he has been in which makes me wonder if he reconsiders not running for the championship this year. He almost got his first win at Pocono, but had to settle for his seventh career second place finish at the Tricky Triangle. Last week: NR

 

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