Sunday, August 4, 2013
Updated: August 5, 11:41 AM ET
Sprint Cup Power Rankings: The Glen
By Ryan McGee
ESPN The Magazine
Each week of the Sprint Cup season, ESPN The Magazine's Ryan McGee ranks the top 20 drivers in the series. Last week's rankings are in parentheses, as are the top-10s.
Don't agree with McGee's list? Let him -- and the rest of the world -- know in the conversation section at the bottom of the page. But remember, make your mama proud.
New this week
Mark Martin, Marcos Ambrose
Paul Menard, Juan Pablo Montoya
Kasey Kahne jumps three spots from fifth to second.
Martin Truex Jr. falls four spots from 10th to 14th.
No. 1. Jimmie Johnson
I was standing in the garage waiting on him to pull in. His busted-up ride rolled up, taped together, and I assumed he'd finished 25th, where he'd been running ever since wrecking. He finished 13th.
No. 2. Kasey Kahne
His second win of the year all but guarantees a postseason spot, even though he's eighth in points. Other guys have two or more wins. But other than Johnson, isn't this the guy you'd want on your team?
No. 3. Kyle Busch
He's up to sixth in points now, well into the top eight that his older brother says "is all set for the Chase." He also has seven top-10s in eight career starts at Watkins Glen, including a win in '08.
No. 4. Matt Kenseth
Yes, he has four wins and 11 top-10s. But his average finish in those other 10 races is 25th. And, oh by the way, he finished eighth at Watkins Glen one year ago, but it was his first Glen top-10 in eight years.
No. 5. Kevin Harvick
Happy's hit-or-miss at The Glen, with six top-10s in a dozen starts. Heads up: My man Marty Smith did a ridiculous interview with Harvick that will air during this week's "NASCAR Countdown."
No. 6. Dale Earnhardt Jr.
Still needs a win.
No. 7. Clint Bowyer
So does he.
No. 8. Tony Stewart
He has a win. He also has some momentum going. In the garage on Sunday he shook his head and said to me, "If the dummy driver doesn't speed on pit road we might've won that deal."
No. 9. Carl Edwards
Speaking of pit road speeding penalties, Cuz had one, too. He used to be a top-10 machine at The Glen, but his past two finishes were 12th and 14th. But he did finish third at Sonoma earlier this summer.
No. 10. Ryan Newman
I asked him what it tasted like to kiss Indy's famous yard of bricks. He said, "I stuck my tongue out and everything. It tasted like bricks."
No. 11. Jeff Gordon
He was trying to play it cool in his postrace interview. He said "I'm happy with second," and "I'm happy for Kasey," and "I'm happy to move up to ninth in points" ... but he wasn't actually happy.
No. 12. Kurt Busch
How totally wacky is this year's points battle? Busch finished 14th at Indy and stayed 14th in points. He finished third at Pocono and moved up ... to 13th. "Man," he said Sunday, laughing. "This is hard."
No. 13. Greg Biffle
The Biff didn't earn a top-2 finish like he did in June, but he did earn his first top-10 in five races. By the way, the previous top-10 before that came on the last road course we ran.
No. 14. Martin Truex Jr.
On Sunday a big dude dressed head to toe in NAPA Racing apparel screamed at me and Marty Smith. He was so drunk all he could get out was, "Martin Trucks is gonna win! Trucks is the man!"
No. 15. Brad Keselowski
On Saturday afternoon he won as a Truck series team owner. That night he won as a Nationwide Series driver. On Sunday he earned just his second top-10 of the summer. Good times.
No. 16. Joey Logano
If every race was at Pocono then JoLo would be Jimmie Johnson. Did I copy and paste that sentence from last week and merely change the first half of it? Yes, yes I did.
No. 17. Jamie McMurray
Do yourself a favor: Go to ESPN Radio's PodCenter and listen to Jamie Mac on last week's "Marty & McGee." If you aren't a fan of his already, you will be.
No. 18. Aric Almirola
Confession time. I had a little too good of a time Saturday afternoon on Lake Harmony. Sunday morning I walked in the 43 hauler and stole some Goody's Cool Orange headache powder. Totally worked.
No. 19. Mark Martin
Martin is the career leader in nearly every category at Pocono Raceway. That's fitting. He helped to first navigate this land alongside William Penn's family in the 1700s.
No. 20. Marcos Ambrose
I'm not saying Ambrose is going to make the Chase. I don't think he will. But he's quietly running better, he's seven points outside the top 20 and he could drive Watkins Glen wearing a ski mask backward.