Commentary

Power Rankings: Kentucky

Updated: June 26, 2014, 12:30 PM ET
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. 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.

Biggest Mover

Carl Edwards jumps 10 spots, from 14th to fourth.

Biggest Loser

Kyle Busch falls seven spots, from 10th to 17th.

New This Week

Austin Dillon, Marcos Ambrose

Dropped Out

Brian Vickers, AJ Allmendinger

Also Considered

Casey Mears, Martin Truex Jr., Dan Gurney

1. Jimmie Johnson

This weekend you will hear a lot about the three drivers who have won the three previous Cup races at Kentucky, but it's this non-winner who owns the best driver rating, with a whopping 125.9.

2. Dale Earnhardt Jr.

Last week I was asked via Twitter if Dale Jr. would score a top-10 at Sonoma and I said it wasn't likely. I was sort of right. He didn't score a top-10. He scored a top-5.

3. Jeff Gordon

Even when his career was stuck in its rare low points, Gordon could always count on a great finish at Sonoma. Quietly, he's also been good at Kentucky, where he is 3-for-3 with top-10 finishes.

4. Carl Edwards

Wait ... so Roush Fenway Racing looked totally lost at Michigan and then put two cars in the top 10 on a road course? Have we gone through the looking glass?

5. Brad Keselowski

I bet dude never eats M&M's.

6. Joey Logano

The Sliced Bread Scream Machine roller coaster rolls on! His last eleven finishes: first, 35th, first, 32nd, fourth, 12th, eighth, 40th, ninth and 16th. Wheeeeee!

7. Matt Kenseth

Kenseth is one of our three Kentucky winners and owns the best average finish of all drivers (4.7). As he was airborne and upside down in the tire barrier I bet he was already typing "Sparta, Kentucky" into his GPS.

8. Kevin Harvick

It's as simple as this. Until they get their pit crew stuff fixed, it's hard to take this team seriously as a title contender.

9. Clint Bowyer

Another top-10, still needs a win.

10. Ryan Newman

Let me repeat: Another top-10, still needs a win. I'm sorry ... what was that? He finished 11th? Well, still, you get the idea.

11. Denny Hamlin

Another week, another time when I sit here, look at this team, and say, "What exactly do we have here?"

12. Kyle Larson

This guy running the K&N race on Saturday was like letting Mike Trout play in my daughter's YMCA coach pitch baseball league.

13. Kasey Kahne

For what it's worth, when I had a casual conversation with some Hendrick Motorsports brass about the rumors that Kahne was going to be booted, they did a spit take and started laughing hysterically.

14. Paul Menard

Over the last five races, Menard ranks seventh in average finish (10.6), eighth in points scored (167), and only one driver, Jimmie Johnson, has scored more top-10s. Just saying ...

15. Greg Biffle

You can CTL+C that comment in the Carl Edwards post and slap it right in here, too.

16. Jamie McMurray

So, last week I made a smart aleck comment about not putting Jamie Mac on your Sonoma fantasy roster. He finished second at Kentucky one year ago, so ... you're on your own this week, fantasy folks.

17. Kyle Busch

He has a win. That's good. He's one of our three Kentucky winners. Also good. But over the last four races he's posted an average finish of 30th and has fallen from third to 11th in points. That's awful.

18. Tony Stewart

I'm looking at the thermometer in my truck and it tells me that summer has heated up plenty. So, Smoke, the ball's in your court.

19. Austin Dillon

In 2012, Cowboy Hat Jones grabbed his first Nationwide Series wins, both at Kentucky. The Cup rookie has hovered in the 15th-to-20th range all year. Might another bluegrass breakthrough be at hand?

20. Marcos Ambrose

Don't buy in when he plays it cool about finishing eighth at Sonoma. He's crushed. Expect him to come to Watkins Glen with a front bumper taken from the team's 18-wheeler.

Ryan McGee | email

ESPN The Magazine, NASCAR

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