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Power Rankings: Martinsville

10/21/2013

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.

New this week

David Ragan, Austin Dillon

Dropped out

Juan Pablo Montoya, Marcos Ambrose

Biggest mover

Jamie McMurray jumps four spots from 15th to 11th.

Biggest loser

Brad Keselowski falls four spots from 10th to 14th.

Also considered

Aric Almirola, Jeff Burton, Richard Brickhouse

1. Jimmie Johnson

We've seen this movie before, haven't we? The 48 takes the points lead at Talladega and now goes to Martinsville, where he's won more than anyone not named Richard Petty or Darrell Waltrip.

2. Matt Kenseth

Kenseth and Johnson did exactly what you want title contenders to do. They ran up front, they went for the win, and they openly expressed their irritation at those whom they felt weren't doing the same.

3. Kyle Busch

By my count it was seven F-bombs over the radio after he missed his pit stall early. I don't blame him. But he still recovered nicely to finish fifth and jump to third in points.

4. Jeff Gordon

I'm still waiting on Gordon to make his late-race push. So is he.

5. Kevin Harvick

What I just wrote about Gordon you can CTL+C into here, too. Happy leads Gordon in the points standings, but falls behind him here because Four-Time's career Martinsville stats are superior.

6. Dale Earnhardt Jr.

I was stunned by the number of people who griped to me about the field not racing back to the checkers on the final lap ... then I remembered who was running second.

7. Kurt Busch

Confession time. I didn't drop him as much as I should've because his Ricky Bobby Wonder Bread paint job was so awesome. By the way, he isn't as good at Martinsville as you probably assume he is.

8. Greg Biffle

After finishing a generic 11th, The Biff said avoiding the "big one" was "all I really care about." Good thing, because he just officially rode right out of title contention.

9. Ryan Newman

Newman scoring a top-10 at Talladega is like going to the dentist and being told he isn't pulling any teeth. In his past nine Martinsville visits he's scored six top-11 finishes, including a win in April 2012 ...

10. Clint Bowyer

... which was gifted to him when this guy tangled with the top two and opened the door. He's never won at Martinsville, but has nine top 10s in 15 starts and finished second back in April.

11. Jamie McMurray

I told you this battle for highest non-Chaser was a good one. Auburn scored two improbable wins over the weekend by beating Texas A&M on Saturday and riding on Jamie Mac's hood on Sunday.

12. Carl Edwards

Bad move: Bolted to the front too soon and was flushed back to 17th. Good move: Heard that Steve Byrnes was battling cancer and sent the FOX pit reporter the trophy from his Richmond win.

13. Joey Logano

Also made a move a little too soon, but if he'd gotten any help on the bottom he still could've started something. Alas, he did not.

14. Brad Keselowski

With 43 laps to go, running top-5, Kyle Busch looked in his rearview and was on the radio to his spotter telling him to remind Keselowski not to wreck him. Holy Bad Brad on the brain, Batman.

15. Martin Truex Jr.

Look on the bright side. Denver is a great place to visit and now you're going to get some really good deals on furniture.

16. Kasey Kahne

Got caught riding near the back and went a lap down. Then he was penalized for speeding on pit road. I wouldn't be surprised to learn his golf cart had a flat tire leaving the garage.

17. Paul Menard

The Hardware Man's four restrictor-plate finishes in 2013: 21st, 26th, 43rd ... and fourth.

18. Ricky Stenhouse Jr.

Good news? He finished third, his first top-5 in the Cup series. Bad news? His hook move off Turn 2 is what cost us a chance at a great finish.

19. David Ragan

If every race was at Talladega, he wouldn't be David Ragan, he'd be David Pearson.

20. Austin Dillon

Was running third in a plate race when his car did a pirouette in the air and slammed back down into a twisted pretzel, but he still drove it back to the garage. Sounds like a kid worthy of the 3 to me.