Dustin Long: No stopping Jimmie Johnson as he takes the Kentucky rankings crown

Kentucky Power Rankings
This year, the talk about the NASCAR Sprint Cup race at Kentucky Speedway was about what happened on the track and not the traffic outside it.
Brad Keselowski?s series-high third win of the year vaulted him up in the Power Rankings, but it will take more for him to ascend to the top spot:
1. Jimmie Johnson
2012 wins: 2
2012 Top-10s: 13
Nobody can unseat Johnson atop the Power Rankings. His sixth-place showing on Saturday was his fifth-consecutive finish of sixth or better. No Cup driver has more than three consecutive top-10s as the series heads to Daytona this weekend.
2. Dale Earnhardt, Jr.
2012 Wins: 1
2012 Top-10s: 13

Rebounded from his Sonoma misfortune by finishing fourth. He’s placed in the top 10 in five of the last six races, but that doesn’t satisfy him. “We’re just ready to win,” he said. “I really had fun winning the other week, so I’m ready to get back to Victory Lane.”
3. Brad Keselowski
2012 Wins: 3
2012 Top-10s: 7
Scored his series-high third victory of the year Saturday at Kentucky Speedway. Won in a backup car after he bounced it off the wall in practice. Said Keselowski: “I want to be the guy with the most wins and inside the top 10, and I want to look forward to making sure that we stay inside the top 10, and hopefully can climb up a few more spots to be safe [for the Chase].”
4. Matt Kenseth
2012 Wins: 1
2012 Top-10s: 12
Kenseth’s seventh-place finish continues his streak of finishing 13th or better in every race since March. Consistency will be a key in the Chase, but he also needs to be out front more. Kenseth has led only 30 laps in the last seven races. Still, a lot of drivers would like to have the run he’s had the last few months and be leading the points.
5. Denny Hamlin
2012 Wins: 2
2012 Top-10s: 9
It was announced before the Kentucky race that he had signed a contract extension with Joe Gibbs Racing. He followed that with a third-place finish. That showing followed two DNFs (34th at Michigan and 35th at Sonoma). Now he just needs to add some consistency. Hamlin hasn’t put together more than two consecutive top-10 finishes this season. Needs to show he can do that to be a true title threat.
6. Tony Stewart
2012 Wins: 2

2012 Top-10s: 8
There’s little middle ground with Stewart. Since Richmond he’s finished third, 24th, third, 25th, 25th, third, second, second and 32nd at Kentucky. Back and forth his finishes swing like a pendulum. Will it be feast or famine for him at Daytona?
7. Clint Bowyer
2012 Wins: 1
2012 Top-10s: 9
Victim of the contact between Ryan Newman and Joey Logano on Saturday that forced him to pit under green. Recovered to finish 16th a week after his Sonoma win. Tweeted Bowyer about the race: “Well damn, not what we wanted but extremely lucky to go 2 laps down and get back on lead lap to finish 16th. Guys did good fixing her up!”
8. Greg Biffle
2012 Wins: 1
2012 Top-10: 10
His 21st-place finish marked the second time in the last four races he’s finished outside the top 20. Those are the only times he’s placed outside the top 20 this season.
9. Jeff Gordon
2012 Wins: 0
2012 Top-10s: 6
He’s scored half of his top-10 finishes this season in the last three races as he makes a push toward Chase contention. Said Gordon: “We’ve just got to keep going to the race track and putting the effort out that we’ve been putting out.”
10. Austin Dillon
2012 wins: 1
2012 top-10s: 11
Scored his first Nationwide win Friday at Kentucky, dominating the race, leading 192 of 200 laps. The victory also moved him to the top of the point standings. A day later, car owner (and grandfather) Richard Childress hinted that when Dillon moves to Cup he’ll likely take the No. 3 with him, but Childress stressed the No. 3 won’t be stylized like it was for Dale Earnhardt. View full post on SI.com – Motorsports

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Posted by fmv on Jul 3 2012 Filed under Racing. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. Responses are currently closed, but you can trackback from your own site.

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