Kyle Stays on Top But Jimmie and Jeff are Right There
Even though Kyle Busch finished 34th in Darlington in the Southern 500 this past Saturday, he remains in the number one spot in the BetUS online sportsbook power rankings.
Busch has won three races this year while no other driver has won more than two. Those drivers are Mark Martin and Matt Kenseth. Mark Martin finds himself on the power rankings, highly ranked, for the first time this season.
Let’s get to the NASCAR Power Rankings:
- Kyle Busch - - At odds of +500, more was expected from Busch than his 34th place finish at Darlington. I don’t see it as that big of a deal, really, since Kyle has bounced back from awful races before. He’ll be one of the favorites in the NASCAR Sprint Showdown this weekend and he’ll probably do well.
- Mark Martin - - Martin was a +2000 long shot to win at Darlington. It was only his second victory on the track, but he automatically jumps up to number two on the list because he has won two out of the last four races for owner Rick Hendrick. With Martin to go along with Jeff Gordon and Jimmie Johnson, Hendrick Motorsports is once again ruling NASCAR.
- Jimmie Johnson - - As predicted the champ bounced back for a second place finish in Darlington at odds of +1000 to win. Johnson had limited success at Darlington going into the race, but because he had suffered to serious beat downs in the past two weeks, he hadn’t finished in the Top 25 at either the Crown Royal 400 or the Aaron’s 499, he was expected to step up in the Southern 500 and he did.
- Jeff Gordon - - Gordon ended up as the favorite at Darlington in the Southern 500 at +400. He didn’t disappoint with a fifth place finish and keeps a high spot in the power rankings. Along with Johnson and Martin, Gordon makes up a formidable Hendrick trio.
- Tony Stewart - - For a moment, it looked like Joey Logano, the rookie who took over for Stewart in the #20 car, was going to cruise home for his first victory of the year. It didn’t turn out that way. Instead, Smoke drove his way to a third place finish at Darlington. Stewart is back big time this year and should be in the winner’s circle soon.
- Greg Biffle - - Biff was in charge for a while at Darlington before making a mistake late in the race. He still managed to get himself back to 8th place. He’s a player moving forward. Is there any question which Roush Racing driver will be in position to win the Sprint Cup this year? Biffle is outperforming Carl Edwards big time so far this year.
- Denny Hamlin - - Hamlin’s average finish at Darlington took a hit when he didn’t get into the Top 10 this past week, but that’s okay. He still managed to get into the Top 15 at number thirteen. Hamlin is ranked fourth in the Sprint Cup points standings and has become part of a terrific one two punch, along with Kyle Busch, for Joe Gibbs.
- Kurt Busch - - Kyle’s older brother continues to be consistent enough to keep himself into the top five in the Sprint Cup Chase point’s standings. This time, at Darlington, he out finished his brother by ending the race in sixteenth place. Kurt is having a good year.
- Ryan Newman - - Newman makes the power rankings for the first time and probably isn’t getting his just due at number nine. He’s finished in the Top 20 in his last 7 straight races and has five Top 10 and three Top 5 finishes in those last 7. He’s on the cusp of a victory and could be the surprise driver this year.
- Jeff Burton - - At odds of +1200 at Darlington, Burton didn’t really disappoint when finishing 12th. He’s got a nice spot in the Sprint Cup point’s standings and could be ready to get a victory soon.