Nascar Power Rankings: Phoenix

1 Jeff Gordon As reported by NASCAR analysts on Sunday Jeff Gordon collected his first win on his 17th attempt at both Phoenix and Texas. Now I predict Jeff Gordon will want to push for a second date at Homestead every year otherwise he won’t win there until 2015. In 2007 Jeff Gordon collected his first win at Phoenix, but remember he was pretty lucky that day with the caution. He does however have the 3rd best finish average in the series at 10.2.
- Jeff Gordon
2 Jimmie Johnson I personally was more impressed with Johnson’s second place finish then Gordon’s victory. The 48 car was junk early in the race but Chad Knaus worked his magic on the Lowes car and that thing came to life. Expect Johnson to be the car to beat at Phoenix as he attempts to get his fourth win in a row out in the desert.
- Jimmie Johnson
3 Kurt Busch Big brother Busch had another strong Intermediate track performance at Texas and overcame his poor qualifying position and finished 8th. Kurt Busch is strong at Phoenix and is second overall among active drivers in laps lead in the desert (508). With the new improved Dodge power plant under his hood this year and his strong 2nd place finish the last time the series visited Phoenix, Kurt might just be able to get the job done on Saturday night (4/18).
+2 Kurt Busch
4 Tony Stewart I’ve had my doubts about Stewart’s team earlier this year but it looks like their starting to come around. I like teams that get top fives at Intermediate tracks and earlier this year Stewart just seemed to be a top ten car. Top five finishes are where the big points are and nobody wins the championship anymore with just top tens. Look for Stewart to have a good run at Phoenix and once again contend for his 3rd top five in a row.
+4 Tony Stewart
5 Kyle Busch Kyle Busch was just having one of those days at Texas that drives fantasy racers crazy. Kyle’s season so far has been either been a feast of a famine in 2009. Last year Kyle had 2 top tens at Phoenix so he might bounce back but then again he might not…………..
-1 Kyle Busch
6 Mark Martin Mark Martin had his 3rd top ten in a row so things are only looking up for Martin. Last year at Phoenix in the later stages of the race Martin looked like the car to beat until the 48 team worked a fuel mileage miracle. At Phoenix Martin has an average finish of 9.4, 1 win, 9 top fives, and 15 top tens. Also Martin leads the series in total laps led at Phoenix (676).
+4 Mark Martin
7 Clint Bowyer Just last week I promised myself I would start paying a little bit more attention to Clint Bowyer. Well look what happened? Actually I’m probably doing him a favor by dropping him in my rankings because he always performs his best when he’s underrated. I expect good things out of Bowyer at Phoenix which is similar to New Hampshire where Bowyer collected his first career win.
-4 Clint Bowyer
8 Carl Edwards Carl Edwards looked awfully good at Texas but yet he managed to drop one spot in my Power Rankings? Well last year the 99 car team had magic or at least that’s what I’ve been speaking about for the last couple of weeks. Is it really there this year? Is it? This lack luster finish (compared to what it could have been) falls on the pit crew this time which spoiled their opportunity at the win.
-1 Carl Edwards
9 Denny Hamlin I think Denny Hamlin is missing the short tracks already, but Hamlin fans fear not because he also likes flat ones. Hamlin is a solid driver at the one mile tri-oval called Phoenix. In 7 career races Hamlin has 4 career top fives and has a good average finish position of 11th.
-3 Denny Hamlin
10 Matt Kenseth Matt Kenseth remains steady in the 10th position and the points bleeding appears to have halted for the 17 team down in Texas. I honestly don’t know what to tell you about Kenseth at Phoenix. He has one career win there but he also has a BAD average finish position of 18.5. He seems a bit risky to use this weekend when there are safer options available.
- Matt Kenseth
11 Jeff Burton Jeff Burton had one of his better runs of the season at Texas and he even moved into the top 12 in points. I’ve been speaking out against Burton so far this year but he is far from safe here. With drivers like Martin, Harvick, Earnhardt Jr, and Biffle lurking behind him he better start collecting some top five finishes otherwise someone else will and they will bump him out of 12th.
+2 Jeff Burton
12 Greg Biffle I’ve never quite understood Greg Biffle. At times he can be rewarding and at other times he’ll bite you in the butt. So here is my fantasy advice for the day, don’t touch him. Always go after consistency in your fantasy ventures. Playing fantasy games with a risky approach is fun…………. but is it sustainable?
+3 Greg Biffle
13 Dale Earnhardt Jr Dale Earnhardt Jr basically had his 2009 template race at Texas. If only his pit crew didn’t use a shorter pole this weekend (That’s a new one) then at least his pit penalties could have been avoided. As I said earlier this year, Earnhardt Jr is on my primary fantasy racing team this year and I feel the same pain that all the other members of Jr Nation feel. Anyone got a good luck charm?
-1 Dale Earnhardt Jr
14 Kevin Harvick Where was Harvick on Sunday? He sure sunk like a rock, but why was the 29 off so much? I expected some good things out of Harvick in Texas especially with his 4th place finish at Atlanta. Inconsistency is probably my number one fantasy racing pet peeve (have you noticed) and the fact that it happened at an Intermediate track that is in the Chase (oh the humanity) should be considered unacceptable for an organization like RCR.
-3 Kevin Harvick
15 Kasey Kahne Kasey Kahne finished 19th at Texas. The main question I have for fantasy racers that like Kahne is “Do you trust him”? His career points finish trend isn’t something that should be overlooked. Every other year he has a good season and in this cycle he’s in the bad one.
-1 Kasey Kahne