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Rank 1:

PREVIOUS: 1

CHANGE: 0

Kyle Busch

According to NASCAR’s official loop data stats, Kyle only had 28 quality passes at Kentucky. Of course, it’s hard to pass somebody for position when you’re leading the race.

Rank 2:

PREVIOUS: 4

CHANGE: +2

Kurt Busch

Why does Kurt love Loudon? His finishes in the most recent three summer races: third, third, first. Plus he is knocking at Little Brother’s door with his outstanding performances!

Rank 3:

PREVIOUS: 2

CHANGE: -1

Matt Kenseth

Matt thought he had a tire going flat near the end, but it turned out to be bits of rubber instead. So Matt wasn’t losing his marbles. Well not yet anyways! And with Kentucky in the rear look for the #17 Ford to be stronger!

Rank 4:

PREVIOUS: 7

CHANGE: +3

Jimmie Johnson

Jimmie said he never saw the white flag Saturday night: “I came around and everybody let off and I was still on the gas and going and I was like, ‘Wow I guess it’s over.” And with the traffic woes, Jimmie was still stepping on Kentucky’s toes. Look for this 5-time champion to find his way to victory lane very soon.

Rank 5:

PREVIOUS: 6

CHANGE: +1

Carl Edwards

Carl’s comments after the race: “We came from way back. There were cars everywhere.” I don’t know if he was talking about the final restart or just getting there. Either way look for the back flipping duck in victory lane again.

Rank 6:

PREVIOUS: 3

CHANGE: -3

Kevin Harvick

Don’t be surprised if Kevin finishes either fifth or 10th at New Hampshire. In 20 races there, he’s done each three times. And he loves making Kyle Busch’s life miserable. Plus Kevin would love to have his points lead back so look for Kevin to be very aggressive.

Rank 7:

PREVIOUS: 5

CHANGE: -2

Jeff Gordon

In 32 New Hampshire starts, Jeff has completed 9,254 laps. That’s equal to 9,790 miles, or more than 90 hours of going around in circles. And Jeff is a past champion looking to regain that title!

Rank 8:

PREVIOUS: 8

CHANGE: 0

Denny Hamlin

Denny got caught in that massive traffic jam on I-71, which left him with a very real concern that he might not park and start. Plus he surged in the race from dead last to leading last week which is very promising for this team! Another win would solidify this team’s changes at the title for the 2nd year in a row.

Rank 9:

PREVIOUS: NR

Ryan Newman

Weather or not: Ryan’s three-wide pass on the final restart impressed Carl Edwards enough to call him “the old black tornado.” And he is still looking for the 1st win of the year for his team. Newman has been running very solid the last few weeks!

Rank 10:

PREVIOUS: 11

CHANGE: +1

David Ragan

David led three laps at Kentucky after winning at Daytona. Previous to that, the last time David had led laps in consecutive races was Talladega and Charlotte in the fall of 2008. This kid is looking to make a name for himself in NASCAR and he’s doing it the right way!

Rank 11:

PREVIOUS: 13

CHANGE: +2

Tony Stewart

Tony’s 11th in the standings and is winless in 2011. But combining the next four venues on the schedule, he has a total of 11 victories. Plus smoke made it known that if a driver wants to block him..he will wreck them! Watch out for this!

Rank 12:

PREVIOUS: 14

CHANGE: +2

Kasey Kahne

“All or nothing” seems to sum up Kasey’s season so far. He has three top-fives and three finishes of 36th or worse. I look forward to seeing Kahne in victory lane and giving Red Bull a win before their goodbye to NASCAR. Kahne has been running well lately and is very hungry for a much- needed win!

Rank 13:

PREVIOUS: 10

CHANGE: -3

Joey Logano

Lead-lap finishes for Joey in the first 13 races: 3
Lead-lap finishes for Joey in the past five races: 5

Joey needs a win to help keep his confidence up or this team is doomed in the long run of the season.

Rank 14:

PREVIOUS: NR

Brad Keselowski

Until David Reutimann’s late charge, it seemed like Brad was the only other one who had anything for Kyle Busch all evening. Plus, Brad knows how to win and be aggressive while making it happen. I look to the future of this team and see another champion in the making.

Rank 15:

PREVIOUS: NR

Juan Montoya

Juan has seven career Cup poles, including two at Talladega and two at Loudon. With both tracks still on the schedule the Target car is a target to other cars out on the track. Watch out, this will get ugly and personal.

 

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