Here's the Statistical Power Rankings for the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series after Chicago.
Notes: Mark Martin gets the win in Chicago and makes a big move up the Statistical Power Rankings. Jeff Burton drops out of the top 15 and Clint Bowyer moves in. Matt Kenseth drops four spots and Kyle Busch drops three spots in the rankings.
#1: Tony Stewart (341 Points) - NSC Ranking: 1st
Last Week: 1st
- Steady Smoke. That's what Stewart has been this season, a steady stream of smoke. For some reason, Stewart's 2009 season is resembling that of Jeff Gordon's 2007 season. Getting ahead of everyone else going into the chase. Will Stewart's 2009 season end better than Gordon's 2007 season?
#2: Jeff Gordon (298 Points) - NSC Ranking: 2nd
Last Week: 3rd
- Gordon made a rookie mistake on the last restart: he spun the tires. If he didn't do that, I think he would have had a better chance of catching and passing Mark Martin. Even though he didn't win the race he showed that his team could come back after Daytona, which was a disaster.
#3: Jimmie Johnson (279.5 Points) - NSC Ranking: 3rd
Last Week: 2nd
- Johnson kind of fell out of the contention at the end, but still got a top 10. He and Mark Martin lulled the viewing audience to sleep in the first part of the race. Usually Johnson comes on strong near the end of the race, not this one. Is this just a fluke, or something else?
#4: Kurt Busch (240 Points) - NSC Ranking: 4th
Last Week: 4th
- “A couple of runs spoiled by the 48 car,” he said. “I’m not digging it.” You know someone is mad when he's 'not digging it.' Will things cool off for these guys or will it linger into the chase?
#5: Denny Hamlin (217 Points) - NSC Ranking: 5th
Last Week: 5th
- He ran in the top 10 all night and had a chance to win it at the end. I think a win before the chase starts is due for these guys.
#6: Mark Martin (215 Points) - NSC Ranking: 11th
Last Week: 11th
- Four wins this season, so far, at age 50. In his previous 26 seasons, Martin has only won at least four races in a season only four times. He's probably the most motivated guy out there to win his first championship. As long as he can get into the chase, that is.
#7: Carl Edwards (198.5 Points) - NSC Ranking: 6th
Last Week: 6th
- He just really isn't close to winning a race this season thus far. Is this the same guy who won nine races last season? Was last year a fluke? Maybe he is waiting to get into the chase before he turns it up and goes on a winning streak? Trying something different than last season, perhaps?
#8: Kasey Kahne (193 Points) - NSC Ranking: 8th
Last Week: 8th
- He's closing in on being a legitimate chase contender. Solid top 10s the rest of the way should get him in the chase.
#9: Ryan Newman (187 Points) - NSC Ranking: 7th
Last Week: 12th
- Hello Newman! Welcome back to the top 10. After the last four races being outside of the top 15, he finally got a sixth place finish. We will wait to see if this is the start of another one of his many streaks he is having this season.
#10: Juan Pablo Montoya (178 Points) - NSC Ranking: 9th
Last Week: 9th
- He really wants to make the chase. He will. If he continues to points race with top 10s, like he is doing, he will make the chase. What he does during the chase will define his career.
Rest of the Top 15:
#11: Matt Kenseth (172.5 Points) - NSC Ranking: 12th
Last week: 7th
#12: David Reutimann (161 Points) - NSC Ranking: 14th
Last Week: 14th
#13: Kyle Busch (159 Points) - NSC Ranking: 10th
Last Week: 10th
#14: Greg Biffle (158 Points) - NSC Ranking: 13th
Last Week: 13th
#15: Clint Bowyer (152 Points) - NSC Ranking: 15th
Last week: Not Ranked