Welcome to the 2018 edition of our weekly NASCAR Power Rankings. Our continuing feature will attempt to rank and assess the moment’s top 12 drivers in the Cup Series. You’ll probably disagree with our rankings. And that’s fine. Give us your feedback either in the comments below or on Twitter.
1. Kyle Busch (LW: 1): Power Rankings will be a bit abbreviated this week because of other NASCAR news that happened in the days after Busch’s win at Texas. He’s the points leader. He’s the most recent winner. He held off the guy who won the last race at Texas. It’s an easy decision to have Busch at No. 1.
2. Kevin Harvick (LW: 3): Yes, the big takeaway from Harvick’s race is the lack of a penalty on his final green-flag stop. But you’ve got to commend the effort it took for Harvick to be in position to race Busch at that point after his pit issues earlier in the race. The car was so fast that it overcame what can only be referred to as a bad day on pit road.
3. Clint Bowyer (LW: 4): Bowyer finished ninth on Sunday after qualifying third. He had a top-10 car for most of the race and earned stage points in each of the first two stages.
4. Ryan Blaney (LW: 5): Blaney’s bounceback deserves some credit too. He was penalized on pit road early in the race and then his car got some nose damage in a crash. He ended up finishing fifth.
5. Martin Truex Jr. (LW: 2): Truex’s 37th-place finish on Sunday was his first last-place finish since he was 40th in the fall race at Phoenix in 2016.
6. Joey Logano (LW: 6): Logano is continuing his run as a guy who has top-10 speed but not much more than that. He finished sixth on Sunday so therefore he stays at sixth.
7. Erik Jones (LW: 12): Jones makes a five-spot jump in the rankings after finishing fourth at Texas. It also helps that a lot of the guys who were ahead of him crashed out of the race.
8. Jamie McMurray (LW: NR): McMurray finished third on Sunday. It’s his best finish in 11 months since he was second at Talladega in May.
9. Denny Hamlin (LW: 7): Hamlin sped on pit road before getting loose and causing the big crash that took out a host of contenders, including himself. Hamlin seems well on his way to leading the Cup Series in pit road speeding penalties again.
10. Brad Keselowski (LW: 8): Keselowski was probably going to finish in the neighborhood of Logano and Blaney again but was caught in that wreck too.
11. Kyle Larson (LW: 9): Like Truex, Larson had a tire issue and hit the wall. If it wasn’t for the post-race griping about the unreliability of NASCAR’s standard pit guns, Goodyear would be taking some heat for the tire failures that Larson and Truex suffered.
12. Jimmie Johnson (LW: 11): Hey, Johnson was in that big crash too.
The Lucky Dog: Darrell Wallace Jr. got his first top-10 finish since Daytona.
The DNF: We’re going to give it to Chase Elliott, who also dropped out of this week’s rankings. While Elliott finished the race in 11th, he was penalized 20 points on Wednesday. It’s his second points penalty of the season.
– – – – – – –
Nick Bromberg is a writer for Yahoo Sports.
More from Yahoo Sports:
• 2018 NBA playoffs: The 8 first-round matchups
• Exposed: NFL’s ‘wink-wink’ policy on anthem kneeling
• Knicks fire head coach after yet another dismal season
• Report: ‘Miracle’ former Raiders player is still alive