|Fontana Power Rankings|
Rain shortened Sunday's NASCAR Sprint Cup race, but it won't shorten this week's Power Rankings. The latest edition delves into a pressing debate: What is more meaningful, wins or top-10 finishes?
Tony Stewart and Greg Biffle present an interesting contrast. Biffle leads in points with three third-place finishes, a sixth-place result and a 13th-place finish in the season's first five races. Stewart is fourth in points after scoring his second victory of the season at Auto Club Speedway, but has just two top-10 finishes. Stewart finished 16th at Daytona after getting caught in a couple of late wrecks, 22nd at Phoenix after his engine wouldn't re-fire in an effort to conserve fuel and 14th at Bristol.
So what matters more: winning or consistency? The early answer, and the Power Rankings, are below.
|Imagine this scenario for a moment: Earnhardt wins at Martinsville to break his winless drought and deliver Hendrick Motorsports its 200th career Cup victory, scoring it on a track that has been marked by triumph and tragedy for the team. Earnhardt finished second in the spring race, losing the lead to Harvick in the final laps. Can he seal the deal this time around?|
|Since being eliminated in a lap two crash in the Daytona 500, Johnson has placed fourth, second, ninth and 10th, respectively. And Sunday's gift of a finish -- oil leaked from his car as rain cut the race short -- could be a telling omen. That's the way it goes. Sometimes fortune is on your side, and sometimes it isn't.|
|A ho-hum 16th-place finish marked Kenseth's day at Auto Club Speedway. He said afterward: "We just missed it. I thought we were going to be pretty good and we just never really were that great.''|
|Truex's eighth-place finish on Sunday gives him back-to-back top-10s, and he hasn't finished worse than 17th (Las Vegas) yet this season. This team thought it could have finished better at Vegas, and showed its resolve at Auto Club Speedway. Now the key is to keep the momentum rolling and begin to challenge for victories.|
|A seventh-place finish last weekend constituted Newman's third consecutive finish of 12th or better. He's performed well on high horsepower tracks, placing fourth at Las Vegas and seventh at California.|
|The National Stock Car Racing Chief Appellate Officer rescinded most of NASCAR's penalties against Jimmie Johnson's team last week, including his 25-point penalty and crew chief Chad Knaus' six-race suspension. The 25 points helped Johnson climb in the standings, and he moved into the top 10 after Sunday's rain-soaked race. This much is evident: Middlebrook has power and he's not afraid to use it.|