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Busch can't unseat Edwards ... yet
by Matt Taliaferro
1. Carl Edwards Kyle Busch has been flashy, but Edwards continues to put top-6 runs on the board. He’ll put up a few more wins before it’s over with, too.
2. Kyle Busch Still not convinced of this “New Kyle Busch” thing, but he certainly appears to be much more forgiving on his equipment these days. Is he, at long last, true title material?
3. Jimmie Johnson If Johnson and the 48 team can bounce back from a horrid start at Richmond to finish eighth, well, everyone else may be running for second over the long haul once again.
4. Kevin Harvick “The Closer” didn’t close in Richmond. Still, a 12th-place run on a night when only nine cars finished on the lead lap isn’t anything to fret over.
5. Dale Earnhardt Jr. Although not a closer like Harvick, Junior has been more of a “hang-in-there” entry thus far. That said, the technique has him slotted fourth in the point standings.
6. Clint Bowyer The workman-like Bowyer has strung together a top-10 streak that’s into its fifth race. Look out Harvick, you may not be atop the Childress totem pole for long.
7. Jeff Gordon Everyone agrees with you Jeff (except the track owners) — there’s no reason to not have SAFER Barriers on every wall at every track.
8. Matt Kenseth Matt, you’re going to love Randall Cobb. Take it from a Kentucky grad.
9. Denny Hamlin Had a big weekend back home in Richmond, winning his charity Late Model race, doing the same in the Nationwide event and finishing second in the A-Main that doubled as the Cup race.
10. Kurt Busch Heard any good monkey and/or football jokes lately?
11. Tony Stewart Came out of nowhere for a solid top 10 at Richmond.
12. Ryan Newman Live by the bumper, die by the bumper.
13. David Ragan Finally delivering on promise for his sophomore season ... which was three years ago.
14. Greg Biffle He’s coming around to the tune of top 15s in five of the last six races.
15. Mark Martin Was a sure-fire top-5 car in Richmond until he joined Gordon and Kenseth in the “The Wreck.”
Just off the lead pack: AJ Allmendinger, Kasey Kahne, Paul Menard, Juan Pablo Montoya, Brian Vickers