NASCAR Horsepower Rankings

Greg Biffle rides consistency to top

Greg Biffle rides consistency to top

by Matt Taliaferro

1. Greg Biffle  Biffle’s team was the one under the Roush Fenway banner that laid low during the offseason. The result has been third-place finishes across the board. Bristol is usually good to them, too.

2. Jimmie Johnson  It’s highly unlikely Chad Knaus’ appeal is overturned, but by appealing, Hendrick Motorsports bought Johnson a pair of top-5 finishes. Win or lose with the committee, this team remains a lock for the Chase.

3. Denny Hamlin  We’ll take the 20th-place finish at Vegas as a hiccup. Although, after fourth- and first-place runs at Daytona and Phoenix, the dip at an intermediate track was notable.

4. Tony Stewart  “Hey Darian, anything you can do, I can do better!” One week after Stewart’s former pit boss earned his first win with Hamlin, Stewart and new boss Steve Addington even the score.

5. Kevin Harvick  Worst finish so far this season is 11th. Harvick and the re-tooled No. 29 team have an uncanny knack for always being “there.” A couple wins in the next month or so could be on tap.

6. Matt Kenseth  Kenseth was on the business end of a Carl Edwards late-race move once again. For some reason, those never work out too well for the 2003 champ.

7. Carl Edwards  “The Aggressor” raced on to a fifth-place finish, his second top 10 of the year. Strangely, Edwards has yet to lead a lap this season. Is another hangover in store for last season’s championship runner-up?

8. Mark Martin  Says he’s OK with Dale Earnhardt Jr. after their dust-up in Vegas. The odds of anything spilling over to Bristol would have already been long — and those odds are off the board since Martin won’t even run there.

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<p> Greg Biffle tops Athlon Sports' weekly Horsepower Rankings.</p>

9. Dale Earnhardt Jr.  The dominating run in the first half of the Vegas race was encouraging, but fading to 10th was all-too-familiar. Bristol should be another top-10 performance, though.

10. Kyle Busch  “Rowdy” is ranked here more on 2012 potential than 2012 accomplishment. Bristol may change that.

11. Joey Logano  So far, so good for the new Logano/Jason Ratcliff pairing. Wonder if he’ll be looking for the 24 this weekend?

12. Brad Keselowski  A fifth is sandwiched between two 32nd-place finishes. Again, potential/accomplishment. And again, that could change this weekend.

13. Paul Menard  Has quietly enjoyed two top-7 runs at Daytona and Vegas. He was fifth in last year’s spring Bristol race.

14. Martin Truex Jr.  If this team ever learns how to finish a race, it’ll be dangerous.

15. Marcos Ambrose  An excellent Bristol darkhorse, Ambrose has three top 10s in six Cup Series starts.

Just off the lead pack: Clint Bowyer, Jeff Burton, Jeff Gordon, Kasey Kahne, Ryan Newman

Follow Matt on Twitter: @MattTaliaferro


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