Week two of the 2013 Nascar season is in the books and we know just about as little as we do about how it will play out as we did leaving the Daytona 500. Each race into the season we will learn more about the Gen 6 car and who is adapting faster. Let’s get on with it in my risers, coasters and fallers section from Phoenix International Speedway. Full results from Phoenix International Speedway found here: Results from Subway Fresh Fit 500.
Carl Edwards: Did anyone need this win more than Carl? In just a few short weeks, Nascar would have hit two years without a Carl Edwards win, fortunately for Carl, he snapped his 70 race winless streak at Phoenix. Carl held off Jimmie Johnson, Brad Keselowski and Denny Hamlin down the stretch to turn a solid day into a trip to victory lane.
Denny Hamlin: Hamlin was consistent, but at the end of the day, he mentioned he did not have the greatest car. Denny did, however, string together a top 5, finishing 3rd, while making the move of the race on the finale green white checker to pass Brad Keselowski and fight Johnson right to the finish line.
Tony Stewart: After having troubles at Daytona, and watching Danica and Newman go down with right frount tires, it had to be nice to at least get one of his three cars into the top 10.
Honorable mentions: Jeff Gordon, Matt Kenseth, Kevin Harvick, Jeff Burton.
Coasting: Jimmie Johnson: What’s new? Another solid outing to start out the year for JJ and his team. Had a good car but never held the lead other than getting 1 lap in while also obtaining that bonus point. He continues to look good for another year-long title chase.
Brad Keselowski: Brad had another strong run in the new Gen 6 car, and the switch hasn’t seemed to affect him too much. Up front leading 16 laps, he was in the mix at the end of the race trying to chase down JJ and Carl. Hamlin cut off his chances after going onto the skirt for an ole Dale Earnhardt move and onto a 3rd place finish. Brad ended up finishing in the top 5 with a 4th place finish.
Honorable mention: Clint Boyer, Dale Earnhardt Jr, Ricky Stenhouse Jr
Fallers: Ryan Newman: Another race, another tough race for Newman. He seemed to have troubles throughout the day before going down with a right front tire. It’s unfortunate for Newman after he started the year out with a nice top 5 at Daytona.
Danica Patrick: Another Stewart Haas car that went down with a right front tire, Danica really hadn’t done too much in the race before the tire. All of this after an exciting week for Danica at Daytona. Is this just one race or will it continue to be a trend?
Dishonorable mention: Kyle Busch, Greg Biffle
Pit Row (Week 2 Power Rankings)
1. Jimmie Johnson: Can’t argue too much, he is off to another hot start.
2. Brad Keselowski: Gets the slight edge over Jr. just being the defending champ, also had a legit shot at winning down the stretch.
3. Dale Earnhardt Jr.: Week two and he has two top 5 finishes in the books.
4. Denny Hamlin: Great stretch run on the green white checker with his so called “average car” this week.
5. Clint Boyer: Two good runs for Boyer to get back on track after his end of season run in with Gordon.
6. Greg Biffle: Fell off some at Phoenix but still finds himself having good runs and 6th in the early standings.
7. Mark Martin: He gets the nod by having a solid day at Phoenix that didn’t show up on paper. The caution with three laps left Marin having to get a splash of fuel and finishing 21st.
8. Jeff Gordon: Top 10 finish at Phoenix will help Gordon forget about Daytona.
9. Ricky Stenhouse Jr.: Doesn’t have a top 10 finish yet on the season, but has shown his chops as a rookie so far standing tied for 8th in points so far.
10. Carl Edwards: Carl gets the last spot by having a strong run in Phoenix and breaking his 70 race winless streak. May this be the season he gets back to his old ways?
Just missed: Eric Almirola, Jeff Burton, Tony Stewart
Full Nascar Spring cup Standings found here: Yahoo Nascar Standings.