Tony Stewart remains the hottest NASCAR driver. Since the Samsung 500 at Texas Motor Speedway, he's finished outside the top 10 only twice and both require an asterisk. One poor finish came as the result of crash damage at Talladega SuperSpeedway—in a race that is more lottery than contest—and the other came in the rain-altered Coke 341 at Lowe's Motor Speedway. Otherwise, he's been as close to perfect as fantasy owners could want with seven top-fives in the other eight races.
In the Indy Racing League, Ryan Briscoe leapfrogged Helio Castroneves with a second-place finish versus seventh. Castroneves struggling came as little surprise since he has finished outside the top 10 in two of his last three races on IRL short tracks, (see Short Trackin' Indy Style), but Briscoe also had a spotty record on this track type last year. As the old adage goes, "that's why they run the race."
With a fourth-place finish in the Nationwide NorthenTool.com 250 at the Milwaukee Mile, Erik Darnell leapt into the top 10 and passed Brad Keselowski. That requires an explanation. Since the Unified Power Rankings looks at all the major series, Keselowski's position is currently being hampered by a failure to qualify at Dover International Speedway, for which he received minimal points. In the Nationwide Series, however, he's been great with a second- and two third-place finishes in his last three attempts.
Unified Power Rankings
|33||Ron Hornaday Jr||72.13||40||7|
|46||Dale Earnhardt Jr||66.00||39||-7|
|47||Johnny Benson Jr||66.00||46||-1|
|50||Ricky Stenhouse Jr||65.00||NA||NA|