Can’t say for sure if the Duck Commander 500 action was hot enough for Saturday night, but it was mostly wet at the start. There really isn’t a whole lot to take away other that there were very few cars who were a lot stronger even after a two hour rain delay. What was thought to be a give away win for one driver turned out to be another weekend sweep for another. You should know by now who I’m talking about, but I will save for the five hottest drivers coming out of Texas and heading to Bristol, that is if it don’t rain for the third year in a row.
- Kyle Busch: Winning four straight NASCAR races overall is too much to deny the defending Sprint Cup Champion the top spot this week. Only thing I’m aggravated with is Kyle’s performance preventing the full time Xfinity Series drivers from locking into their Chase. But in any case, he has become the Kyle Busch of old, only much more mature. The video shot by Samantha signing a fan’s hat in traffic is proof enough. As mentioned before, Kyle is now the top dog in points unseating Kevin Harvick.
- Jimmie Johnson: Although he didn’t get his fifth straight win at Texas, the six timer started from 11th and was able to hang on for a fourth place finish after a controversial pit stop which occurred before the caution came out. Five top 10 finishes in the first seven races allows Johnson to stay second in points behind Kyle Busch. Johnson is the only driver so far able to hang with the Joe Gibbs alliance, including Martin Truex Jr who couldn’t hang on in the final 34 laps to win.
- Carl Edwards: Winning the pole and being fastest in practice showed enough potential to win his fourth race at Texas. After battling Truex throughout the race, Edwards ran into a tire problem which put him out of any chance of winning, but was able to come back and finish seventh. Six top 10 finishes in seven races keeps Edwards fourth in points. If not Kyle, Carl would be the one to carry the JGR flagship throughout the entire season barring another freak accident.
- Dale Earnhardt, Jr: Earnhardt may have missed the top 10 in the last two races this season, but scoring top 10’s in the last three races at Texas was well enough to help him finish second. He scored his fifth top 10 in six races at Texas including his top five finish behind Kyle. It appears that he and Johnson are the lead contenders for Hendrick heading into Bristol. Junior moved up to sixth in points thanks to that second place finish.
- Joey Logano: Six top 10 starts converting into four top 10 finishes has been good enough so far for Logano. Starting up front for the second straight week and finishing third at Texas was good enough to keep him fifth in points. While Brad Keselowski has tried to follow up to his win at Las Vegas, Logano continued to find a way to crack back into the top five. If Logano can start getting a string of consecutive top 10’s together, he should become one of the elite late in the season.
Nearing a fourth of the way into the 2016 season, and it gets kind of tough to rank most of these drivers. Even gets rougher trying to find the best description possible. Bristol is sure to mess that up next week.
Credit all authors of images used in both article and as cover image : Bryan Law