Start 'N' Park Blog

2017 Team Rankings – Race 6

The first short track did not disappoint with tempers, close racing, and the Captain getting another grandfather clock.

1              Team Penske

The Penske train is still rolling strong with a victory by Brad Keselowski and a fourth place run by Joey Logano. After last week’s second place finish by Keselowski with a battered car, he showed exactly what can be done when it’s in one piece. I was surprised by the level of respect that was show by both Keselowski and Kyle Busch during the end of race duels.

2              Chip Ganassi Racing

A gamble didn’t fall into Jamie McMurray’s favor, as trying to wait out a smoking tire led to a 38th place finish, also known as dead last. On the other side, Kyle Larson had his first poor performance of the year, coming home 17th after being given the pole when qualifying was rained out.

3              Furniture Row Racing

It was the rookie who turned in the best performance at Martinsville, when Erik Jones finished 12th. Teammate Martin Truex Jr came home 16th, which was highlighted by winning the first stage. Things should turn back around in Texas, which is a place where this team has excelled.

4              Hendrick Motorsports

Chase Elliott was coming on strong at the end of the race, but it was not enough for that first career win. He’ll have to at least wait one more week. Solid runs by the rest of the team were derailed by various incidents, the most notable was how Dale Earnhardt Jr’s race ended after a busted radiator.

5              Wood Brothers Racing

It was a throwback feel for the team based in nearby Stuart, VA, but it was not meant to be as Ryan Blaney and the team finished 25th. While not the worst position, definitely not what the team wanted at this track nor what they were feeling coming into the weekend.

6              Roush Fenway Racing

There’s going to be one heck of a airing of grievances inside Roush Fenway Racing soon. The problem with running about the same is teammate Ricky Stenhouse Jr and Trevor Bayne keep running into each other. Stenhouse also won’t be getting any M&M’s gift baskets from Kyle Busch anytime soon, after his bump kept Busch from winning the second stage.

7              Joe Gibbs Racing

This team just can’t get all four cars running in the same direction at the same time. Again there was the highlight of the 2nd place finish by Kyle Busch and Matt Kenseth’s 9th place finish to make up for his awful start of the year. Then there was Daniel Suarez, damaging his car early to finish 32nd and Denny Hamlin having issues to finish 30th.

8              Richard Childress Racing

A solid top-5 finish by Austin Dillon, followed by a solid 8th place finish by Ryan Newman, was followed by a watery 19th place finish by Paul Menard. While two teams trend up, it’s that third team of Menard’s that seems to be either waiting to breakout or is holding back the team. That is too be determined.

9              Stewart-Haas Racing

This was the first real struggle for the team as a whole and only Clint Bowyer came out of the test with a good finish. It was surprising to see Kevin Harvick struggle so much without crew chief Rodney Childers, an accident derailed Kurt Busch’s day, and then there’s Danica Patrick.

10           JTG Daugherty Racing

A coming out party of sorts for JTG Daugherty Racing with not only a top-10 finish by AJ Allmendinger, but an 11th by Chris Buescher. There hasn’t been much good to write about them, so let’s hope this gives them some momentum while continuing down the road.

11           Leavine Family Racing

Another so-so finish by Michael McDowell, about what this team can get out of the cars they have.

12           Richard Petty Motorsports

The pre-race talk was about how RPM would be back up front, but that didn’t pan out. Sure the 18th place finish was good, but not what this team needs to really turn the ship to top-10s.

13           Germain Racing

For a rookie at Martinsville, 22nd wasn’t bad for Ty Dillon.

14           TriStar Motorsports

A strong run by Cole Whitt not only allowed him to finish 21st, but also scored the team some much needed coverage during the race.

15           Go FAS Racing

A crash ended Matt DiBenedetto’s day early. He got to beat traffic at least.

16           Front Row Motorsports

Probably the biggest news coming out of the weekend was not the 24th and 27th place finishes, but that the team left the RTA during the offseason.

17           Beard Motorsports

Did not attempt Martinsville.

18           Tommy Baldwin Racing

Did not attempt Martinsville.

19           Premium Motorsports

With only one team this weekend, they were third from the bottom of cars that ran the entire race.

20           Circle Sport with TMG

They traveled not so far to crash out of the event.

21           BK Racing

It took a sit down with his father, Randy, to convince Corey LaJoie he’s driving a crap car. He didn’t wreck this weekend and neither did his teammate (this weekend) Gray Gaulding. That’s a start of…something alright.

22           Rick Ware Racing

They went the whole distance and got a 33rd out of it.

23           Gaunt Brothers Racing

Did not attempt Martinsville.