Well, that sure was a short reign. One week after seizing the No. 1 ranking from Jimmie Johnson with a win at Kentucky, Matt Kenseth handed it right back after crashing out at Daytona. And with Johnson collecting the victory, it unquestionably moves him back to his customary perch atop the NASCAR power rankings.
1. Jimmie Johnson (Last week: 2)
Johnson refused to call his latest triumph a statement victory, so we'll go ahead and do it for him. And what has to be scary for the rest of the garage is that Daytona should have been his fifth win in six weeks. Maybe scary isn't the right word; perhaps we should use terrifying instead.
2. Kevin Harvick (LW: 3)
A third Saturday had to feel like a win for the driver who in the other two plate races this season was scored 40th and 42nd. And outside of those missteps, Harvick has been remarkably steady with no finishes outside the top 15.
3. Matt Kenseth (LW: 1)
Another race at Daytona means another DNF for Kenseth. This time at least it had nothing to do with his engine not staying in one piece. The same couldn't be said for his car, as he was collected in the same accident that claimed Jeff Gordon and Denny Hamlin, among others.
4. Clint Bowyer (LW: 4)
Although the doughnut hole in the win column is glaring, Bowyer's consistency is impressive. On the year he has only a single DNF, and his 11 top-10s are second only to you know who. But a victory sometime soon would be nice.
5. Kyle Busch (LW: 5)
Restrictor-plate racing in a nutshell: Busch wrecked twice, still finished 12th. At least this time around he didn't incite any of the multi-car incidents. The same couldn't be said at Daytona in February. Or at Talladega. Just ask Kasey Kahne.
6. Kurt Busch (LW: 8)
Why is it impressive that Busch has jumped to ninth in points? It's because since the inception of the Chase in 2004, there has not been one participant who drove for a single-car team. In fact, the last driver without a teammate to finish better than 20th in the standings was Ricky Craven, who was 15th in 2002.
7. Martin Truex Jr. (LW: 6)
Though he didn't trigger the accident that would end his night -- Denny Hamlin would take the blame for that -- the Daytona box score still shows Truex in 41st. It was the fourth time this season he's placed worse than 36th, and it dropped him from eighth in points to 11th.
8. Dale Earnhardt Jr. (LW: 11)
Entering the weekend, Earnhardt promised he was going to be more aggressive if he was running up front near the end. The problem is he wasn't up front when it mattered, though he did escape the last lap carnage to finish eighth.
9. Tony Stewart (LW: 13)
Rarely do you see Stewart run second on the final lap at Daytona and look as powerless as he did, but the truth is he simply wasn't getting by Johnson. This weekend begins a stretch of tracks where Stewart should excel. But then again, this season has been anything but typical for the owner/driver.
10. Carl Edwards (LW: 7)
With consecutive finishes in the 20s, Edwards has dropped to third in points. And like his teammate Greg Biffle, Edwards has seen the momentum he had in June suddenly disappear as the calendar has flipped to July.
11. Greg Biffle (LW: 9)
For the second week in a row, Biffle was caught up in an accident he played no part in creating. What is worrisome is the mojo the Ford camp had a few weeks back has come to a screeching halt and again seems to be a tick behind the Chevy and Toyota cars.
12. Joey Logano (LW: 10)
A blown tire ended his streak of finishing 11th or better at six races and cost him five spots in the standings. Now 15th in points, Logano, like the majority of the guys around him, could theoretically climb into the top 10, but his best prospects to snag a Chase berth still remain via a couple of wins.
13. Ryan Newman (Unranked)
Newman has certainly made the case that he's deserving of a new contract. (Imagine how good he'd be if they hadn't moved his crew chief over to Danica Patrick's team?) But an extension from Stewart-Haas Racing is unlikely, regardless if he's higher in the standings than the guy who signs his paycheck.
14. Jeff Gordon (LW: 12)
Gordon's crash-induced 34th-place finish at Daytona was his fifth DNF of 2013. While his rash of bad luck shouldn't carry over to the second half of the season, he is on pace to record the most DNFs he's had since his sophomore season in the Cup (1994).
15. Kasey Kahne (LW: 14)
Now having been wrecked in all three plate races this season, Kahne's sour luck at Daytona and Talladega could easily end up being the reason he misses the Chase. That, and the other good finishes the No. 5 team has squandered at Darlington, Dover, Michigan and Kentucky.