Power Rankings: Johnson is coming on, but won't be happy until he wins

by | CBSSports.com NASCAR Blogger
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After winning at Texas, Greg Biffle has surged to the top of the Sprint Cup standings. (US Presswire)  
After winning at Texas, Greg Biffle has surged to the top of the Sprint Cup standings. (US Presswire)  

Updated April 16

Jimmie Johnson led a race-high 156 laps in Saturday night's Samsung Mobile 500 at Texas Motor Speedway and turned in another solid performance in the Lone Star State.

But it wasn't enough for the five-time Sprint Cup champion.

"Yeah, man, second sucks," Johnson said after his runner-up finish to Greg Biffle.

You can understand Johnson's frustration. Despite running well since his opening week problems at Daytona, the Hendrick Motorsports driver has yet to find Victory Lane.

In fact, you have to go back to the fall to find the last time the No. 48 Chevrolet crossed the finish line first.

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He's come close. Saturday night was heading in the right direction until Biffle ran him down. Two weeks ago Johnson appeared to be in great shape at Martinsville until some late race fireworks swept him up in an accident with teammate Jeff Gordon.

Although he was disappointed about not sealing the deal in Texas, the Martinsville turn of events really frustrated Johnson.

"Martinsville, because we're much closer to the end," Johnson said comparing the two. "But they're both frustrating. The racer in me wants to win. We've been really close over the last five or six months. You look through last year even through different points, leading a lot of races and didn't execute at the end for whatever reason. It's nice to be running well. It's nice to be in this position. But I want to get back to our winning ways really soon."

If he does that before teammates Gordon, Dale Earnhardt Jr. and Kasey Kahne, Johnson will bring team owner Rick Hendrick his long-awaited 200th career Sprint Cup win.

However, that potential honor is not weighing on Johnson's mind.

"To be honest it hasn't played much on my mind because I just want to win and I know winning is what my job is about, winning is what Hendrick Motorsports is about, and if we win we'll take care of the 200th," he said. "I seem to think about the 200th after the fact and think, man, Martinsville could have been an amazing one, two, three, this weekend, previous weekends."

It hasn't happened yet, but there's always the next weekend for Johnson and Hendrick, which happens to take place at Kansas Speedway in a few days.

POWER RANKINGS
CurrentDriverPrevious
1Brad Keselowski2
Took over the Chase lead by 20 points thanks to a sixth place finish and Jimmie Johnson?s misfortune. This is now the Penske Racing driver?s championship to lose.
2Jimmie Johnson1
Saw his seven point lead evaporate thanks to a cut tire and trip into the wall on Sunday. Johnson now must hope a similar such fate happens to Keselowski next week at Homestead to have any shot at a sixth title.
3Kyle Busch4
Nearly ran the table in Phoenix by leading all practices and taking the pole had he been able to win the race. But a poor decision on lane choice for a late restart cost Busch a shot at Victory Lane.
4Kasey Kahne5
Ending the year on a positive note but wasn?t able to match his Phoenix victory of last November. Still a solid day with a fourth place performance.
5Clint Bowyer3
Was the victim of Jeff Gordon?s revenge that completely eliminated Bowyer from championship contention. He wasn?t an angel in the turn of events but Bowyer definitely got the worst of the situation.
6Denny Hamlin8
Hamlin?s second place finish in Phoenix a welcome rebound from two weeks of disappointment for the Joe Gibbs Racing driver. He?ll be a factor for a win next Sunday in Homestead.
7Kevin Harvick12
Snapped a 44-race winless drought with Sunday?s win ironically coming on the weekend when reports of his evacuation from Richard Childress Racing to Stewart-Haas Racing in 2014 broke out.
8Greg Biffle6
A decent day for ?The Biff? in Phoenix, who was able to dodge all the last lap craziness to bring home his Roush Fenway Racing Ford seventh.
9Joey Logano13
Minding his own business until getting swept up in the Gordon-Bowyer fight. Logano was on his way to a nice effort to follow up his ninth Nationwide Series win on Saturday.
10Ryan Newman14
Rough way to earn a fifth place finish as Newman was one of the unfortunate souls to get caught in the last lap crash on the main straightaway.
11Tony Stewart9
Not a god day at all for Smoke who spun late after making contact racing for position. A 19th place finish for Stewart.
12Matt Kenseth11
Will make the final Sprint Cup start of his career for Roush Fenway Racing next week at Homestead on the heels of a 14th place effort in Phoenix.
13Martin Truex Jr.10
His race was over nearly before it started with a blown engine. After a stellar regular season Truex Jr. has suffered mightily throughout the Chase.
14Carl Edwards15
An 11th place finish for Edwards as he brings to a close one of the most disappointing seasons in his career.
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