Images via Supercross (1); Getty Images (2)
Who impressed you the most in the past week of racing? Each week, Jim Beaver shares his latest power rankings on the Down and Dirty Show Powered By Polaris RZR and highlights the top performances in worldwide action motorsport. Here’s a look at Jim’s rankings from the show this week, as well as Down and Dirty Show columnist/media manager Chris Leone’s rankings:
Jim Beaver’s Power Rankings
1. Cooper Webb: This guy is on fire! If you haven’t watched this race, go find it. Webb’s got four wins and went back-to-back on the last two, and he made the pass on Ken Roczen in the closest finish in Supercross history.
2. Denny Hamlin: This was a big, big win for Hamlin—he had no wins last year, but he came back and won his second Daytona 500 on Sunday.
3. Ott Tanak/Martin Jarveoja: We have to go all the way to Sweden for #3. Tanak took the victory in one of the iconic rallies on the WRC calendar. He dominated the rally and won by nearly a minute, and it moved him into the points lead.
4. Colton Herta: This is me trying to throw you guys for a loop and think out of the box. Out of all the performances at IndyCar’s COTA test, Harding Steinbrenner Racing and Herta put on a spanking. He was the quickest in two of the three sessions and he was second in the other.
5. Joe Gibbs Racing: They did something that’s only happened one other time in history: they swept the podium at the Daytona 500, and they did it in the first race after JD Gibbs’ passing.
Chris Leone’s Power Rankings
1A. Denny Hamlin: Hamlin was JD Gibbs’ driver, driving JD’s car, carrying JD’s number, and he won the first race since JD passed away—and the biggest race of the season, no less. That’s as storybook as it gets.
1B. Cooper Webb: Is it a cop-out for me to do 1A and 1B? I guess, but I don’t care. It’s unfair to penalize Webb too hard for such an epic move just because of the weekend he did it, but the Hamlin-Gibbs story is just a little too sentimental.
3. Ross Chastain: Imagine going from losing your ride with Chip Ganassi Racing because your sponsor got raided by the FBI, to finishing in the top 10 in the Daytona 500 with an underfunded team and being one of only three drivers to not get caught up in a wreck. What a drive!
4. Ott Tanak/Martin Jarveoja: Tanak was the best driver in WRC for a good chunk of last season, and if he didn’t have some terrible luck late, he might have won the title. But he’s making the most of a fresh slate early this year with two podiums to start the 2019 title chase.
5. Ken Roczen: What’s it going to take for Roczen to finally earn a win? He came in as the points leader and dominated in Arlington, and it was really just that last turn that cost him both the win and top spot in the standings.