Bayne earns big Rankings rise
|Tuesday, February 22nd 2011, 11:45 GMT|
Trevor Bayne's shock win at the Daytona 500 earned him a huge rise up the Castrol Rankings this week.
Bayne, 20, was a virtual unknown in the NASCAR Sprint Cup paddock before the start of Speed Week and was ranked only 451st following a solid year in the second-tier Nationwide Series in 2010.
But his remarkable achievement, which came on only his second Sprint Cup start, moved the Wood Brothers Ford driver up 125 spots to 326th as he just held off the charging Roush Fenway car of Carl Edwards (13) at the line.
Defending series champion Jimmie Johnson (8) and Denny Hamlin (12) were both involved in a big crash early on while Kevin Harvick (10) retired after the engine in his Richard Childress Chevrolet blew. All three maintained their Castrol Rankings positions, although Edwards is now a threat to all three.
Third place marked the best finish in three years for David Gilliland (253), and the Front Row Ford driver used it to jump up 69 places, while former champion Bobby Labonte (240) moved up 39 spots.
The highest-placed mover this week was Johnson's Hendrick team-mate Jeff Gordon, who overtook last year's Daytona winner Jamie McMurray for 23rd. McMurray's race was thwarted by a spluttering engine late on as he dropped two spots to 25th.
Sandwiched between the pair is Tony Stewart (24), who won the Nationwide Series race at Daytona for a fourth straight year, but was once again unable to break his '500 jinx.
The big losers were Dale Earnhardt Jr (60), who took pole position, but crashed out of a potentially winning position with six laps to go, and Cup returnee Brian Vickers (434), who lost 54 spots after the Red Bull Toyota driver too, was involved in 'The big one.'
With the second round of the GP2 Asia Series at Sakhir being cancelled due to the tense political situation in Bahrain, the only action that affected the Castrol Rankings order this week was what occurred at Daytona.
The only other winner was Michael Waltrip (1052), who marked 10 years since his first '500 success by taking a final corner victory in the opening NASCAR Truck Series race of the year.
By out-dragging Elliott Sadler (128) across the line, the veteran moved up 38 places in the Castrol Rankings.
To see the full Castrol Rankings and Castrol EDGE Race for 2011, visit www.castroldriverrankings.com