NHRA Story
Mike Dunn's Pomona Power Rankings
Wednesday, February 05, 2014

Shawn Langdon, John Force, and Jeg Coughlin Jr. are the top picks in ESPN2 analyst Mike Dunn's Power Rankings heading into the Circle K NHRA Winternationals in Pomona.

"As we get ready to start the 2014 season, I'm sitting in my office watching six inches of snow fall as I prepare the first Power Rankings of the season," said Dunn. "I moved to Pennsylvania 24 years ago, and I can tell you if this would have been my first winter here, I would be in Southern California doing these. It's been brutal.

"After reviewing last season, we have decided to change the format a little this year. Instead of five in the rankings, we are going to go with three. It's not going to make it easier (in fact, I think it will be harder), but it should allow us to put a little more focus on the teams that get picked. We will also from time to time pick a driver(s) to watch at a certain event who may not be in the rankings.

"As far as the way the rankings are done, last year, I tried a number of different formulas and found that when I focused on performance in both qualifying and eliminations over a three-race period, it seemed to work best. A few times, it would allow me to see trends and put a driver in the rankings who may not have done anything going into a race, but the numbers looked good, and they would have a good race. Of course, other times, it would bomb because, let's face it, our sport is unpredictable, and that is why we love it!

"So enough of my rambling. Here are the rankings."


Rank Driver Plus/minus
1. Shawn Langdon --
2. Antron Brown --
3. Doug Kalitta --
Mike's notes: Shawn and Antron both tested well in Florida. Doug did not test but always does well in Pomona, including last November, so I expect him to hit the ground running.
Rank Driver Plus/minus
1. John Force --
2. Matt Hagan --
3. Courtney Force --
Mike's notes: John is the defending Mello Yello world champion. Courtney is the defending event champion, and Matt won the Finals with a stout performance. Another driver to watch: Del Worsham
Rank Driver Plus/minus
1. Jeg Coughlin Jr. --
2. Allen Johnson --
3. Erica Enders-Stevens --
Mike's notes: 1 and 2 in the rankings are the 2014 and 2013 Mello Yello world champions. Erica comes in driving Rickie Jones' ride that won the Finals in convincing fashion. With all the changes in this class in the off-season, I think it will be really fun to watch, especially early in the season as a lot of new teams will be trying to get into a rhythm.