Power Rankings – Quicktrip 500 – Atlanta Motor Speedway


Jasen Vinlove-USA TODAY Sports

The pageantry that is the Daytona 500 is now behind us. Make no mistake, the race is special, and is still the premier event on the Sprint Cup schedule, but it’s also just one race.  It pays the same points and carries with it one Chase berth just like the next 25 races will.  Let’s use what we’ve learned in the last 10 days to move forward with the Power Rankings for the Quicktrip 500 at Atlanta Motor Speedway.

Realize that Atlanta will be the first race with the tapered spacers on the engines and the new aerodynamic package for non restrictor plate tracks.  Some teams undoubtedly will have the package figured out more than others, and Daytona results may or may not be indicative of Atlanta success.

#10. <strong>(NR)</strong> — Solid drive from a guy that seems to quietly improved his game.. No. 27. Richard Childress Racing. PAUL MENARD

<strong>(-7)</strong> — For some reason, he didn’t look as strong in the race as in everything leading up to it.  His confidence perhaps was a little off too. . No. 19. Joe Gibbs Racing. CARL EDWARDS. #9

No. 2. Team Penske. BRAD KESELOWSKI. #8. <strong>(-1)</strong> — They always run the best right before they blow up.  It was an “oil containment problem” according to Brad.

No. 48. Hendrick Motorsports. JIMMIE JOHNSON. #7. <strong>(-1)</strong> — Crew chief Chad Knaus said he didn’t understand NASCAR’s penalty for having crew members over the wall too early.  I’ll see if I can help:  you C-H-E-A-T-E-D, Chad.  Again.  You of all people should understand that.

<strong>(-2)</strong> — If the last lap would have stayed green, he wins.  With the ferociousness of the last 30 laps, he should have anticipated something happening, however and been more aggressive to be in the lead.. No. 4. Stewart-Haas Racing. KEVIN HARVICK. #6

#5. <strong>(NR)</strong> — He’s as responsible as anyone for Joey Logano’s win.  Nice push at the end, Clint.  Sometimes, in the give-and-take world of Sprint Cup racing, you have to give before you take.. No. 15. Michael Waltrip Racing. CLINT BOWYER

#4. <strong>(+6)</strong> — He has proven that the strong runs earlier in Speedweeks were no fluke. . No. 78. Furniture Row Racing. MARTIN TRUEX JR.

#3. <strong>(+2)</strong> — Drivers all say that they have that “Oh, s*** moment regarding an on-track decision as soon as they make it, but after it’s too late to reverse it.   In his case he had about 20 of them – one for each car that drove by after he made a miscalculated move, but he recovered for a solid finish.. No. 88. Hendrick Motorsports. DALE EARNHARDT, JR.

No. 24. Hendrick Motorsports. JEFF GORDON. #2. <strong>(+1)</strong> — He led the most laps, and he has certainly served  notice that he’s going out strong in 2015.

JOEY LOGANO. #1. <strong>(+8)</strong> — I don’t like Joey.  Never have, never will.  Wish Todd Gordon would have drawn teammate Brad Keselowski’s motor.  However, one cannot deny how strong he and NASCAR’s yellow flag were at Daytona.  MRN Radio’s Mike Bagley said that “Sliced bread is now the toast of the town.”  The win propels him to the top of the rankings as we head for Atlanta.  So there.. No. 22. Team Penske

What do you think?  Agree or disagree?  Who’s on your list?  Who’s not?  Discuss below!

Mike Hutton is a Staff Writer for BeyondTheFlag.com on the FanSided Network. Follow us on Twitter @Beyond_The_Flag and “Like” us on Facebook.