Power Rankings – Kobalt Tools 400 – Las Vegas Motor Speedway


Stephen R. Sylvanie-USA TODAY Sports

Now that Bruton Smith’s quest to set Atlanta Motor Speedway up to fail by racing there so early in the season has been successfully completed, he can go ahead with pulling the date and giving a second race to Las Vegas.

Beginning this week and continuing each week moving forward, I will include with the Power Ranking’s a driver or two that just missed the list. These drivers will be considered an “honorable mention.” So, without any further ado, let’s see who is up and who is down as the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series comes out of Atlanta and heads in Las Vegas.

Honorable Mention

HM. (Last Week: NR) — I’ll catch some opposition for this, I’m sure, but if the regular-season ended today, she makes the Chase. How about those apples?. No. 10. Stewart-Haas Racing. DANICA PATRICK

MATT KENSETH. HM. (Last Week: NR) — Dollar General got value for their sponsorship money today. Be consistent and you’re back in the top-10.  . No. 20. Joe Gibbs Racing

Power Rankings – Atlanta

#10. (Last Week: 8) — To run all day with a car that was “fundamentally flawed” and come home with a ninth place finish isn’t too bad. Great call for four tires near the end.. No. 2. Team Penske. BRAD KESELOWSKI

#9. (Last Week: NR) — Hope he watches the Dale Earnhardt special on SPIKE TV so that he can learn more about seeing the air, because that pesky air has turned him three times in as many weeks.. No. 11. Joe Gibbs Racing. DENNY HAMLIN

Germain Racing. CASEY MEARS. #8. (Last Week: NR) — The GEICO Chevrolet is “pushing it real good,” and for two weeks in a row now, just like on their commercials.  How can you go to ‘Vegas with a crew chief they call “Bootie” and not expect to have a good time there, too?. No. 13

Joe Gibbs Racing. CARL EDWARDS. #7. (Last Week: 9) — People still might not know much about his sponsor Aaris, but that’s okay because cousin Carl and crew chief Darian Grubb had a quietly productive ride-around.. No. 19

#6. (Last Week: 1) — When asked after the race how he started so strong and then lost the handle, Joey said “everyone else just got better… we didn’t”  Way to support the guys there, bud.. No. 22. Team Penske. JOEY LOGANO

#5. (Last Week: 2) — Sponsor 3M’s website claims that they are a “global innovation company where one idea always leads to the next.”  Here’s an idea: Every inch. Every wall. Everywhere.. No. 24. Hendrick Motorsports. JEFF GORDON

#4. (Last Week: 4) — Back home to Denver and that Rocky Mountain high before heading west. This strong start could get serious.  . No. 78. Front Row Motorsports. MARTIN TRUEX, JR.

DALE EARNHARDT, JR.. #3. (Last Week: 3) — Maybe his sponsor, Kelly Blue Book, can help value the cars that Biffle took out with his wreck, now that they’re all used up. Just a thought. Strong run for Dale Jr. for the second week in a row. . No. 88. Hendrick Motorsports

#2. (Last Week: 6) — Second-place for the second-time in two weeks. That translates to 222 — the same number of calories in one bite of those free Bloomin’ Onions you keep earning for us.. No. 4. Stewart-Haas Racing. KEVIN HARVICK

Hendrick Motorsports. JIMMIE JOHNSON. #1. (Last Week: 7) — Don’t know which is getting older faster — Chad’s cheating or Jimmie appearing to be on the verge of a multiple-win season and a run at a seventh championship. Make it stop. Now.. No. 48

Did your driver make the list?  Do you agree or disagree?  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.