Dale Earnhardt Jr. is continuing his strong 2014 and finds himself atop the 2014 Atlanta Motor Speedway Power Rankings. But he has close competition right behind him in second place as Jimmie Johnson continues to advance forward.
The rankings are determined by the top drivers in the NASCAR driver ratings in addition to five bonus points awarded for a race victory, three for a top-five finish and two for a top 10.
1. Dale Earnhardt, Jr.
(Last week: 2nd)
Earnhardt Jr. is back on track following a third-place finish at Martinsville as the series heads to Texas, the site of his first Sprint Cup Series victory.
2. Jimmie Johnson
(Last week: 4th)
Johnson has done pretty much everything but win all year long, and his ability to avoid bad finishes for the most part has him ranked second this week. He has four finishes of sixth or better. With that record of success, one would figure that Johnson's first win of the season cannot be too far away.
3. Brad Keselowski
(Last week: 1st)
Early-race contact with Kurt Busch dropped Keselowski to his worst finish of the year at Martinsville. Expect the No. 2 team to be eager to make up for it at Texas.
4. Joey Logano
(Last week: 9th)
Last week, we noted that Logano needed some positive vibes. He has that in his favor on the heels of putting together a strong afternoon at Martinsville, finishing fourth after qualifying third.
5. Carl Edwards
(Last week: 6th)
Yet another solid effort continues to move Edwards up within the rankings as he remains the lone Roush-Fenway Racing driver within the power rankings. 6. Kyle Busch (Last week: 3rd) Overcoming handling problems to finish 14th should be good momentum for the No. 18 team as it heads to Texas.
7. Jeff Gordon
(Last week: 5th)
After dropping two spots in the rankings, Gordon will look to get back on track this weekend at Texas and recapture the form from two races ago where he led in the late stages of the event.
8. Matt Kenseth
(Last week: 7th)
Kenseth continues to be steady and strong, completing 82 percent of his laps within the top 15, more than any other driver in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series.
9. Kevin Harvick
(Last week: 5th)
A seventh-place finish isn't generally considered a victory, but it may as well be one for Harvick as it followed three finishes of 30th or worse, all due to mechanical problems.
10. Kurt Busch
(Last week: Unranked)
Kurt Busch has experienced the good and bad sides of racing fortune to begin 2014. He's riding the wave of the really good right now. The victory at Martinsville with Stewart-Haas Racing moves him into the Power Rankings for the first time this year.