The continual back-and-forth atop the Atlanta Motor Speedway Power Rankings continues between Brad Keselowski and Dale Earnhardt Jr. still out in front, but a logjam is starting to build in the positions behind them as the 2014 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series season is four races old.
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. Brad Keselowski
(Last week: 2nd)
Despite having a top-five run thrown off-track by sustaining damage with 50 laps to go at Bristol, Keselowski's 14th place finish, his worst of the year, was good enough to move him to the top of the AMS Power Rankings.
2. Dale Earnhardt Jr.
(Last week: 1st)
Handling issues related to the changing track conditions threw the No. 88 team a curveball, snapping Dale Earnhardt Jr.'s string of three top-five finishes in a row.
3. Joey Logano
(Last week: 3rd)
A 20th-place finish doesn't sound like anything extraordinary, except when you factor in Logano losing his power steering. Forced to pit for repairs, Logano rallied back for a respectable finish. Being able to minimize bad days on the track is a mark of a championship-caliber team, which should be a good sign for Logano fans.
4. Jimmie Johnson
(Last week: 4th)
Johnson is coming off his first major setback of the season after three strong finishes to begin 2014. Tire problems early in the race at Bristol put Johnson down multiple laps and he could never quite recovered after that.
5. Kevin Harvick
(Last week: 5th)
Murphy's Law, the theory that everything that can go wrong will, continues to hang around Harvick's car. For the second straight week, a mechanical issue spoiled a top-five run and a shot at a victory. Look for Harvick to be motivated this weekend at what may as well be his home track - Auto Club Speedway. .
6. Carl Edwards
(Last week: 9th)
Edwards is the biggest mover in our power rankings this week. Getting his first win of the season at Bristol is a large reason why.
7. Jeff Gordon
(Last week: 6th)
Consistency has Gordon off to a strong opening stretch to the season. He has four top-10 finishes; the first time he has started a season with that rate of success.
8. Kyle Busch
(Last week: 7th)
Busch's roller-coaster ride continues. He is coming off a Bristol race where he led 73 laps but also had an unscheduled pit stop that was preceded by a spin, which ended any hopes of a run towards the front.
9. Matt Kenseth
(Last week: 8th)
Kenseth continues to do what he is known for - run well and put himself in position for a good finish. At Bristol, he overcame being run into from behind and a flat tire late in the race to salvage a finish of 13th.
10. Denny Hamlin
(Last week: 7th)
Hamlin comes off a Bristol race in which the No. 11 Joe Gibbs Racing team took a major step in the right direction. Hamlin qualified on the pole position and finished sixth, snapped a two-race streak of finishes outside the top 10.