So much for the talk of the demise of Jimmie Johnson. After failing to earn a trip to victory lane through the first 11 races of the season, Johnson has now won two weeks in a row and has unseated Joey Logano from the top spot of the Atlanta Motor Speedway Power Rankings.
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. Jimmie Johnson
(Last week: 3rd)
To paraphrase Mark Twain, rumors of Jimmie Johnson's demise have been greatly exaggerated. Remember a few weeks ago when the burning question was centered around when Johnson would win his first race of the season? Now, two victories in a row later, the question has become what driver will keep the No. 48 out of victory lane.
2. Joey Logano
(Last week: 1st)
Logano no longer being atop the AMS Power Rankings has little to do with a lack of results by the No. 22 car. It's just that Johnson has been that much better during the past two races and has been able to leapfrog his way to the top spot.
3. Jeff Gordon
(Last week: 2nd)
Gordon continues to be steadily strong from race-to-race. He leads all drivers in three NASCAR loop data categories, holding the No. 1 position in average running position; green-flag passes of cars running in the top 15 and speed in the final 25 percent of a run following a pit stop.
4. Kevin Harvick
(Last week: 5th)
Kevin Harvick continues to remain on a short list of drivers that would be considered Championship favorites once the Chase for the Sprint Cup begins. This past week at Dover was a prime example. Harvick was arguably one of the top three cars before damage to a tire ended his day early.
5. Dale Earnhardt, Jr.
(Last week: 4th)
Although not as strong as Jeff Gordon and Jimmie Johnson, another race yielded another strong day for Earnhardt Jr., who has run well enough to maintain a position within or near the top five on a regular basis.
6. Matt Kenseth
(Last week: 6th)
Kenseth appears to be the driver most likely to win his first race of the season if the past two races mean anything. Kenseth is coming off of two finishes of third or better, challenging for the win on late restarts both times. Like Jimmie Johnson earlier this season, a win for Kenseth appears to be only a matter of time.
7. Brad Keselowski
(Last week: 9th)
Keselowski looked to right the ship last weekend at Dover. He won the pole position and after he faded backwards early, rallied back and edged Matt Kenseth to finish second, his best finish of the year since winning the third race of the season in Las Vegas.
8. Kyle Busch
(Last week: 7th)
Kyle Busch fans are likely wondering what could have been. After winning the NASCAR Nationwide and Camping World Truck Series events, Busch's hopes of a triple came to an abrupt halt after contact with Clint Bowyer damaged his car and ended his day prematurely.
9. Denny Hamlin
(Last week: 10th) Hamlin is coming off of a much-needed strong finish at Dover. His finish of fifth was his second top five of the season.
10. Carl Edwards
(Last week: 8th)
Despite handling problems, Edwards fought his way through the field to finish 14th. Edwards has completed more laps than any other NASCAR Sprint Cup Series driver this season. That longevity is a major reason that Edwards finds himself third in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series points standings.