NASCAR Power Rankings: Hendrick Motorsports Surges after Atlanta

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Viva Las Vegas! The Sprint Cup Series heads into the desert to kick off the western swing of the schedule, there is little change in this week’s NASCAR Power Rankings. But could it all change after this weekend on The Strip?

  1. Kyle Busch (Last Week – #1)

He didn’t win at Atlanta Motor Speedway, but Busch’s third place run showed that the champ will still be a force to be reckoned with throughout the 2016 season.

  1. Martin Truex Jr. (Last Week – #3)

Atlanta is one of those tracks Truex almost always seems to perform well at. Now heading into Vegas, he’ll have to continue this positive momentum without his crew chief, Cole Pearn.

  1. Denny Hamlin (Last Week – #2)

With a quiet sixteenth place finish, it was a day to forget for Denny Hamlin on Sunday at Atlanta. Only time will tell if he can handle the new low downforce aero package throughout the rest of the year.

  1. Jimmie Johnson (Last Week – #8)

Winning at Atlanta gave Hendrick Motorsports a bit of resurgence after a rough day at Daytona to start the year. The question now becomes, can HMS challenge Joe Gibbs Racing throughout the rest of the campaign?

  1. Kevin Harvick (Last Week – #4)

In contention throughout the day at Atlanta, a late restart would relegate him to a sixth place finish. But heading into the western swing, Harvick is a near lock to win one of those three races.

  1. Carl Edwards (Last Week – #7)

Two consecutive top five finishes is a great start for the #19 team in 2016. But what they would really like to do is break through to the win column soon.

  1. Joey Logano (Last Week – #6)

Many felt the sky was falling on Friday when both Team Penske drivers struggled in qualifying. But getting both cars into the top twelve at the end of the day is a small win for the team. More important to them though will be understanding the new rules package going forward.

  1. Matt Kenseth (Last Week – #5)

Two weeks, two heartbreaks for Matt Kenseth and his team. First, he falls from the lead to fourteenth on the final lap at Daytona. Then, a pit road penalty dooms his strong day at Atlanta. Is luck not on Kenseth’s side anymore?

  1. Kurt Busch (Last Week – #9)

Coming in fourth place on Sunday at Atlanta, Busch started on pole after his brother Kyle failed post-qualifying inspection. While he would run in the top three most of the day, Johnson and Harvick overshadowed Busch in the hunt for the win.

  1. Dale Earnhardt Jr. (Last Week – NR)

One week removed from being pushed out of the power rankings by Kyle Larson, a runner up finish at Atlanta inches Dale Earnhardt Jr. back into the top ten discussion. Can he continue to perform at Las Vegas?

Get ready for Vegas, baby! The Kobalt 400 at Las Vegas comes Sunday at 3 pm eastern on your local FOX station.

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