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Power Rankings

NASCAR.com Power Rankings: Chicago/Loudon

1 Martin Truex Jr
+4 1/11 1st

Intermediate master Martin Truex Jr. once again rose to the occasion on the big stage. Expect that to continue throughout the 1.5-mile heavy Chase.

MORE: Truex snags first Chase win

2 Chase Elliott
+9 2/16 3rd

If not for a blown Michael McDowell tire, we'd be asking today -- will there be a NASCAR Sprint Cup for the Chase? Still might happen.

MORE: Elliott gets bridesmaid baton

3 Jimmie Johnson
+10 1/13 12th

Possible that Hendrick Motorsports was slow-playing it a bit toward the end of the regular season and saving their best stuff for the Chase? Ask Johnson's race-high 118 laps led what they think.

MORE: Penalty impedes otherwise perfect day for JJ

4 Joey Logano
+3 3/7 2nd

There are two teams that have excelled at NHMS lately: Joe Gibbs Racing -- and Team Penske, home of native New Englander Joey Logano.

5 Kyle Busch
+1 1/6 8th

You'd be hard pressed to find a better driver than Kyle Busch at Loudon since 2013, when he began a five-race run that included four top-two finishes.

6 Brad Keselowski
-4 1/10 5th

Keselowski has three poles at New Hampshire, best among Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup drivers.

7 Denny Hamlin
-6 1/14 6th

Tough break when you finish as well as Hamlin did and still drop this far, but he could certainly be back on top after Loudon -- a track that he and his organization excel at.

8 Matt Kenseth
+2 6/13 9th

As the defending race-winner -- and the July Loudon winner -- look for Kenseth to punch his ticket to the next round or put himself in excellent position to do so ahead of Dover.

9 Kevin Harvick
-6 1/9 20th

After not living up to his standards at Chicago, look for a zoned-in Harvick at Loudon, where he's finished in the top four in three of the past four races.

MORE: Harvick victim of unforunate timing

10 Kyle Larson
-6 4/20 18th

Expect Larson's run this weekend to look more like his first two NHMS runs (3rd, 2nd) than his last three (31st, 17th, 17th) as he puts himself back into good position.

11 Carl Edwards
-3 1/12 15th

We know now that Edwards really wants to check Loudon off his bucket list. With two poles in his last three starts there, look for him to start up front again as his search continues this weekend.

12 Kurt Busch
-3 2/12 13th

As his performance has dwindled throughout the season, Busch is in serious trouble of not escaping the first round of the Chase.

13 Tony Stewart
-1 10/25 16th

Stewart isn't in great shape after one race, but he has a great history at Loudon (series-best 15 top fives) and was a runner-up in July.

14 Jamie McMurray
---- 14/21 11th

Apart from Chris Buescher and Chase Elliott (who only have one Loudon start each), McMurray's NHMS average finishing position is easily the worst among Chase contenders at 19.9.

15 Austin Dillon
---- 9/17 14th

On the whole, Dillon's NHMS resume is above average (13.6 avg. finish), but his 22nd-place finish in this race last year is cause for concern.

16 Chris Buescher
---- 16/30 28th

Buescher absolutely met expectations in the Chase opener in Chicago. Only problem? Expectations weren't high to begin with.