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Power Rankings

Power Rankings: Auto Club/Martinsville

Daniel Suarez
1 Kyle Larson
---- 1/12 1st

Larson shed his bridesmaid label with a dominating win at Auto Club Speedway that gave him the weekend sweep. Expect that momentum to continue at Martinsville, where the 24-year-old finished a career-best third in the 2016 STP 500.

MORE: Larson wins at Auto Club

2 Brad Keselowski
---- 1/8 2nd

The beginning of Sunday's Auto Club event started out rough for Keselowski, who became involved in the opening-lap scramble and later took a spin. But he battled his No. 2 back to the front of the pack just in time to squeeze out a cool runner-up finish. Skills.

MORE: 'Torn to pieces' car finishes second

3 Martin Truex Jr
---- 3/9 4th

Riding a streak of five straight top-15 finishes, Truex flexed his muscle under the California sun and led 73 laps in Sunday's 202-lapper. If it had not been for unfortunate pit stop and caution timing, he may have been out front with Larson contending for the win.

MORE: Pit call boxes in Truex

4 Chase Elliott
---- 4/9 10th

Elliott continues to put together strong showings, having led a combined 149 laps in five races this season. His stats aren't stellar at Martinsville (38th, 20th, 12th) but they do show progress from race to race at the ever-tricky paper clip.

MORE: Elliott's strong run ranks in Take 5

5 Joey Logano
+1 1/6 5th

Logano rallied from a 35th starting position to his fourth top-six finish of 2017 at Auto Club on Sunday. The Team Penske driver has never won at Martinsville but has started the last five races there from either the first or second spot.

6 Kyle Busch
+1 3/13 8th

With two wins at Fontana in 2013 and 2014, "Rowdy" was considered a favorite heading to the California track. An eighth-place finish isn't bad, but he'll look to turn that to a win at Martinsville, where he swept the spring race weekend in 2016.

7 Kevin Harvick
-2 1/7 13th

Harvick started out the '17 season strong, leading a combined 342 laps at Daytona and Atlanta. He's fallen off a bit from his usual dominance since, having not contended much for the win in the past three races. Nonetheless, there's something to be said for his rally from a damaged car in the back to a 13th-place result at Auto Club.

8 Denny Hamlin
+2 5/10 14th

A five-time Martinsville winner, Joe Gibbs Racing's Hamlin is always considered a big favorite heading to the paper-clip oval. A strong run would do some good for the No. 11 team, which hasn't put together a top-five finish all season.

9 Ryan Blaney
---- 8/19 9th

Blaney notched his third top-10 of the season at Auto Club and ranks seventh in the point standings. He has collected a pair of 19th-place finishes at Martinsville, but with his aggressiveness this season, expect that number to improve.

10 Kurt Busch
-2 2/10 24th

Busch hasn't done much since winning the Daytona 500 in February with three straight finishes of 24th or worse. While the Stewart-Haas driver is a two-time winner at Martinsville, his average finish of 21.2 in 33 starts makes for mixed reviews on his paper-clip prophecy.

11 Jimmie Johnson
---- 2/11 21st

Johnson's slow start to the season with three finishes of 19th or worse is a bit puzzling. That being said, if he doesn't record a strong result (or win) at Martinsville -- a track where he owns a series-best nine victories among active drivers -- the No. 48 camp may need some further evaluation.

WATCH: Johnson's cockeyed pit stop

12 Jamie McMurray
+1 12/16 6th

Larson isn't the only Chip Ganassi Racing driver impressing this season: McMurray has put together several strong runs in '17, resulting in four straight top-15 finishes (including a sixth-place result at Auto Club).

13 Kasey Kahne
-1 10/15 20th

Kahne's '17 improvements slowed considerably at Phoenix and Auto Club with a pair of 20th-place results. Hendrick Motorsports is traditionally great at Martinsville, but it doesn't appear to be one of Kahne's best tracks (no wins, 19.9 average finish).

14 Clint Bowyer
+2 14/17 3rd

Bowyer's unexpected third-place result at Fontana sets the standard for the rest of his season. The newest SHR driver is riding a wave of momentum that could continue at Martinsville, a track where he's finished more than 50 percent of his Cup races in the top 10.

MORE: Bowyer saving big celebration for win

15 Matt Kenseth
-1 7/15 36th

A hard hit at Auto Club left Kenseth struggling with a 36th-place finish. Martinsville looks better for the No. 20 Joe Gibbs Racing team; he's never won at the paper clip, but has finished five of the last seven races in the top six.

WATCH: Kenseth smacks the wall hard

16 Erik Jones
+1 16/22 12th

The Furniture Row Racing rookie looked to be on the verge of his first top-five in the Monster Energy Series when a late uncontrolled tire penalty foiled his run, leaving him with a 12th-place result at Auto Club. That being said, Jones' four straight finishes in the top 15 show quick progress and bode well for the future.

17 Ryan Newman
-2 15/24 15th

Newman followed up his breakthrough Phoenix win with an uneventful 15th-place result at Auto Club after starting fifth. But with his victory last week virtually locking him into the playoffs, consistency may not be bad for the No. 31 team.

18 Daniel Suarez
+2 14/20 7th

After a shaky start to his rookie season, Suarez & his No. 19 team seem to have found some rhythm with a pair of seventh-place results at Phoenix and Auto Club. He's never raced Martinsville in NASCAR's top division, but his top-seven showing at longer-but-still-considered-short track Phoenix says something.

19 Dale Earnhardt Jr
---- 11/19 16th

Earnhardt Jr. -- and Junior Nation for that matter -- will look to break from their top-16ish runs this week at Martinsville, a track that Junior loves but a place where he has only reached Victory Lane once (2014).

20 Trevor Bayne
-2 16/20 23rd

Bayne started off the year with a 10th-place result at Daytona -- and his finishes have worsened since. His 26.8 average finish at Martinsville doesn't foretell the best fortunes this weekend for the No. 6 Roush Fenway team.

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