Loading Related Articles ...

Power Rankings

Power Rankings: Daytona/Atlanta

1 Joey Logano
---- 1/1 21st

Logano will ride a great start to his season ... into one of his worst tracks in Atlanta, where he has just two top-10 finishes in 10 starts.

2 Kevin Harvick
+2 2/4 8th

With the new format, Harvick is fourth in the standings despite placing 22nd in the Daytona 500. Leading at the end of Stage 2 played into his favor, and his 679 laps led at Atlanta are second only to teammate Kurt Busch among active drivers.

3 Kurt Busch
+7 3/10 2nd

Fresh off a masterful Daytona 500 finish and win, Busch may be able to string together two straight as he's a three-time winner at Atlanta.

4 Chase Elliott
+5 4/9 4th

While not quite like winning your first race in the Daytona 500, winning in your home state of Georgia wouldn't be too bad for Elliott, who finished eighth in his only start at Atlanta.

5 Denny Hamlin
+1 5/6 5th

Hamlin was unable to repeat as winner, but landing in the top 10 in the standings after that wild Daytona 500 might as well count as a victory.

6 Jimmie Johnson
-4 2/6 11th

As the two-time defending race-winner at Atlanta, look for Johnson to get back on track after a disappointing start to his title defense.

7 Kyle Busch
-4 3/7 10th

Busch may be able to make up for his bizarre Daytona 500 wreck next weekend at Atlanta, where he (2013) and Denny Hamlin (2012) are the most recent non-Hendrick Motorsports drivers to win.

8 Brad Keselowski
-3 5/8 13th

Keselowski was another beneficiary of the new format, as he stands 12th in points despite his 27th-place finish. Still, you can be assured he isn't happy about it.

9 Martin Truex Jr
-1 8/9 1st

For a quick second there at the end, it looked as if Martin Truex Jr. would be redeemed for his near-win at the Daytona 500 last year. Alas, that was not the case. But the team still looks strong.

10 Kyle Larson
+2 10/12 39th

Like Truex, it appeared Larson may be well on the way to his first Daytona 500 win. And also like Truex, he finished outside the top 10.

11 Dale Earnhardt Jr
---- 11/11 7th

Earnhardt Jr.'s return was disappointing, but through no fault of his own. Atlanta shapes up nicely for him, with the second-best average finish among drivers with more than one start there (11.6). Plus, his 29 starts are tops in the series.

12 Matt Kenseth
-5 7/12 37th

Kenseth finishes in the top five 36 percent of the time at Atlanta, so it's a great opportunity for him to right the ship after wrecking out at Daytona.

13 Ryan Blaney
+6 13/19 3rd

Blaney! If there was any doubt about whether the Wood Brothers Racing driver can compete for a win in 2017, doubt no more. The potential playoffs field looks quite deep at the moment.

14 Austin Dillon
-1 13/14 14th

Dillon continues to be a threat on restrictor-plate tracks. It felt natural to see the No. 3 out front, leading laps at Daytona. Before long, that'll result in a win.

15 Kasey Kahne
---- 15/15 15th

Off to a hot start already, Kahne has a good shot to keep it going at Atlanta, the site of his last win (2014).

16 Jamie McMurray
---- 16/16 34th

McMurray certainly appeared to be a little more aggressive than we've seen in years past at Daytona. Perhaps the veteran is feeling rejuvenated by the new format and sees an opportunity to win. 

17 Clint Bowyer
---- 17/17 19th

Bowyer was immediately more competitive in a different ride at the Daytona 500 than he was at any point last year. He'll find Victory Lane for the first time since 2012 at some point this season, but it may take a bit.

18 Daniel Suarez
-4 14/18 36th

Suarez didn't get the finish he wanted in his first career Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series race. He's a quick study, however, so keep an eye on him.

19 AJ Allmendinger
+1 19/20 32nd

Allmendinger has just three top-10 finishes at Atlanta in his career, but one came in 2015 (7th).

20 Paul Menard
+1 20/21 12th

Menard always seems to bring it at Daytona, where his top-five finish sets him up for yet another strong start.

More stories

Top headlines