Jeff Gordon, Jimmie Johnson headline post-Atlanta rankings
|Atlanta Power Rankings|
|Jeremy Mayfield did it in 2004.|
Ryan Newman did it in 2005.
Kasey Kahne did it in 2006 (making Kenny Francis the only crew chief to do it twice).
Brian Vickers did it in 2009.
Jeff Gordon passes teammate Jimmie Johnson with 50 laps to go and the two battle tooth-and-nail for the win in the closing laps.
Since then, no Sprint Cup driver has raced his way into the Chase for the Championship at the final regular season race at Richmond. Even with the addition of the two wild cards, vaulting into the postseason while negotiating the perils of the .75-mile confines of Richmond International Raceway will be daunting.
Brad Keselowski, 11th in points and 23 points from 10th, could leap into an automatic transfer spot, but he's already assured of at least a wild-card spot because of his three wins. Denny Hamlin, in 12th, holds the second wild card because of a victory this season, but several drivers could threaten his position by winning their first race of the season at Richmond.
Those are all worries for drivers with things left to do in the regular season. For the rest of them, there's cavorting in the Power Rankings.