HomeSportsNascarNASCAR Cup Series Standings: Team Penske Shows Strength in Atlanta

NASCAR Cup Series Standings: Team Penske Shows Strength in Atlanta

by Jonathan Howard
Team Penske drivers celebrate Joey Logano win
(Photo by Jonathan Bachman/Getty Images)

Just when we thought the Hendrick Motorsports drivers were the top team, Team Penske comes in and shakes up the NASCAR standings. Joey Logano’s big win at Atlanta has reverberated around the Cup Series. He now leads the field.

From the beginning of qualifying, we knew the Fords were the group to beat this weekend. It was dominance from not just Team Penske at that point, but almost all of the blue ovals. Eight of the top 10 in qualifying were Fords.

However, we saw that dominance translated to the race. That doesn’t always happen. When the Ambetter Health 400 got to the end, it was Logano up against Keselowski for the win. Ryan Blaney finished P7 in a strong race. Meanwhile, Austin Cindric finished P11 for a strong day.

Altogether, Team Penske racked up 141 points between their three drivers in this week’s NASCAR standings. Logano leads things off with 177 points, just a single point over Christopher Bell. Ross Chastain is close by in third with 172 points. Blaney is in fourth with 161 points, while Keselowski rounds out the top five with 160.

Kevin Harvick, last week’s leader after the Hendrick penalties, slipped to sixth after earning just four points on the day. Here’s how the playoff picture looks right now, via Toby Christie.

Five races in, four winners so far in 2023. That is something to keep an eye on as the year moves along. If there are more than 16 winners in the regular season, then those Hendrick penalties are going to become serious problems for some of those drivers in the NASCAR standings.

NASCAR Standings – Bubba Wallace on the Bubble

Before Atlanta, Bubba Wallace was the last driver into the playoffs based on the NASCAR standings. However, this week he gets pushed out. Logano’s win and the Hendrick penalties put Wallace as the first driver out of the playoff picture for right now. He is in 16th in terms of points. However, William Byron and his two wins put him in the playoffs over Wallace.

You want to talk about being on the bubble, those Hendrick cars need to get something going and fast. Things just aren’t going to go very well for Alex Bowman, Kyle Larson, or Chase Elliott (when he comes back) if this continues. Getting a win is never guaranteed and neither is a spot in the playoffs.

We will have to wait and see if Hendrick gets points back in their appeal. Right now, it looks like a tough future for the three Hendrick cars without a win. Let’s not forget that Martin Truex Jr. missed out on the playoffs by three points last season…

The NASCAR standings are still changing week in and week out. It’s a long road to the playoffs. Joey Logano leads for now, but not by much. Christopher Bell seems to be moving quietly, but efficiently this year. Let’s see how it all shakes out.