NASCAR Power Rankings: Chase for the Sprint Cup Week 1 Edition

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NASCAR Power Rankings: Chase for the Sprint Cup Week 1 Edition
Jerry Markland/Getty Images
Already one major change to this Chase picture has been required.

The snapshot taken following completion of the Federated Auto Parts 400 at Richmond International Raceway was quickly and widely distributed throughout all of America by NASCAR and media outlets that thought they were recording a little piece of history.

But then it changed dramatically and almost as quickly.

Within 48 hours the picture taken of the supposed 12 Chase for the Sprint Cup drivers was in need of some major photoshopping. By virtue of unprecedented penalties and fines levied against Michael Waltrip Racing in wake of some real funny business at the end of the Richmond race that turned out to be not so hilarious, driver Ryan Newman is in the Chase and Martin Truex Jr. of MWR is out.

What other craziness is in store for the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series over the next 10 races that will decide the 2013 Chase winner? Who is the favorite heading in and what kind of fallout can some others expect from the spectacular SpinGate controversy that swallowed up the sport post-Richmond?

Who wields the power heading into the Chase and who is still chasing it, based on all of the above, the tracks that will comprise the 10-race postseason schedule, who's hot (and not just under the fire suit collar) and who's not?

Read on to find out.

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