NASCAR Power Rankings: Top 20 Sprint Cup Drivers Coming Out of Charlotte

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NASCAR Power Rankings: Top 20 Sprint Cup Drivers Coming Out of Charlotte
Jerry Markland/Getty Images

What a terrible day Sunday was to be driving a car sponsored by the National Guard.

J.R. Hildebrand (in IndyCar) and Dale Earnhardt Jr. (in NASCAR) nearly swept the Indianapolis 500 and Coca-Cola 600 in Guard-backed cars, only for both of them to lose their respective races coming out of Turn 4. Hildebrand wrecked, and Earnhardt Jr. ran out of fuel.

Instead, Dan Wheldon won at Indianapolis, and Kevin Harvick—the closer, as it were—inherited yet another victory with a last-lap pass, even though he openly admitted in Victory Lane that he hates Charlotte Motor Speedway.

Don't feel bad for Junior, though.

Even as some folks argue the spin behind the leaders wasn't waved, a caution to try and benefit the sport's most popular driver (and I'm going to tell you right now that their argument is dead wrong), the No. 88 team can walk out of Charlotte with their heads held high because they know their first win of the year can't be too far.

So, who else walked out of Charlotte with momentum, and whose star fell a little on Sunday? That's what these things are for—to find out:

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