Martin Truex Jr.’s win at Dover helped shake up this week’s NBC Sports NASCAR Power Rankings.
Not only did Truex rocket to No. 2 – up six spots from last week – he also prevented Kyle Busch from scoring yet another unanimous No. 1 selection from the NBC Sports NASCAR writers.
Instead of a perfect 40 points, Busch earned 38 points this week; Truex had 37 points. For the first time this season, six of the top 10 spots in this week’s rankings resulted in ties.
Suffering the biggest drop in the rankings was Ryan Newman, who fell out of the rankings after being sixth last week.
Here’s how this week’s Power Rankings look:
1. Kyle Busch (38 points): Even though he had an off-week by his standards, he still tied Morgan Shepherd’s record of 11 straight top-10 finishes to start a season (a mark Busch can break Saturday at Kansas). Last week: 1st.
2. Martin Truex Jr. (37 points): He and Cole Pearn suddenly seem to have recaptured their magic. Last week: 8th.
3. Chase Elliott (28 points): Follows Talladega win by leading the most laps at Dover and finishing fifth. Momentum is building for this team. Last week: tied for 3rd.
(tie) 4. Joey Logano (25 points): The defending series champ has four straight top 10 finishes. He is keeping the momentum rolling. Last week: 2nd.
(tie) 4. Kevin Harvick (25 points): If there was a prize for finishing fourth, Harvick would run away with it: he has five fourth-place showings in the first 11 races. Unfortunately, that’s as high as he’s finished; he’s still looking for his first win of 2019. Last week: 9th.
6. Alex Bowman (14 points): Back-to-back career-best second-place finishes. While some may have considered his Talladega finish a fluke, he backed it up with a solid effort at Dover. Can a first Cup win be on tap soon? Last week: 10th.
(tie) 7. Kyle Larson (9 points): Put together a strong performance, his best of 2019. First top-five finish of season and best showing since last fall’s Phoenix playoff race (also finished third). Has he finally put the bad luck behind him? We’ll find out at Kansas. Last week: not ranked.
(tie) 7. Kurt Busch (9 points): Even though he finished 13th at Dover, his lowest outing since Daytona, he continues to have arguably the most consistent season of any driver, with the exception of younger brother Kyle. His first season at Chip Ganassi Racing remains Grade A. Last week: tied for 3rd.
(tie) 7. Denny Hamlin (9 points): Rough day at Dover. Was never a factor. Opened the season with Daytona 500 win and finished no worse than 11th in the first nine races. Now he hasn’t finished in the top 20 in the past two races. Does he right the ship at Kansas? Last week: 5th.
(tie) 7. Brad Keselowski (9 points): One top-10 finish in the last five races since his win at Martinsville has this driver trending downward. Is there cause for concern? Last week: 7th.