For the second consecutive week, there was extensive upheaval in the NBC Sports NASCAR Power Rankings.
Last week saw Kyle Busch regain the top spot, while six drivers entered the top 10 after not being ranked the week before.
This week, there is a new No. 1 in the rankings with New Hampshire runner-up Denny Hamlin. Loudon winner Kevin Harvick, ranked No. 2, leads five drivers who make this week’s poll after being unranked last week. And Kyle Busch falls to No. 4 this week.
Here’s how this week’s rankings shape up:
1. Denny Hamlin (35 points): He’ll be kicking himself for months about the win getting away, but his team showed major mettle. Last week: 5th.
2. Kevin Harvick (33 points): No longer has to worry about when win No. 1 will come. The 2019 season is feeling like a repeat of ’17 when Harvick made the championship round. Last week: Unranked.
3. Erik Jones (31 points): Scores back-to-back third-place finishes and then says of Ricky Stenhouse Jr.’s threat to get him back: “I guess go ahead.” Becoming a sure bet for the playoffs as long as he avoids Ricky’s revenge. Last week: 4th.
4. Kyle Busch (30 points): Best car didn’t win New Hampshire but heads back to Pocono and site of his win there in June. Last week: 1st.
5. Joey Logano (24 points): Not the result the reigning champ was looking for in his return to New Hampshire but still eked out a solid top 10 finish to keep the points lead. Last week: 2nd.
6. Ryan Newman (21 points): Ability to grind out top 10s has been impressive in recent weeks. Has five top 10s in the last six races. Last week: 7th.
(tie) 7. Matt DiBenedetto (13 points): Three top 10s in the last five races is a big step forward for this team. Making a surge after a miserable start; is it enough to keep his ride? Last week: Unranked.
(tie) 7. Ryan Blaney (13 points): Scored fourth top 10 in the last six races with his fourth-place finish at New Hampshire. Shaping up as a solid darkhorse for the final 10 races. Last week: Unranked.
9. Martin Truex Jr. (8 points): A good rebound from his midrace incident with Clint Bowyer. Has four top 10s in the last six races, but only one finish better than fifth (his win at Sonoma). Last week: Unranked.
10. Christopher Bell (7 points): By earning his fifth win in the first 18 races, is making it harder for Joe Gibbs Racing to not have Bell in its Cup lineup in 2020. Last week: Unranked.