NBC Sports Power Rankings: Denny Hamlin still No. 1

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It appears Denny Hamlin isn’t going anywhere any time soon. That’s the case as the Joe Gibbs Racing driver remains No. 1 in the NBC Sports NASCAR Power Rankings for the fourth consecutive week.

Hamlin’s reign at the top isn’t surprising. He has a win and four top-five finishes in his last five starts.

The biggest gainer in this week’s rankings is Michigan winner Kevin Harvick, who moved from sixth last week to second this week.

Meanwhile, Erik Jones fell from second to eighth this week.

Here’s how this week’s Power Rankings shape up:

1. Denny Hamlin (39 points): Just like his sponsor, he delivers. Certainly seems like the preemptive championship favorite. Last week: 1st.

2. Kevin Harvick (37 points): Two wins in the last four races. Shades of his 2018 dominance returning? Competitors better be worried. Last week: 6th.

3. Martin Truex Jr. (31 points): Had best car at Michigan but sometimes the best car doesn’t win. Mistakes by team (strategy) and driver (restarts) hurt No. 19. Last week: 3rd.

4. Kyle Larson (27 points): Has quietly but effectively become more of a factor of late. The Knoxville Nationals proved to be a bust for him but a third-place finish at Michigan is his sixth top 10 in the last eight races. Last week: 8th.

5. Kyle Busch (17 points): Didn’t have the best car but still won a stage at Michigan and stretched his lead on Joey Logano for the regular-season title. Last week: 9th.

6. Chase Elliott (12 points): Followed Watkins Glen win with top 10 at Michigan. First time he’s had back-to-back top 10s since late May/early June. Last week: 4th.

7. Daniel Suarez (10 points): A playoffs-saving salvage job after a disastrous Stage 2. Last week: Unranked.

8. Erik Jones (9 points): His streak of four consecutive top-five finishes came to an end at Michigan. Still, he’s on track to make the playoffs if he keeps having consistent top-10 finishes. Last week: 2nd.

9. Brad Keselowski (8 points): Can’t argue with Team Penske’s speed, but execution needs work. Last week: Unranked.

(tie) 10. Joey Logano (6 points): If the cautions fall differently, he might have swept both Michigan Cup races this year. Last week: Unranked.

(tie) 10. Austin Cindric (6 points): After failing to win in his first 53 career Xfinity starts, has now earned back-to-back wins in last two starts (Watkins Glen and Mid-Ohio). We’re starting to see Cindric coming into his own, for sure. Last week: Unranked.

Others receiving votes: Ryan Preece (5 points), Ryan Newman (4 points), Ryan Blaney (3 points), Christopher Bell (2 points), Matt DiBenedetto (2 points), William Byron (1 point), Chris Buescher (1 point).