NBC Sports Power Rankings: William Byron continues his domination

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William Byron remains the unanimous No. 1 pick atop this week’s NBC Sports virtual NASCAR Power Rankings.

Byron received all 30 points in a vote by NBC’s NASCAR writers. Timmy Hill was second on each ballot.

Denny Hamlin made the largest climb, from ninth place last week to fourth this week. Dropping out of this week’s rankings were Dale Earnhardt Jr. and Kyle Busch.

Here’s this week’s virtual power rankings:

1. William Byron (30 points): Really, is anyone surprised that he’s dominated the Pro Invitational Series based on his background in iRacing? Didn’t think so. Last week: 1st.

2. Timmy Hill (27 points): Six Pro Invitational starts, five top-3 finishes.  Last week: 2nd.

3. Garrett Smithley (22 points): Has earned back-to-back top-10 finishes. All he needs is a bit more consistency. Last week: 6th.

4. Denny Hamlin (20 points): See what happens when you hide the remotes before the race so your daughter can’t accidentally shut off his screen (like the previous week)? End result was a top-10 finish. Last week: 9th.

5. Alex Bowman (17 points): With his sometimes distracting dogs off his rig and out of the picture, he does well. Last week: 3rd.

6. Ryan Preece (16 points): Admittedly, had a rough day at Dover, finishing 29th. But he remains one of the top sim racers, with four top-10 finishes in the first six events. Last week: 5th.

7. Landon Cassill (11 points): The records show a 21st-place finish, but the real story is he was strong for most of the race until misfortune struck. Last week: 4th.

8. Erik Jones (7 points): Keeps improving. Earned his first top-five with a fourth-place finish at Dover. Last week: Unranked.

(tie) 9. Michael McDowell (5 points): Recorded his first top-five finish in the Pro Invitational Series at Dover. Last week: Unranked.

(tie) 9. Brennan Poole (5 points): Just like in real-life racing, a bit more consistency in virtual racing would likely spell even stronger results. Last week: Unranked.

Others receiving votes: Christopher Bell (4 points), Ryan Blaney (1 point).