NASCAR Power Rankings: Martin Truex Jr. takes over No. 1

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Two races without a top-10 finish by Denny Hamlin has changed the top of the NBC Sports NASCAR Power Rankings.

Martin Truex Jr. is the new No. 1 as the series heads to its throwback weekend at Darlington Raceway (3:30 p.m. ET Sunday on FS1). William Byron is second, while Hamlin falls to third.

Kansas winner Kyle Busch returns to the top 10.

NASCAR Power Rankings after Kansas 

1. Martin Truex Jr. (Last week: No. 3) — His sixth-place finish is his seventh top 10 in the last nine races, including two wins. The only times he didn’t finish in the top 10 during that stretch are when he had a tire go down in the final laps while in the top 10 at Bristol and when he was collected in a crash at Talladega. He has an average finish of 10.7 and has led 360 laps this season. Truex also has 97 stage points, which ranks behind only Denny Hamlin (156) and Ryan Blaney (109) this season.

2. William Byron (Last week: No. 2) — Has scored nine consecutive top-10 finishes. The 23-year-old is the youngest driver to accomplish that in Cup history. He has an average finish of 10.2 and has led 150 laps this year. He has 86 stage points, which ranks tied for sixth this season.

3. Denny Hamlin (Last week: No. 1) — Has finished outside the top 10 in back-to-back races for the first time this season. Still, his eight top-five finishes are the most in the series, and he’s led a series-high 744 laps. He also has scored points in 15 of the last 16 stages.

4. Ryan Blaney (Last week: No. 4) — Was in position for a top-five finish at Kansas but a shove from Kyle Larson caused Blaney to get out of shape and off the gas at the end. The result was a 21st-place finish. Blaney scored points in both stages. He’s scored points in 14 of the last 16 stages. Sunday’s finish snapped his streak of seven consecutive finishes of 11th or better.

5. Brad Keselowski (Last week: No. 7) — Third-place finish at Kansas gives him back-to-back top-five results for the second time this season. His five top-five finishes trail only Denny Hamlin’s eight this season for most in the series. On the other side, Keselowski has had four finishes of 14th or worse this year.

6. Kyle Larson (Last week: No. 8) — Led a race-high 132 laps and was poised to win his second race of the season until late cautions. Has to finish off races. Has won only three of the 15 races he’s led at least 100 laps during his Cup career.

7. Joey Logano (Last week: No. 5) — Finished 17th at Kansas, marking his second finish in a row outside the top 15. Has four top fives and six top 10s this season. Also has led 324 laps. Kansas was only the second race he has failed to lead this season (the other race was Atlanta).

8. Kevin Harvick (Last week: No. 10) — Runner-up result at Kansas is his second top-five finish in a row and his eighth top 10 in 11 races this year.

9. Kyle Busch (Last week: Unranked) — Kansas win moves him back into the top 10 after he fell out the previous week. He has three top 10s in the last four races. The 20 laps he led at Kansas were more than what he had led in the season’s first 10 races combined (14).

10. Christopher Bell (Last week: No. 6) — Finished 28th at Kansas after accident. Daytona road course winner has two top 10s in the last four races.

Dropped out: Alex Bowman (No. 9)

NASCAR Power Rankings: William Byron, Kyle Busch rank 1-2


Kyle Busch moved closer to the top spot after his win Sunday at WWT Raceway, but William Byron keeps hold of No. 1 after another top-10 run.

The series heads to Sonoma Raceway this weekend, the second race of the season on a road course.


(Previous ranking in parenthesis)

1. William Byron (1) — He goes into Sonoma with six consecutive top-10 finishes after his eighth-place result at WWT Raceway. Byron has led a series-high 717 laps this season.

2. Kyle Busch (4) — Recorded his third win of the season Sunday. He is tied with Byron for most wins this year. Busch scored 59 of a maximum 60 points and won his first stage of the year Sunday. He has 16 playoff points. Only Byron has more with 17 this season.

3. Kyle Larson (3) — His fourth-place finish continued his up-and-down season. In the last nine races, Larson has two wins, four top fives, a 20th-place result and four finishes of 30th or worse. He has led 588 laps this season, which ranks second this year to Byron.

4. Martin Truex Jr. (2) — His fifth-place finish is his sixth top 10 in the last eight races. He ranks third in laps led this year with 383.

5. Denny Hamlin (7) — Runner-up result at WWT Raceway is his fourth top 10 in the last seven races.

6. Ryan Blaney (10) — Followed Coca-Cola 600 win with a sixth-place run at WWT Raceway. He had an average running position of 2.6 on Sunday, second only to winner Kyle Busch’s average running position of 1.9.

7. Joey Logano (9) — Third-place finish is his second top 10 in the last four races.

8. Kevin Harvick (NR) — His 10th-place finish is his fourth consecutive finish of 11th or better.

9. Ross Chastain (6) — Lost the points lead after placing 22nd, his third consecutive finish outside the top 20.

10. Ricky Stenhouse Jr. (NR) — Headed for his eighth top 15 in a row until he was collected in a crash after the contact between Austin Cindric and Austin Dillon late in Sunday’s race.

Dropped out: Chase Elliott (5th), Tyler Reddick (8th)

NASCAR will not penalize Austin Cindric for incident with Austin Dillon


Despite Richard Childress and Austin Dillon saying that Austin Cindric intentionally wrecked Dillon late in Sunday’s Cup race at WWT Raceway, NASCAR will not penalize Cindric.

Elton Sawyer, NASCAR senior vice president of competition, said Tuesday on SiriusXM NASCAR Radio that there would be no penalty to Cindric after reviewing the contact.

Dillon and Childress were upset about the incident, which brought out the caution on Lap 220 of the 243-lap race. Dillon said NASCAR should suspend Cindric for the contact, just as NASCAR suspended Chase Elliott one race for hooking Denny Hamlin in the Coca-Cola 600.

Contact between the left front of Cindric’s car and the right rear of Dillon’s car sent Dillon up the track into Ricky Stenhouse Jr. Dillon finished 31st. Cindric continued and placed 13th.

Dillon told “I was wrecked intentionally by (Cindric), hooked right just like Chase and Denny and Bubba’s deal (in wrecking Kyle Larson at Las Vegas in 2022). He better be suspended next week.”

Childress said: “(Dillon) had drove up to about 10th until (Cindric) wrecked him in there on purpose, sort of a payback.”

Sawyer said a review of the incident included viewing video and data.

“We didn’t see anything — and haven’t seen anything — that really would rise to a level that would be a suspension or a penalty,” Sawyer said. “It looked like hard racing. One car coming up a little bit and another car going down.

“As we said last week, we take these incidents very serious when we see cars that are turned head-on into another car or head-on into the wall. I spent a lot of time (Monday) looking at that, looking at all the data, looking at TV footage and just deemed this one really hard racing.”

Sawyer said NASCAR plans to talk to both Cindric and Dillon “to make sure we’re all in a good place as we move forward to Sonoma.”



Seven Cup drivers entered in Xfinity race at Sonoma


Kyle Larson is among seven Cup drivers entered in Saturday’s Xfinity Series race at Sonoma Raceway.

The race marks the first time the Xfinity Series has competed at the California road course. Teams will get 50 minutes of practice Friday because this is a new event on the schedule. That additional time will give those Cup drivers more laps on the 1.99-mile road course.

MORE: Sonoma Xfinity entry list

Here is a look at what Xfinity rides the Cup drivers will pilot this weekend:

The race is scheduled to start at 8 p.m. ET Saturday.

The ARCA Menards Series West also is competing this weekend at Sonoma Raceway. Cup driver Ryan Preece is entered in that event. Xfinity drivers Cole Custer, Riley Herbst, Sammy Smith and Parker Retzlaff also are entered in that race, which will be held at 6:30 p.m. ET Friday.


Winners and losers at WWT Raceway


Winners and losers from Sunday’s Cup race at WWT Raceway:


Kyle BuschWins the pole, leads the most laps and holds the field off over the last five restarts to win the race. He scored six playoff points, giving him 16 on the season, second only to William Byron’s 17. Busch left Joe Gibbs Racing after last season for Richard Childress Racing. Busch’s three wins this year equals what JGR has done so far.

Ryan BlaneyHis sixth-place finish moved him into the points lead. He last led the points after the spring 2022 Richmond race. Blaney also won a stage Sunday to collect another playoff point. He has seven this season.

Kyle LarsonFourth-place finish was a big turnaround after struggles earlier in the race. It has not been easy for this team the last few weeks. He has three top-five finishes and four finishes of 20th or worse in the last seven races.

Daniel SuarezHis seventh-place finish moved him up two spots to 16th in the standings, the final playoff transfer spot at this time.


Ross ChastainHe finished 22nd for his third consecutive result outside the top 20. He entered the weekend leading the points and fell to fifth afterward. He is 29 points behind new series leader Ryan Blaney with 11 races left in the regular season.

Tyler ReddickRebounded from an early spin to lead but had his race end after a brake rotor failed. He was one of four drivers eliminated by brake rotor failures. The others were Carson Hocevar, Bubba Wallace and Noah Gragson.