NASCAR Power Rankings: Kyle Busch keeps No. 1 spot


His day ended early at New Hampshire through no fault of his own, but Kyle Busch remains No. 1 in this week’s NBC Sports NASCAR Power Rankings.

Even with the last-place finish Sunday, Busch has been strong lately. The New Hampshire finish snapped a string of four consecutive top-three finishes. He’s led in nine consecutive races. Busch averaged 45.3 points per race in the seven events before New Hampshire.

MORE: New Hampshire winners and losers

While the top stays the same with Busch first and Kyle Larson second, there are three drivers in the rankings who were not in it last week: Ryan Blaney, Christopher Bell and Brad Keselowski. They replace William Byron, Tyler Reddick and Martin Truex Jr.

NASCAR Power Rankings after New Hampshire

1. Kyle Busch (Last week: No. 1) — Victim of being first into a section of wet track at New Hampshire and crashing in the opening laps Sunday. This came after drivers stated it was raining but NASCAR had yet to display the caution. The actions of officials impact all sports and are a part of the game, but the circumstances of Busch’s last-place finish are not going to knock him out of the No. 1 spot in this week’s rankings, especially with what he’s done in recent weeks. He has six top-five finishes in the last eight races.

2. Kyle Larson (Last week: No. 2) — Snapped streak of two finishes outside the top 10 (spun by teammate at Road America and had a speeding penalty at Atlanta) to finish seventh at New Hampshire. He has nine top 10s in the last 11 races. However, he has not led a lap in the last four races — tied for his longest drought of the season.

3. Alex Bowman (Last week: No. 4) — His ninth-place finish is his eighth top 10 in the last 10 races.

4. Denny Hamlin (Last week: No. 5) — Overcame incident at the start on the wet track to finish 10th at New Hampshire. He has five top 10s in the last eight races. Hamlin has scored points in 10 of the last 12 stages and remains the points leader.

5. Chase Elliott (Last week: No. 3) — His 18th-place finish marks his fourth finish outside the top 10 in the last six races.

6. Kurt Busch (Last week: No. 6) — He placed 16th at New Hampshire, only the second time in the last seven races he’s finished outside the top 10.

7. Ryan Blaney (Last week: Unranked) — His fifth-place finish marks his fourth finish of sixth or better in the last five races. He also won a stage Sunday.

8. Christopher Bell (Last week: Unranked) — Scored his second runner-up finish in the last three races. Has a season-high three consecutive top 10s and four top 10s in the last six races.

9. Joey Logano (Last week: No. 10) — Overcame a two-lap penalty early for work on the car during the red flag to finish fourth. He has three top 10s in the last five races.

10. Brad Keselowski (Last week: Unranked) — Finished third at New Hampshire, scoring a race-high 53 points. He has four top 10s in the last five races.

Dropped out: William Byron (No. 7), Tyler Reddick (No. 8), Martin Truex Jr. (No. 9)