Kyle Busch remains No. 1; Joey Logano moves up in Power Rankings


The inaugural Cup race at World Wide Technology Racing featured a sold-out crowd witnessing an overtime duel between Joey Logano and Kyle Busch. Logano won the race, but Busch remains No. 1 in this week’s NBC Sports NASCAR Power Rankings.

Here is a look at this week’s rankings as the series prepares to go to Sonoma Raceway for Sunday’s event (4 p.m. ET on FS1):

NBC Sports NASCAR Power Rankings

1. Kyle Busch (Last week: No. 1) — Sunday’s runner-up finish at Gateway marked his second consecutive second-place finish and his third top three in a row. Busch has five top-three finishes in the last seven races. He scored a race-high 46 points at Gateway.

2. Ross Chastain (Last week: No. 2) — Overshadowed by his incidents with Chase Elliott and Denny Hamlin was that Chastain finished eighth. That gives him nine top-10 finishes this season. Only Kyle Busch has more top 10s this year with 11.

3. Joey Logano (Last week: No. 8) — Team has struggled to show consistency this season (he’s not had more than two top 10s in a row) but his win at Gateway is his second in the last four points races. 

4. Christopher Bell (Last week: No. 4) — His ninth-place finish is his fifth top 10 in a row. That’s the longest active streak in the series. 

5. Ryan Blaney (Last week: No. 7) — Overcame a spin after a flat tire to finish fourth. He led 12 laps Sunday. Blaney has led at least one lap in 13 of the 15 races this season. 

6. Kyle Larson (Last week No. 6) — Placed 12th at Gateway. He has finished 12th or better in six of the last seven races. Next two races are at Sonoma and Nashville. Larson won both races last year. Is he bound to begin a summer run?

7. Chase Elliott (Last week: No. 3) — Had to pit an extra time early to tighten a wheel and then had to go on an alternate strategy to gain track position. Contact from Ross Chastain turned Elliott, and he wasn’t a factor after that, finishing 21st — his third consecutive result outside the top 20. 

8. Denny Hamlin (Last week: No. 5) — Another victim of Ross Chastain after contact sent Hamlin into the wall, leading to a 34th-place finish. That snapped a streak of back-to-back top-five finishes for the Joe Gibbs Racing driver.  

9. Alex Bowman (Last week: No. 9) — He placed 13th at Gateway. It is only the third time in the last 11 races Bowman has failed to finish in the top 10. 

10. Kurt Busch (Last week: Not ranked) — Third-place finish is his second top-five result in the last three races. 

Dropped out: William Byron (Last week: No. 10)

COTA Truck race results: Zane Smith wins

NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series XPEL 225
Photo by Logan Riely/Getty Images

Reigning series champion Zane Smith won Saturday’s Craftsman Truck Series race at Circuit of the Americas for the second year in a row.

The victory is Smith’s second of this year.

MORE: COTA Truck race results

Kyle Busch finished second and was followed by Ty Majeski, Tyler Ankrum and Ross Chastain.

The key moment came when Parker Kligerman‘s truck came to a stop on the frontstretch at Lap 28. Smith, running second, made it to pit road before it was closed. Busch, who was leading, had already passed pit road entrance.

Smith gained the lead with the move, while Busch had to pit under the caution and restarted 16th. Smith was able to build a lead and beat Busch by 5.4 seconds.

Stage 1 winner: Christian Eckes

Stage 2 winner: Kyle Busch

Who had a good race: Ty Majeski’s third-place finish is his best of the season. … Tyler Ankrum’s fourth-place finish is his best of the year. … Corey Heim has finished sixth two races in a row. … Rookie Nick Sanchez finished seventh, giving him back-to-back top 10s.

Who had a bad race: Parker Kligerman was running third when electrical issues forced him to stop on track just after the end of the second stage. … After winning the first stage, Christian Eckes had mechanical issues and had to pit for repairs, costing him several laps.

Notable: Front Row Motorsports has won the Truck COTA race all three years. Todd Gilliland won the race in 2021 and Zane Smith has won it the past two years.

Next: The series races April 1 at Texas Motor Speedway (4:30 p.m. ET on FS1).

NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series XPEL 225
COTA winner Zane Smith’s truck catches fire after he did his burnout on the frontstretch. (Photo by Sean Gardner/Getty Images)

COTA Cup starting lineup


Hendrick Motorsports driver William Byron, who has won two of the first five races of the season, will lead the Cup field to the green flag Sunday at Circuit of the Americas.

Byron will be joined on the front row of the starting lineup by Tyler Reddick, the only driver to win multiple races at road courses last year.

MORE: COTA Cup starting lineup

Austin Cindric starts third and is joined in the second row by Jordan Taylor, who is filling in for the injured Chase Elliott in the No. 9 Hendrick car.

Taylor’s performance is the best qualifying effort by a driver making their Cup debut since Boris Said started second in his Cup debut at Watkins Glen in 1999.

William Byron wins Cup pole at COTA


William Byron will start on the pole for Sunday’s Cup race at Circuit of the Americas.

Byron won the pole with a lap of 93.882 mph around the 3.41-mile road course Saturday. He becomes the first Cup driver to win a pole at four different road courses: Charlotte Roval (2019), Road America (2021), Indianapolis road course (2021) and COTA (2023).

MORE: COTA Cup starting lineup

Byron will be joined on the front row by Tyler Reddick, who had posted the fastest lap in Friday’s practice and fastest lap in the opening round of qualifying Saturday. Reddick qualified at 93.783 mph.

Austin Cindric (93.459 mph) qualified third. Former IMSA champion Jordan Taylor, substituting for an injured Chase Elliott in the No. 9 car for Hendrick Motorsports, qualified fourth with a lap of 93.174 mph. AJ Allmendinger (93.067) will start fifth.

Taylor’s performance is the best qualifying effort by a driver making their Cup debut since Boris Said started second in his Cup debut at Watkins Glen in 1999.

Ross Chastain, who won this event a year ago, qualified 12th. Former world champion Kimi Raikkonen qualified 22nd, former world champion Jenson Button qualified 24th, seven-time Cup champion Jimmie Johnson qualified 31st and IndyCar driver Conor Daly qualified 35th.

Sunday Cup race at Circuit of the Americas: Start time, TV info, weather


Is this Toyota’s weekend?

Chevrolet won the first four races of the season. Ford won last weekend with Joey Logano at Atlanta. Is it Toyota’s turn to win its first Cup race of the season? Or does Chevrolet return to dominance?

Chevrolet drivers have won 11 of the past 12 Cup races on road courses. The exception was Christopher Bell‘s win for Toyota at the Charlotte Roval in last year’s playoffs. Chevrolets have won the two previous Cup races at COTA: Chase Elliott in 2021 and Ross Chastain in 2022.

Details for Sunday’s Cup race at Circuit of the Americas

(All times Eastern)

START: Brendan Hunt, who plays Coach Beard in “Ted Lasso” on Apple TV+, will give the command to start engines at 3:38 p.m. … The green flag is scheduled to wave at 3:49 p.m.

PRERACE: Cup garage opens at 12:30 p.m. … Drivers meeting at 2:45 p.m. … Driver introductions at 3:05 p.m. … Invocation will be given by Sage Steele, ESPN broadcaster, at 3:30 p.m. … Jaime Camil, actor from “Schmigadoon” on Apple TV+, will perform the national anthem at 3:31 p.m.

DISTANCE: The race is 68 laps (231.88 miles) on the 3.41-mile, 20-turn road course.

STAGES: Stage 1 ends at Lap 15. Stage 2 ends at Lap 30.

TV/RADIO: Fox will broadcast the race at 3:30 p.m. Pre-race coverage begins at 2 p.m. on FS1 and moves to Fox at 3 p.m. … Performance Racing Network’s radio coverage begins at 2:30 p.m. and will also stream at; SiriusXM NASCAR Radio will carry the PRN broadcast.


FORECAST: Weather Underground – Mostly cloudy with a high of 80 degrees and a 2% chance of rain at the start of the race.

STARTING LINEUP: COTA Cup starting lineup

LAST YEAR: Ross Chastain scored his first career Cup win in a physical battle with AJ Allmendinger on the final lap. Alex Bowman finished second. Christopher Bell placed third.


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