Chase Elliott is on quite a roll. Over the past four NASCAR Cup races, his finishes look like this: first, second, first, second.
Another fine run Sunday at New Hampshire Motor Speedway (second to winner Christopher Bell) was enough to keep Elliott atop NBC Sports’ NASCAR Power Rankings for another week.
Bell, who scored his first victory of the season Sunday and thus joined the other 13 race winners on the playoff qualifying list, jumps from sixth to fifth in this week’s rankings.
The Cup season continues Sunday at Pocono Raceway (3 p.m. ET, USA Network).
NBC Sports NASCAR Power Rankings
1. Chase Elliott (Last week: No. 1) — Although he blamed himself for not winning Sunday, Elliott is clearly the hottest driver on the circuit. He has won three of the past 10 races and has had five consecutive finishes of eighth or better.
2. Ross Chastain (Last week: No. 2) — Chastain continues to show impressive consistency. He finished eighth at New Hampshire Sunday and has six consecutive top-10 runs, the longest top-10 streak by any driver this year.
3. Kyle Larson (Last week: No. 4) — Larson has two top fives in the last four races and remains a weekly victory threat.
4. Ryan Blaney (Last week: No. 3) — Blaney drops a spot in the rankings after an 18th-place run Sunday. He remains winless this season but has a 105-point cushion above the playoff cutline.
5. Christopher Bell (Last week: No. 6) — Bell, a solid driver who has been slow to cash in on his talent, scored a breakthrough seasonal win Sunday and moves to fifth in the rankings. He led 42 laps Sunday on the way to a runaway 5.43-second win over Chase Elliott.
6. Kevin Harvick (Last week: No. 7) — Harvick seems to edge closer to winning, having scored four top 10s in the past five races. He was fifth Sunday at Loudon and is the first driver below the playoff cutline.
7. Joey Logano (Last week: No. 5) — Logano had a less-than-pleasant Sunday, finishing a sour 24th despite leading 25 laps. He has had three consecutive finishes of 24th or worse.
8. Martin Truex Jr. (Last week: No. 9) — Truex seemed to be solid gold over the first two stages Sunday, but bad pit strategy move cost him dearly in the final stage. Still, he finished fourth and remains just above the playoff cutline.
9. Kyle Busch (Last week: No. 8) — Busch spun twice by himself — a rarity — Sunday at Loudon. He raced well in the final stage to come home 12th.
10. Denny Hamlin (Last week: No. 10) — Hamlin was a mostly-quiet sixth at New Hampshire, leading no laps and racing in the shadow of the leaders.