Like most of the rest of the field, Chase Elliott was not able to avoid calamity during Sunday’s Cup Series race at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway road course, but he remains atop NBC Sports NASCAR Power Rankings entering this weekend’s race at Michigan International Speedway.
The Rankings resisted the urge to rate the first turn at the IMS road course as No. 1 this week. A dangerous turn that tempted drivers to try to fit eight cars into a space reserved for two, it got perhaps more publicity over the weekend than most of the driver grid.
Elliott finished 16th after a rather adventurous day. He spun out twice and ran through the grassy part of the course once. He finished fifth in Stage 1 and fourth in Stage 2.
Sunday’s Michigan race (3 p.m., ET) will be televised by the USA Network.
NBC Sports NASCAR Power Rankings
1. Chase Elliott (Last week: No. 1) — Sunday’s race at Indy marked the first time in six races that Elliott didn’t finish either first or second. The rankings can’t punish him too much for that.
2. Christopher Bell (Last week: No. 4) — A late-race flat tire robbed Bell of a better finish (he was 12th) at Indianapolis. He has eight finishes of ninth or better in the past 12 races.
3. Ross Chastain (Last week: No. 3) — The good news is that Chastain was in the mix at the front late in Sunday’s race. The bad news is that he wandered off the main race course to get there. A top-five finish became a 27th-place finish with the penalty.
4. Kyle Larson (Last week: No. 2) — Larson sparked one of the season’s most dramatic accidents when he overshot the braking zone into Turn 1 and slammed into the side of Ty Dillon‘s car. Neither driver was hurt, but Larson and Dillon were through racing for the day.
5. Tyler Reddick (Last week: No. 9) — Reddick leaps four spots in the rankings this week after a splendid victory run Sunday at Indianapolis. He looks more and more like a potential championship threat even as a lame-duck driver.
6. Joey Logano (Last week: No. 8) — Logano finished sixth at Indy, snapping his streak of four straight finishes of 20th or worse.
7. Ryan Blaney (Last week: No. 6) — Blaney was a victim of the crazy racing in Turn 1 Sunday and was quite vocal about it in the race’s aftermath. He saw a probable top five turn into a 28th-place finish.
8. Kevin Harvick (Last week: No. 5) — Harvick drops three spots in the rankings after late-race misery at Indy. He finished 33rd.
9. Martin Truex Jr. (Last week: No. 7) — Truex is clinging to the final Cup playoff spot after a 21st-place run at Indianapolis.
Dropped out: Daniel Suarez (No. 10 last week).