After a chaotic Kansas Speedway race that saw him drop two laps off the lead pace, William Byron rallied to finish third Sunday behind winner Denny Hamlin and second-place Kyle Larson.
After Byron’s pit road speeding penalty and a meeting with the wall, the third-place run was almost as good as a win.
MORE: Kansas winners and losers
Byron now has three consecutive finishes of seventh or better and retains the No. 1 spot in the NBC Sports NASCAR Power Rankings.
New to the rankings this week is Tyler Reddick.
NBC Sports NASCAR Power Rankings
1. William Byron (first last week) — Byron owns two wins this year and is one of several drivers leading the top-five finishes column with five. In the past eight races, he has four finishes of seventh or better.
2. Kyle Larson (fourth last week) — Larson was the top lap leader with 85 Sunday at Kansas, and he came within a Denny Hamlin last-lap bump of scoring his third win of the season. He jumps two spots in the rankings.
3. Ross Chastain (second last week) — While continuing to lead the unofficial Driver Most Likely To Irritate Other Drivers list, Chastain was a presence at the front Sunday, finishing fifth before an unscheduled post-race appointment with Noah Gragson, who was among the irritated.
4. Denny Hamlin (seventh last week) — Hamlin made steady gains on leader Kyle Larson over the closing miles at Kansas Sunday. He clearly had the faster car of the two but needed a bump-and-run on the last lap to move past Larson and score his first win in almost a year.
5. Martin Truex Jr. (sixth last week) — Truex followed up his Dover victory with a solid eighth-place run at Kansas, leading 79 laps, second only to Kyle Larson. Truex appears to be hitting his stride, scoring four top 10s in the past five races after logging only one top 10 in the season’s first seven events.
6. Chase Elliott (10th last week) — Elliott had a solid car at Kansas, running in the mix at the front and coming home seventh. He continues to lurk in the territory that could produce a playoff-qualifying victory.
7. Kyle Busch (third last week) — Busch drops four spots in the rankings after a miserable Sunday in Kansas. He had a pit-road speeding penalty and crashed in a web of traffic on Lap 163. He parked, finishing 35th, his worst finish of the season.
8. Joey Logano (eighth last week) — Logano’s up-and-down season continues. With a sixth-place finish at Kansas, he has six top-10 runs and six finishes of 11th or worse, including three DNFs. He won Sunday’s second stage.
9. Christopher Bell (fifth last week) — A spin and a crash resulted in a last-place finish for Bell at Kansas. In the past four races, he has a mix — two finishes of eighth or better and two of 16th or worse.
10. Tyler Reddick (unranked last week) — Reddick finished ninth Sunday with 23 laps led and has six top-10 runs in the past nine races.
Dropped out: Ryan Blaney.