NBC Sports NASCAR Power Rankings

New No. 1 emerges in NBC Sports Power Rankings

Leave a comment

For the second consecutive week, the NBC Sports Power Rankings saw significant upheaval.

Joey Logano moves to No. 1 after he was fourth last week. He replaces Martin Truex Jr., who had been unanimously selected No. 1 last week. Truex falls to second.

Kyle Busch – who has dominated the standings much of the season – dropped to fourth. On the flip side, Chicagoland winner Alex Bowman made the biggest jump, vaulting into the No. 3 spot after being unranked after Sonoma.

Here’s how the NBC Sports NASCAR writers voted this week:

1. Joey Logano (37 points): The points lead is no mirage: He has been the most consistently excellent performer. Has finished seventh or better in eight of the last 10 races, including his Michigan win and a third at Chicago. Last week: 4th.

2. Martin Truex Jr. (32 points): Workmanlike day led to a ninth-place finish. Team struggled all weekend and still got a top 10. Last week: 1st.

3. Alex Bowman (29 points): Didn’t back down against Kyle Larson and dropped the hammer to his first win in convincing fashion. Now he needs another win to show he’s a real title contender. Last week: Unranked.

4. Kyle Busch (19 points): Suffered second-worst finish (22nd) of season. Still, has had an outstanding year with four wins and 15 top 10s. Last week: 2nd.

5. Ryan Blaney (18 points): Quietly putting together a nice run. His sixth-place finish was his third consecutive top 10, tying him with Martin Truex Jr. for the longest active streak. Last week: 6th.

(tie) 6. Brad Keselowski (14 points): Even when he doesn’t have the best car, he’s able to have a decent finish. Fifth place at Chicagoland marks his fourth top 10 in the last six races. Last week: Not ranked.

(tie) 6. Kyle Larson (14 points): Would be good for him – and fans – if he could run worn-out tracks more often. So who wins first this year, Larson, Harvick or Johnson? Last week: Not ranked.

8. Denny Hamlin (13 points): We agree, Denny: An unnecessary rule ruined the strongest Toyota’s race Sunday. Last week: 3rd.

(tie) 9. Kevin Harvick (9 points): Eventually the floodgates will open if he keeps leading this many laps. Last week: 5th.

(tie) 9. Jimmie Johnson (9 points): Earned a fourth-place finish for his best result of the year. Now, can he build upon that with an even better showing Saturday night at Daytona? Could that 75-race winless streak soon be history? Last week: Not ranked.

Others receiving votes: Cole Custer (8 points), William Byron (7 points), Erik Jones (6 points), Chase Elliott (4 points), Austin Dillon (1 point).

NBC Sports Power rankings: Martin Truex Jr. is unanimous No. 1

1 Comment

This week’s NBC Sports NASCAR Power Rankings were thrown into disarray.

The culprit? The first road course race of the year.

While Martin Truex Jr. is the unanimous leader of the power rankings after his fourth win of the year Sunday at Sonoma, there are six new drivers in the top 10 from the last Cup ranking after Michigan.

The biggest jump comes from Denny Hamlin, who went from unranked after the Michigan race two weeks ago to third this week. Kevin Harvick also went from unranked to the top five.

Another of the new additions is Ross Chastain, who earned his second Truck Series win at Gateway a week after an inspection failure took a win away in Iowa.

1. Martin Truex Jr. (40 points): Has matched his 2018 win total with four wins over the last eight races. The only driver with multiple wins in that stretch.  Last time: 3rd

2. Kyle Busch (36 points): Scored his fourth consecutive top-five finish but couldn’t catch teammate Martin Truex Jr. at the end at Sonoma.  Last time: Tie for 1st

3. Denny Hamlin (26 points): Has not finished worse than 11th in the last three races and scored the most points at Sonoma. Last time: Not ranked

4. Joey Logano (21 points): Despite an alternator issue and a 23rd-place finish at Sonoma, still has seven top 10s in the last nine races and leads the points. Last time: Tie for 1st

5. Kevin Harvick (20 points): Lacked winning Sonoma speed of past three years but at least put together a strong sixth-place finish. Last time: Not ranked (was in others receiving votes).

6. Ryan Blaney (15 points):  Earned first top five since Bristol and his second straight top five on a road course. Last time: Not ranked

7. Matt DiBenedetto (12 points): As the whispers about his Cup future begin to swirl again, his first career top five was a statement. Last time: Not ranked

8. Ryan Newman (11 points): Seventh-place finish was his second top 10 in a row. He’s completed all but eight laps this season to rank third in most laps run (behind only Busch and Logano). Last time: Not ranked

(tie) 9. Tyler Reddick (9 points): Xfinity didn’t race last weekend but stays in the top 10 as numerous Cup drivers had off days at Sonoma. Last time: Tie for 6th

(tie) 9. Ross Chastain (9 points): His watermelon smash counted in Gateway when his winning truck passed inspection, giving him two wins this year. Previously: Unranked in normal Cup power rankings, but ranked 4th in Xfinity/Trucks ranking.

Others Receiving Votes: Aric Almirola (6 points), Kyle Larson (5 points), Brad Keselowski (5 points), Chase Elliott (3 points), Chris Buescher (1 point) and Todd Gilliland (1 point).

 

NASCAR Power Rankings: Kyle Busch, Joey Logano tie for No. 1

Getty Images
Leave a comment

This week’s NBC Sports NASCAR Power Rankings not only feature two ties, but also two unique additions.

First, Kyle Busch and Michigan winner Joey Logano are tied for first place. There’s also a tie for sixth place between Chase Elliott and Xfinity Series points leader Tyler Reddick.

But perhaps the two biggest surprise names in this week’s rankings are one from NASCAR’s past and the other from NASCAR’s future:

* Greg Biffle, who made his first race start in 2 ½ years, went on to win last Friday’s Truck Series race at Texas Motor Speedway, earning him enough points to take No. 8 in this week’s rankings.

* Conversely, K&N Series driver Hailie Deegan, also got one vote in this week’s rankings for her bump-and-run win last Saturday at Colorado National Speedway.

Dropping out of this week’s rankings are Kevin Harvick, as well as Clint Bowyer, Erik Jones, William Byron and Denny Hamlin.

Here’s how this week’s Power Rankings shape up:

(tie) 1. Kyle Busch (38 points): Still the driver the rest are measured against. Last week: 1st.

(tie) 1. Joey Logano (38 points): Five top fives (and a win) in his last eight races is building Logano’s case to be sole No.1. Last week: 4th.

3. Martin Truex Jr. (32 points): Hit or miss in his last seven races. Has three wins and a third-place finish but also has three finishes of 19th or worse. Last week: tied for 8th.

4. Brad Keselowski (23 points): Three finishes of sixth or better, including a victory, in the last four races. Last week: 3rd.

5. Kurt Busch (19 points): Michigan runner-up finish was huge. Four finishes of seventh or better in the last eight races. He’s knocking on victory’s door. It will come soon. Last week: Not ranked (was in others receiving votes).

(tie) 6. Chase Elliott (13 points): Saw his streak of five consecutive top-five finishes end at Michigan. Even though he drops in this week’s rankings, still belongs in the top 10. Last week: 2nd.

(tie) 6. Tyler Reddick (13 points): Having an absolutely amazing season. In first 13 races, he has three wins (including Saturday at Michigan), 11 top fives and one other top 10. He has just one finish lower than 10th. Last week: Not ranked (was in others receiving votes).

8. Greg Biffle (12 points): When you win in your first race since 2016, you get into the top 10. Don’t be surprised if The Biff gets a few job offers to make a comeback in either Trucks or Xfinity. Last week: Not ranked.

9. Daniel Suarez (11 points): Has back-to-back top 10 finishes and is having his best season overall. Still, just like the rest of his Stewart-Haas Racing teammates, he keeps coming up short of victory lane. He needs to steal a win away. Last week: Not ranked (was in others receiving votes).

10. Alex Bowman (8 points): We would think he’d have been ranked higher this week: five top 10s in the last six races (including three runner-up finishes). Last week: Not ranked (was in others receiving votes).

Others Receiving Votes: Ross Chastain (3 points), Kevin Harvick (2 points), Hailie Deegan (1 point).

NBC Sports Power Rankings after Pocono: Kyle Busch back to No. 1

Getty Images
1 Comment

Well, that was a short stay atop the NBC Sports NASCAR Power Rankings for Martin Truex Jr.

Truex was No. 1 last week but plummets to a tie for eighth this week.

Pocono winner Kyle Busch is back atop this week’s rankings – by unanimous vote – followed by Chase Elliott and Brad Keselowski, who was not ranked last week.

Dropping out of this week’s rankings are Kevin Harvick, Jimmie Johnson and Ricky Stenhouse Jr.

Here’s how this week’s Power Rankings shape up:

1. Kyle Busch (40 points): Back where he belongs after his fourth win of the season. Last week: tied for 2nd.

2. Chase Elliott (35 points): On the best run of his Cup career with five consecutive top-five finishes. The No. 9 team has established championship-level consistency. Last week: tied for 2nd.

3. Brad Keselowski (29 points): Has a win and a runner-up within the past three points races. Only car to finish in the top five of every stage at Pocono. Last week: Not ranked.

4. Joey Logano (27 points): Six top 10s in the past seven races. May not be long before this team wins again. More wins would certainly help but can’t fault the No. 22 team’s title defense. Last week: 4th.

(tie) 5. Clint Bowyer (15 points): Turns 40 as he matures into Stewart-Haas’ most consistently good finisher. Has seven top 10s in the last nine points races. He also returns to a track this weekend where he won last year. Last week: Not ranked.

(tie) 5. Erik Jones (15 points): Three top 10s in the past four points races, including a third at Pocono. Is working hard to keep his ride at JGR. A win or two could cement the deal. Last week: Not ranked.

7. William Byron (11 points): Consecutive pole positions are the most impressive feat of his young Cup career. Also has three top 10s in the last four points races. Last week: tied for 9th.

(tie) 8. Martin Truex Jr. (7 points): Not his fault the engine didn’t last at Pocono. Just like last year, it’s been top five or bust (sometimes literally). Last week: 1st.

(tie) 8. Chris Buescher (7 points): Best three-race stretch of his JTG Daugherty Racing career. Last week: 7th.

10. Denny Hamlin (5 points): Nothing bad happened to him at Pocono and the result was a sixth-place finish, his best finish in the last five points races. Last week: Not ranked.

Others receiving votes: Daniel Suarez (4 points), Tyler Reddick (4 points), Alex Bowman (3 points), Cole Custer (3 points), Kurt Busch (1 point).