NBC Sports NASCAR Power Rankings

NBC Sports Power Rankings: Denny Hamlin remains No. 1

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Winning at Pocono keeps Denny Hamlin on top of this week’s NBC Sports NASCAR Power Rankings for the second straight week.

Hamlin’s win was his third of the season, which began with a victory in the Daytona 500 and includes a win at Texas.

Martin Truex Jr., made the biggest jump in the rankings, climbing six spots to No. 3 this week. Joey Logano fell the most, dropping out of the rankings after being No. 5 last week.

Here’s how this week’s rankings shape up:

1. Denny Hamlin (39 points): Has three wins after going winless last year. Is this his year to finally win a championship? Last week: 1st.

2. Erik Jones (37 points): Three consecutive top-three finishes has him closing in on a victory and a No. 1 ranking here. Last week: 3rd.

3. Martin Truex Jr. (29 points): Third-place finish at Pocono is his fifth top 10 in the last seven races. Last week: 9th.

4. Kevin Harvick (25 points): Follows New Hampshire win with a sixth-place result at Pocono. No. 4 team seems back in form. Last week: 2nd.

5. Kyle Busch (21 points): Two consecutive weeks of having the fastest car and only a top 10 to show for it. Still, was his sixth top 10 in the last eight races. Last week: 4th.

6. Kyle Larson (20 points): What a roller coaster ride he’s been on lately. Three top fives in the last five races but the other two results were 20th and 33rd. Last week: Unranked.

7. William Byron (11 points): Getting close to being penciled in as a surefire playoff driver. Last week: Unranked.

8. Ryan Blaney (8 points): Impressive surge on the final run of the race. Now has five top 10s in the last seven races. Last week: 7th (tied)

9.Chase Briscoe (7 points): The first new Xfinity regular to win this year since April 27. Last week: Unranked.

10. Ross Chastain (6 points): The only Truck Series regular with three wins this year. Last week: Unranked.

Others Receiving Votes: Christopher Bell (5 points), Joey Logano (5 points), Ryan Newman (4 points), Brad Keselowski (3 points).

NBC Sports Power Rankings: Denny Hamlin new No. 1

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For the second consecutive week, there was extensive upheaval in the NBC Sports NASCAR Power Rankings.

Last week saw Kyle Busch regain the top spot, while six drivers entered the top 10 after not being ranked the week before.

This week, there is a new No. 1 in the rankings with New Hampshire runner-up Denny Hamlin. Loudon winner Kevin Harvick, ranked No. 2, leads five drivers who make this week’s poll after being unranked last week. And Kyle Busch falls to No. 4 this week.

Here’s how this week’s rankings shape up:

1. Denny Hamlin (35 points): He’ll be kicking himself for months about the win getting away, but his team showed major mettle. Last week: 5th.

2. Kevin Harvick (33 points): No longer has to worry about when win No. 1 will come. The 2019 season is feeling like a repeat of ’17 when Harvick made the championship round. Last week: Unranked.

3. Erik Jones (31 points): Scores back-to-back third-place finishes and then says of Ricky Stenhouse Jr.’s threat to get him back: “I guess go ahead.” Becoming a sure bet for the playoffs as long as he avoids Ricky’s revenge. Last week: 4th.

4. Kyle Busch (30 points): Best car didn’t win New Hampshire but heads back to Pocono and site of his win there in June. Last week: 1st.

5. Joey Logano (24 points): Not the result the reigning champ was looking for in his return to New Hampshire but still eked out a solid top 10 finish to keep the points lead. Last week: 2nd.

6. Ryan Newman (21 points): Ability to grind out top 10s has been impressive in recent weeks. Has five top 10s in the last six races. Last week: 7th.

(tie) 7. Matt DiBenedetto (13 points): Three top 10s in the last five races is a big step forward for this team. Making a surge after a miserable start; is it enough to keep his ride? Last week: Unranked.

(tie) 7. Ryan Blaney (13 points): Scored fourth top 10 in the last six races with his fourth-place finish at New Hampshire. Shaping up as a solid darkhorse for the final 10 races. Last week: Unranked.

9. Martin Truex Jr. (8 points): A good rebound from his midrace incident with Clint Bowyer. Has four top 10s in the last six races, but only one finish better than fifth (his win at Sonoma). Last week: Unranked.

10. Christopher Bell (7 points): By earning his fifth win in the first 18 races, is making it harder for Joe Gibbs Racing to not have Bell in its Cup lineup in 2020. Last week: Unranked.

Others Receiving Votes: Kurt Busch (2 points), Brad Keselowski (2 points), Chris Buescher (1 point).

New No. 1 emerges in NBC Sports Power Rankings

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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

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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

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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).