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NBC Sports Power Rankings: William Byron remains unanimous No. 1

Matt Kenseth says that it was a surprise to everybody, including himself, to return to racing. The veteran driver details his thought process and why he thinks it's an attractive opportunity with Chip Ganassi Racing.

William Byron remains the unanimous No. 1 selection in this week’s virtual NASCAR Power Rankings, as chosen by NBC Sports’ NASCAR writers.

Talladega winner Alex Bowman made the biggest jump in the rankings, going from unranked last week to No. 3 this week.

Dale Earnhardt Jr. dropped the most in the rankings, going from fourth last week to 10th this week.

Here’s how this week’s rankings look:

1. William Byron (30 points): After back-to-back wins at Bristol and Richmond, finished sixth in Sunday’s eNASCAR Pro Invitational iRacing Series race at a virtual Talladega Superspeedway. Last week: 1st.

2. Timmy Hill (25 points): After four consecutive top-3 finishes, dropped to 11th at Talladega. Still, he remains among the top sim racers. Last week: 2nd.

3. Alex Bowman (24 points): It was only a few weeks ago he was blaming his dog for wrecking in a sim race and now he’s a winner. Last week: Unranked.

4. Landon Cassill (20 points): One of the most consistent sim racers, with his third top-five finish in the last four virtual races. Last week: 5th.

5. Ryan Preece (18 points): He’s been among the most consistent drivers in the series even if the results haven’t always shown it. Last week: 8th.

6. Garrett Smithley (14 points): Has flourished in the sim races and finished fourth at virtual Talladega. Last week: 9th.

7. Corey LaJoie (13 points): Finished second in his first race in the series. Not bad for a Pro Invitational Series rookie. Does he still need a yellow stripe? Last week: Unranked.

8. Kyle Busch (10 points): Has scored back-to-back top 10s. Last week: 7th.

9. Denny Hamlin (4 points): Key lesson from Sunday is to know where the remote is and that’s not in the hands of children. Last week: 3rd.

10. Dale Earnhardt Jr. (3 points): Typically strong at ‘Dega in real life, not so strong in virtual performance Sunday. Last week: 4th.

Others receiving votes: Brennan Poole (2 points), Jeff Gordon (1 point)