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Power Rankings: Denny Hamlin remains No. 1; Kyle Larson closing on top spot

Despite Kyle Larson sweeping both stage wins and leading a race-high 269 laps, Ryan Blaney passes him inside of 10 laps remaining to win the NASCAR Cup Series race at Atlanta Motor Speedway.

Denny Hamlin remains No. 1 in the NBC Sports NASCAR Power Rankings after Atlanta, but his hold on that spot could be in jeopardy with the Bristol dirt race next on the schedule.

Kyle Larson, who ranks second to Hamlin in this week’s rankings, will be among the favorites in the first Cup dirt race since 1970.

This week’s rankings features three drivers who weren’t in last week’s top 10.

Power Rankings after Atlanta

1. Denny Hamlin (Last week: No. 1) — Still the most consistent driver in the series. His fourth-place finish gives him five top fives in the first six races. No one else in the series has more than three top-five finishes this year.

2. Kyle Larson (Last week: No. 3) — Led 269 of 325 laps at Atlanta but lost the lead to Ryan Blaney with nine circuits to go. Runner-up finish is Larson’s fifth top 10 in the first six races of the season.

3. Martin Truex Jr. (Last week: No. 4) — Ninth-place finish at Atlanta is his fourth consecutive top-10 finish. His average finish during that streak is 4.8. He’s led 107 laps in those races.

4. William Byron (Last week: No. 2) — Eighth-place finish at Atlanta is his career-high fourth consecutive top-10 finish. His average finish during that streak is 6.3. He’s led 129 laps in those races.

5. Ryan Blaney (Last week: Unranked) — Climbs into the top 10 with his first win of the season. Atlanta marked his second consecutive top-five finish on a 1.5-mile speedway.

6. Kevin Harvick (Last week: No. 5) — Failed to lead a lap at Atlanta for the first time since 2013. Overcame flat tire early and ill-handling car to finish 10th.

7. Joey Logano (Last week: No. 6) — Wasn’t a factor at Atlanta, placing 15th. Has three top-10 finishes and led 198 laps this season.

8. Brad Keselowski (Last week: No. 7) — Rough day at Atlanta after contact with Martin Truex Jr. damaged the front of Keselowski’s car. Placed 28th.

9. Kyle Busch (Last week: Unranked) — Scored 16 stage points at Atlanta. He had 17 such points up to that point, so last weekend was a big step forward. He went on to place fifth.

10. Austin Dillon (Last week: Unranked) — Finished sixth at Atlanta for best result since placing third in the Daytona 500. He has three finishes of 12th or better in the last four races.

Dropped out: Christopher Bell (No. 8), Chase Elliott (No. 9) and Michael McDowell (No. 10)