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Denny Hamlin takes top spot in NASCAR Power Rankings after rain-shortened Charlotte race

Denny Hamlin has taken the top spot in the NASCAR Power Rankings after finishing fifth in the rain-shortened Coca-Cola 600.

An RFK Racing driver made a major move up the leaderboard after another runner-up finish. A Joe Gibbs Racing driver worked back into the top 10 after a much-needed strong performance.


1. Denny Hamlin (Last week: 2) — Hamlin took control of the Cup standings Sunday night at Charlotte while Kyle Larson raced in Indy. Hamlin scored 13 stage points and ended fifth in the running order despite losing several spots on pit road throughout the night. Hamlin remains tied with William Byron for the most wins this season (three). Hamlin also is tied with Brad Keselowski and Larson for the most top-five finishes this season (six). Hamlin has the most playoff points with 18.

2. Kyle Larson (2) — He never had an opportunity to complete a lap at Charlotte after rain disrupted the final 151 laps of the Coca-Cola 600. He missed his first Cup race of the season but only fell to third in the Cup standings. Larson is now six points out of the top spot. Larson still has led the most laps (649) in the series and has the second-most playoff points (17).

Kyle Larson attempted to become the fifth driver to complete the Indy 500 and Coca-Cola 600 in one day.

3. Brad Keselowski (7) — Keselowski continues to be a factor as the season progresses. Two weeks after winning his first race since 2021, Keselowski was in contention for the win at Charlotte. He chased Christopher Bell down multiple times but couldn’t quite make the pass before lightning and rain brought out the red flag. Keselowski ended the night with a second-place finish, his fourth top-two finish in the last seven races.

4. Chase Elliott (3) — Elliott had a quieter night but he delivered another consistent performance. He raced inside the top 10 before rain brought out the red flag and placed seventh. Elliott has seven top-10 finishes this season and no finishes worse than 19th.

5. William Byron (6) — Byron had one of the strongest cars early at Charlotte. He started on the front row, won the first stage and led 49 laps. Byron damaged his car after hitting the outside wall but continued to race for a top-five finish. He ended the night third and scored his ninth top-10 finish of the season.

6. Martin Truex Jr. (4) — Charlotte has been one of Truex’s strongest tracks and it appeared early in the race that he would potentially be in contention for the win. Truex started fourth, led eight laps and scored points in the first stage. Though he ultimately ended 12th. Truex remains second in the Cup standings and only five points behind Hamlin.

One Cup driver won his first stage of the season.

7. Alex Bowman (5) — Bowman does not have a stage win this season, but he continues to check off top 10s and top fives. He was in contention for a top-five finish throughout Sunday’s crown jewel race and ultimately crossed the line ninth. Bowman remains tied with Byron for the most top-10 finishes this season (nine).

8. Tyler Reddick (8) — Reddick overcame a pre-race penalty that forced him to do a pass-through on the opening lap at Charlotte. He raced from the rear of the field to 10th by the end of the second stage. Reddick then worked his way into the top five before the end of the race. The Charlotte race’s outcome was the opposite of Darlington, where Reddick led 174 laps but finished 32nd after he made contact with Chris Buescher and cut his tire.

9. Christopher Bell (NR) — Inconsistency has plagued the No. 20 team this season. Bell won at Phoenix but also finished 33rd or worse five times in the first 13 races. Bell and his team delivered Sunday night at Charlotte. They avoided mistakes on the track and on pit road. Bell led a race-high 90 laps and held off Keselowski until the rain fell in what was his best performance of the season.

10. Ty Gibbs (10) — Gibbs has bounced back from a season-worst 32nd-place finish at Kansas on May 5. He finished second at Darlington after leading 34 laps. Gibbs then won his first career pole at Charlotte and led 74 laps. He finished sixth and kept himself top 10 in the Cup standings.

Dropped out: Noah Gragson