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NASCAR Power Rankings: Kyle Larson, Denny Hamlin remain 1-2

Rick Allen and Steve Letarte review an eventful day at Kansas Speedway in the second Round of 8 race for playoff drivers Kyle Larson, Kyle Busch, Brad Keselowski, Martin Truex Jr., and Ryan Blaney.

Kyle Larson keeps winning and keeps the competition behind him in the NBC Sports NASCAR Power Rankings.

Larson, who has won three races in a row, goes into Sunday’s Cup playoff race at Martinsville Speedway (2 p.m. ET, NBC) atop the standings. Denny Hamlin remains No. 2.

William Byron is the only new driver to this week’s top 10. He replaces Brad Keselowski.

NASCAR Power Rankings after Kansas

1. Kyle Larson (Last week: No. 1) — Collected his ninth win last weekend at Kansas. He seeks double-digits wins in a season and his first Cup championship over the next two weeks.

2. Denny Hamlin (Last week: No. 2) — Wasn’t great but still scored a fifth-place finish at Kansas. Hasn’t placed worse than 11th in the playoffs this year.

3. Chase Elliott (Last week: No. 4) — Scored 52 points in his runner-up finish at Kansas. Only winner Kyle Larson scored more points (58). Big points day puts Elliott 34 above the cutline going into Martinsville. The reigning champion is in a good position to reach the championship race.

4. Kevin Harvick (Last week: No. 5) — Third-place finish at Kansas gives him back-to-back top fives. He also has seven top 10s in the last eight races.

5. Ryan Blaney (Last week: No. 3) — Rough day at Kansas. Scored no stage points and was put into the wall after Austin Dillon’s car got loose and came up the track. A week after he scored 48 points at Texas, he registered one point at Kansas.

6. Christopher Bell (Last week: No. 7) — Eighth-place finish at Kansas gives him four top 10s in a row.

7. Joey Logano (Last week: No. 6) — Finished ninth at Kansas, but the race marked the second consecutive event he’s failed to score stage points.

8. Martin Truex Jr. (Last week: No. 10) — Overcame multiple issues to finish seventh at Kansas. Went from 22 points below the cutline to three.

9. William Byron (Last week: Unranked): Kansas marked the second consecutive race he scored 50 points. He finished sixth there and led 57 laps.

10. Kyle Busch (Last week: No. 8) — Rough day at Kansas ended in a 28th-place finish. He goes into Martinsville holding the final transfer spot to the championship race.

Dropped out: Brad Keselowski (Last week: No. 9)