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NASCAR Power Rankings: Kyle Larson keeps hold of No. 1 after Texas win

Kyle Larson wins his eighth NASCAR Cup race of the season and is the first driver to advance to the Championship 4 at Phoenix Raceway, where he will race for his first career series title.

Kyle Larson’s season continues to keep getting better. Last weekend’s victory at Texas Motor Speedway was his eighth of the season and sent him to the Nov. 7 championship race.

That performance keeps him atop the NBC Sports NASCAR Power Rankings. Denny Hamlin remains second. Ryan Blaney moves up two spots to third.

Brad Keselowski returns to the top 10, replacing Chris Buescher.

NASCAR Power Rankings after Texas

1. Kyle Larson (Last week: No. 1) — Was there any doubt? He won his second race in a row last weekend at Texas. Larson has won three of the last five playoff races. He’s closing in on the NASCAR record for most laps led in a 36-race season. Odds are good he takes over that record this weekend at Kansas Speedway. Oh yes, he’s the first driver to earn a spot in the championship race Nov. 7 at Phoenix.

2. Denny Hamlin (Last week: No. 2 ) — Some early damage slowed his car at Texas and then issues late led to an 11th-place finish. That’s his worst finish in these playoffs.

3. Ryan Blaney (Last week: No. 5) — Scored 48 points (behind only Kyle Larson and William Byron) at Texas. Finished sixth last weekend. Has five top 10s in the last six playoff races. Moving closer to his first Championship 4 appearance. He is second in the points heading to Kansas.

4. Chase Elliott (Last week: No. 4) — A tire issue led to a green-flag pit stop at Texas. He finished seventh. These playoffs have been full of ups and downs for Elliott, but the reigning champion still has a chance to make it to the title race.

5. Kevin Harvick (Last week: No. 7) — Fifth-place finish at Texas. He has six top 10s in the seven playoff races this season.

6. Joey Logano (Last week: No. 3) — Blown engine led to a 30th-place finish. It ended a rough race for him at Texas. He failed to score any points in either stage. Poor finish drops him to 43 points behind the cutline.

7. Christopher Bell (Last week: No. 9) — Third-place finish at Texas gave him his third consecutive top-10 finish.

8. Kyle Busch (Last week: No. 8) — Eighth-place finish was his fourth top 10 in the last six races. Also won a stage at Texas.

9. Brad Keselowski (Last week: Unranked) — Fourth-place result at Texas was his fourth top 10 in the last five races.

10. Martin Truex Jr. (Last week: No. 6) — Struggled throughout the day before his race came to an end with a crash. He finished 25th.

Dropped out: Chris Buescher (Last week: No. 10)