Power Rankings: Martin Truex Jr. climbs to No. 1
Martin Truex Jr. takes the top spot from Joe Gibbs Racing teammate Denny Hamlin after winning last weekend’s Cup race.
Truex is the only driver with two Cup victories this season. His wins came at Phoenix (which will host the championship race Nov. 7), and Martinsville (which will host the penultimate playoff race Oct. 31).
This week’s rankings also features two drivers falling out of the top 10.
Power Rankings after Martinsville
1. Martin Truex Jr. (Last week: No. 3) — Vaults to the top spot with his second win of the season, making him the only Cup driver to win multiple races this year. His Martinsville victory is his third in the last four races at the historic track. Had he not had a flat tire on the overtime restart at Bristol, he would have six top 10s in a row.
2. Denny Hamlin (Last week: No. 1) — Led a race-high 276 laps at Martinsville. He placed third for his seventh top-five finish to open the season, more than any other driver this year. Still looking for his first win of the year, though.
3. William Byron (Last week: No. 2) — His fourth-place finish marked his sixth consecutive top-10 result. Falls a spot because Truex moves up with his second win of the season.
4. Kyle Larson (Last week: No. 4) — Placed fifth at Martinsville for his fifth top 10 in the last six races. “To get a top five here at probably, by far, my worst race track feels like a win,” he said Sunday.
5. Joey Logano (Last week: No. 5) — Bounced back from early struggles (he was 21st at the halfway mark) to finish sixth and score his fifth top 10 of the season.
6. Ryan Blaney (Last week: No. 6) — Won both stages and led 157 laps, but he saw his chances for a win end with a pit road penalty when he dragged an air gun and hose out of the pit box. He finished 11th, snapping his streak of four consecutive top 10s.
7. Kevin Harvick (Last week: No. 8) — Collected his sixth top 10 of the year with a ninth-place finish at Martinsville.
8. Kyle Busch (Last week: No. 10) — Overcame a crash with Chris Buescher to finish 10th at Martinsville. Busch has four top 10s in the last six races.
9. Chase Elliott (Last week: Unranked) — He was pleased to have an “uneventful day” in finishing second at Martinsville. “It was definitely a step in the right direction for us,” he said.
10. Tyler Reddick (Last week: Unranked) — His eighth-place finish gives him back-to-back top 10s.
Dropped out: Brad Keselowski (No. 7), Daniel Suarez (No. 9)