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Power Rankings: Chase Elliott climbs to No. 1 after Roval win

AJ Almendinger, Jeff Burton, and Steve Letarte take a look back at Chase Elliot's Roval Cup race win, how Ty Dillon's shift to dry tires shifted the dynamic, Kyle Busch's "Hail Mary," and the larger playoff picture.

Chase Elliott’s victory last weekend at the Charlotte Roval vaulted him to the top of the NBC Sports Power Rankings. He knocked Denny Hamlin off the top spot.

Elliott’s ascension was part of a shift in the rankings, including three new drivers. Kurt Busch, AJ Allmendinger and William Byron each climbed into the top 10 this week.

Four races remain in the season. The Round of 8 begins Sunday at Kansas Speedway (2:30 p.m. ET on NBC).

Here is this week’s NBC Sports Power Rankings

1. Chase Elliott (Last week No. 4): Has won the past four road course races. The last driver to accomplish something like that was Jeff Gordon, who won six road course races in a row. Elliott has six top-five finishes, including two wins, in the last 10 races. He moves into the Round of 8 for the fourth consecutive time, but he’s never advanced to the Cup championship race.
2. Erik Jones (Last week No. 3): His third-place finish at the Roval was his fourth top-five finish in the last six races. He remains without a ride for 2021, but that could change soon. After Sunday’s race, Jones said about his future: “I really think we’ll have something done this week. Not saying that that means we’re going to announce anything. We’re definitely really close I think of working something out.”

3. Alex Bowman (Last week No. 5): Moves into the Round of 8 for the first time in his career. He said after Sunday’s race: “I feel like sometimes my team at least doesn’t get the respect they deserve.” Bowman’s eighth-place finish at the Roval was his sixth top-10 result in the last eight races.

4. Kevin Harvick (Last week No. 2): Enters Round of 8 as the points leader. He has a 45-point lead on Joey Logano, the first driver outside the final transfer spot to the championship race. Harvick has back-to-back finishes outside the top 10. Before that, he had 15 top 10s in a 17-race stretch.

5. Denny Hamlin (Last week. No. 1): Finished 15th a week after his Talladega win. He enters the Round of 8 second in the points. He’s 32 points ahead of Joey Logano, the first driver outside the final transfer spot to the title race.

6. Kurt Busch (Last week unranked): His fourth-place finish gives him two top-five results, including a win, in the last three races.

7. Martin Truex Jr. (Last week No. 8): Topsy-turvy stretch continues. Has alternated between top-10 finishes and finishes outside the top 20 in the last seven races. Placed seventh at the Roval.

8. AJ Allmendinger (Last week unranked): Won the Xfinity Series race at the Roval. He has two wins, six top fives and eight top 10s in 10 starts this season for Kaulig Racing.

9. William Byron (Last week unranked): Sixth-place finish at the Roval gives him back-to-back top 10s. He has 12 top 10s this season, one off his career high.

10. Joey Logano (Last week No. 9): Runner-up finish at the Roval ended a stretch of three races outside the top 10.

Dropped out: Justin Haley, Tyler Reddick, Raphael Lessard