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NASCAR Power Rankings: Chase Elliott keeps top spot

The Motormouths crew unpacks Christopher Bell's tough victory at the Charlotte Roval, where he came all the way back from seventh place at the final caution to pick up his third career win and second this season.

Before calamity and mayhem became the operative words in the final laps of Sunday’s NASCAR Cup playoff race at the Charlotte Roval, Chase Elliott was powering his way to a runaway victory.

Elliott had a four-second lead with six laps to go and appeared headed for his sixth seasonal win before cautions scrambled everything and opened the door for Christopher Bell’s victory. Elliott led a race-high 30 laps, sits atop the playoff standings entering Sunday’s race at Las Vegas Motor Speedway (2:30 p.m. ET on NBC) and keeps the top ranking in the NBC Sports NASCAR Power Rankings.

Bell, who was in a must-win situation last Sunday to stay in the playoffs, jumps six spots in the rankings to fourth as he establishes himself as a championship threat.

Eight of the 10 ranked drivers move on to the Round of 8, with races Sunday at Las Vegas, Oct. 23 at Homestead-Miami Speedway and Oct. 30 at Martinsville Speedway. All remaining Cup races, including the season finale Nov. 6 at Phoenix Raceway, will be televised by NBC.

NBC Sports NASCAR Power Rankings

1. Chase Elliott (No. 1 last week) -- Elliott remains the only Cup driver with more than three wins this season. He clearly had one of the best three cars Sunday at Charlotte.

2. Denny Hamlin (No. 2 last week) -- Hamlin finished 13th in the craziness of the Charlotte ending. He’ll start the Round of 8 playoff run in seventh.

MORE: Cup playoff field resets after Charlotte

3. Ryan Blaney (No. 3 last week) -- Blaney, still carrying the big zero on his back with no points wins this year, rolls into Las Vegas fifth in the playoff standings.

4. Christopher Bell (No. 10 last week) -- Talk about hitting a winning home run in the bottom of the ninth inning -- Bell came through Sunday at Charlotte when everything was on the line.

5. Joey Logano (No. 5 last week) -- Logano dominated the first stage at Charlotte Sunday after winning the pole. He dropped to 18th at the finish but is second to Chase Elliott entering the Las Vegas playoff round.

6. Chase Briscoe (No. 8 last week) -- Briscoe’s late-race heroics Sunday won him the final spot in the Round of 8. His ninth-place finish at Charlotte will likely be the best ninth of his career.

7. Kyle Larson (No. 4 last week) -- After last year’s standout season and championship, Larson was considered a cinch to reach at least the Round of 8 this year, but his title hopes ended with a bunch of trouble and a 35th-place finish Sunday.

8. William Byron (No. 7 last week) -- Byron opens the Round of 8 below the cutline after a 16th-place run Sunday.

9. Ross Chastain (No. 6 last week) -- Chastain had a sour run at Charlotte and was more than ready to leave the Roval behind him. He is third in the playoff standings entering Vegas.

10. Tyler Reddick (unranked last week) -- Reddick returns to the rankings after leading 21 laps and finishing eighth at Charlotte. With three wins this season, he trails only Chase Elliott in that category.

Dropped out: Daniel Suarez (No. 9 last week)