NASCAR Power Rankings: Christopher Bell is new No. 1
Christopher Bell charged from the rear of the field to finish third Sunday at Atlanta Motor Speedway and is the new leader of NBC Sports’ NASCAR Power Rankings.
Bell, who is second in the point standings, has three consecutive finishes of sixth or better and has only one finish lower than sixth in the season’s first five races.
William Byron, last week’s rankings leader, fell to second after exiting Sunday’s race early because of an accident.
NBC Sports NASCAR Power Rankings
1. Christopher Bell (sixth last week) -- Bell continued his solid start to the season Sunday at Atlanta, threatening to win and finishing third. A 32nd-place finish at Auto Club Speedway is the only black mark on his resume this year. While battling for the lead near the end of the race Sunday, Bell gave Joey Logano a push that aided Logano’s win.
2. William Byron (first last week) -- Byron drops a spot after seeing his two-race winning streak end abruptly in a Lap 190 accident at Atlanta.
3. Kyle Busch (second last week) -- Busch was mostly a non-factor at the front Sunday but scored another top 10.
4. Joey Logano (ninth last week) -- Logano leaps five spots in the rankings after a brilliant run to victory at Atlanta. He led 140 laps, none better than the last as he pushed past Brad Keselowski for the win.
5. Alex Bowman (third last week) -- Bowman scored top-10 finishes in the season’s first four races but wasn’t a factor at the front Sunday, finishing 14th.
6. Ross Chastain (fourth last week) -- With Sunday’s 13th-place run, Chastain has had three consecutive finishes of 12th or worse.
7. Denny Hamlin (eighth last week) -- Hamlin led 14 laps Sunday and continues to hang around the front group. He finished sixth.
8. Kyle Larson (fifth last week) -- Larson struggled to make the inside line work Sunday at Atlanta and couldn’t push to the front. He was collected in an accident on Lap 209 and finished 31st.
9. Kevin Harvick (seventh last week) -- Harvick led one lap at Atlanta but lost control of his car in tight racing at the front with Ross Chastain. He crashed and finished 33rd.
10. Brad Keselowski (unranked last week) -- Keselowski had one of the day’s best cars at Atlanta and held the lead with one lap to go before Joey Logano’s surge into first. Keselowski continues to impress in his second year running operations at RFK Racing.
Dropped out: Ryan Blaney (10th last week).