NASCAR Power Rankings: Christopher Bell slides into first
Christopher Bell led the final 100 laps on the Bristol Motor Speedway dirt surface Sunday night, scoring his first win of the Cup season.
The victory boosted Bell into first place in the NBC Sports NASCAR Power Rankings and, not incidentally, into first in the points standings.
Bell has won three of the past 13 races dating to last season. Among those victories was at Martinsville, where the series returns this weekend.
NBC Sports NASCAR Power Rankings
1. Christopher Bell (fifth last week) -- A splendid performance in victory on the Bristol Motor Speedway dirt lifts Bell into first place in the rankings. He has five top-five finishes -- leading that category -- this season.
2. William Byron (first last week) -- Byron drops a spot after finishing 13th at Bristol. His recent record remains a shiny one: three top fives, including two wins, in the past six races.
3. Kevin Harvick (eighth last week) -- Harvick had a solid, if not spectacular, night at Bristol, weaving through various calamities to finish ninth, his fifth top 10 in seven races.
4. Ross Chastain (second last week) -- A multi-car crash near the end of Sunday’s race left Chastain with a 28th-place finish and drops him two spots in the rankings.
5. Tyler Reddick (10th last week) -- Reddick makes a big jump to fifth place after finishing a close second to Christopher Bell at Bristol. He has four top fives in the past five races, including a win.
6. Kyle Busch (third last week) -- Busch led six laps at Bristol but parked late in the race with suspension problems. He has two straight finishes of 14th or worse.
7. Alex Bowman (fourth last week) -- Bowman finished two laps down in 29th at Bristol, ending his streak of seven consecutive finishes of 14th or better.
8. Kyle Larson (sixth last week) -- Larson was the pingpong ball of the night at Bristol and had a rather eventful evening with Ryan Preece. Larson led the entire first stage but ultimately parked with damage, finishing 35th.
9. Joey Logano (seventh last week) -- The defending champion has been in unlikely territory recently with two last-place finishes in the past six races. He was involved in a crash early in the race at Bristol and later hit the wall.
10. Martin Truex Jr. (unranked last week) -- Truex returns to the rankings after a seventh-place run at Bristol. The finish was his first in the top 10 in the past five races.
Dropped out: Denny Hamlin (ninth last week).