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NASCAR Power Rankings: Denny Hamlin on top after Daytona

William Byron wins at Daytona for his first career NASCAR Cup Series victory to clinch a berth in the playoffs, while Hendrick Motorsports teammate Jimmie Johnson is left on the outside looking in before Darlington.

With the Cup Series regular season complete, the NASCAR power rankings have a new, but familiar driver at No. 1.

Following his third-place finish last weekend at Daytona, Denny Hamlin is No. 1 again, swapping places with Kevin Harvick, who finished 20th in the race.

More: Winner and Losers after Daytona

Here is this week’s Power Rankings:

1. Denny Hamlin (Last week No. 2): Hamlin earned his sixth top-three finish in the last eight races and his seventh top 10.

2. Kevin Harvick (Last week No. 1): While he has 11 top fives in the last 13 races, he has two finishes outside the top 15 in the last four races.

3. Martin Truex Jr. (Last week No. 3): While he’s finished fourth or better in nine of the last 10 races, he hasn’t won a race since June.

4. (tie) William Byron (Last week No. 9): His first two top fives of the season came just in time. After finishing fourth at Dover and earning his first career Cup win Saturday at Daytona, Byron earned a spot in the Cup playoff field.

4. (tie) Chase Elliott (Last week No. 7): Came in second to teammate Byron in Daytona, bouncing back from a wreck at Dover. He has six top 10s in the last seven races, including his win on the Daytona road course.

6. Alex Bowman (Last week unranked): Finished seventh at Daytona for his second straight top 10 after he was fifth at Dover. Those are his first consecutive top 10s this season.

7. Brad Keselowski (Last week No. 6): Had an uncharacteristically quiet night at Daytona, finishing 10th. It was his ninth top 10 in the last 11 races. He has 19 top 10s through 26 races.

8. Joey Logano (Last week No. 4): Entered Daytona with six straight top-10 finishes and won the first two stages before wrecking out.

9. Austin Cindric (Last week No. 7): While he crashed on the last lap of Friday night’s Xfinity Series race, he finished eighth for his 10th consecutive top-10 finish.

10. Sheldon Creed (Last week unranked): Won the Truck Series race at Gateway for his second victory in three races.

Also receiving votes: Bubba Wallace and Jimmie Johnson

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