NASCAR Power Rankings: Kyle Busch moves into top spot
Kyle Busch, who is making his move to Richard Childress Racing look better week by week, is the new leader in the NBC Sports NASCAR Power Rankings.
Busch slipped past the other contenders in the final lap of Sunday’s overtime finish at Talladega to score his second victory of the season, moving him up three spots to fifth in the Cup points standings.
Kyle Larson, last week’s rankings leader, fell to third.
New to the rankings this week are Ryan Blaney (ninth) and Chase Elliott (10th).
NBC Sports NASCAR Power Rankings
1. Kyle Busch (eighth last week) -- Busch won at Talladega for the first time in 15 years and joined Kyle Larson and William Byron as the only drivers with multiple wins this season. Busch also won at Auto Club Speedway. He jumps to first from eighth.
2. William Byron (third last week) -- The Hendrick Motorsports driver continues to show up in the lead group. He is second only to teammate Kyle Larson in laps in the top five (1,149) through 10 races. Byron was the only driver in the top six of last week’s rankings to score a top-12 finish at Talladega.
3. Kyle Larson (first last week) -- Larson finished 33rd at Talladega after being the victim of one of the most vicious crashes in recent seasons. His car was hit at near full speed by Ryan Preece, bending the roll cage frame.
4. Ross Chastain (second last week) -- Chastain had a strong car at Talladega but couldn’t keep pace with the lead pack in overtime. He has three straight finishes of 13th or worse and dropped from second place in the rankings.
5. Alex Bowman (fifth last week) -- Bowman led eight laps at Talladega but came home 13th. He has three straight finishes of 11th or worse.
6. Joey Logano (fourth last week) -- Logano had a tough Talladega. He was nabbed for speeding on pit road near the halfway point and then was collected in a multi-car crash near race’s end, finishing 30th.
7. Christopher Bell (seventh last week) -- Bell was eighth at Talladega and has six finishes of eighth or better in the past eight races.
8. Denny Hamlin (sixth last week) -- Hamlin led seven laps at Talladega and showed late-race strength but dropped to a 17th-place finish. He drops two spots.
9. Ryan Blaney (unranked last week) -- Blaney does everything but win. He was in position again Sunday but was blocked by Bubba Wallace as he tried to move into the lead. The incident opened the door for Kyle Busch’s win.
10. Chase Elliott (unranked last week) -- Elliott continues to show no ill effects from the leg injury that sidelined him for six weeks. He won a stage at Talladega and finished 12th, backing up his 10th-place run at Martinsville in his first race back.
Dropped out: Kevin Harvick (ninth last week), Martin Truex Jr. (10th last week).