NASCAR Power Rankings: Kyle Busch roars into first place
Kyle Busch’s solid victory in Sunday’s Cup Series race at Auto Club Speedway, following his strong run in the Daytona 500, has vaulted the Richard Childress Racing driver into the top spot in NBC Sports’ NASCAR Power Rankings.
Busch led the final 21 laps Sunday and was almost three seconds in front of second-place Chase Elliott at the finish. In only his second points race with RCR, Busch showed the possibilities that might be ahead for the Chevrolet team.
Joey Logano, first in the rankings after Daytona, dropped two positions to third.
NBC Sports NASCAR Power Rankings
1. Kyle Busch (No. 2 last week) -- Expectations were high for Busch in his new ride. He checked victory No. 1 with RCR quickly.
2. Ross Chastain (No. 5 last week) -- Chastain won the first two stages at Auto Club Speedway Sunday and led a race-high 91 laps. Trackhouse Racing looks tough out of the gate.
3. Joey Logano (No. 1 last week) -- After a near-win in the Daytona 500, Logano was off a bit at Fontana and sparked complaints from other drivers for his role in a restart pileup, although he said he did nothing wrong.
4. Chase Elliott (unranked last week) -- Elliott had a sour Daytona 500 experience but rallied at Fontana, chasing winner Kyle Busch in the closing laps.
5. Denny Hamlin (unranked last week) -- Hamlin led laps early and late at Auto Club on the way to a sixth-place finish.
6. Alex Bowman (No. 8 last week) -- Bowman moves up a couple of spots with an eighth-place finish and 17 laps led at Fontana.
7. Christopher Bell (No. 3 last week) -- Bell’s Fontana day was ruined before the halfway point in an accident.
8. Kevin Harvick (unranked last week) -- Mr. Retirement showed sparks at Auto Club after a top-12 run at Daytona.
9. Daniel Suarez (unranked last week) -- Suarez scored a fourth-place finish behind teammate Ross Chastain at Fontana, giving Trackhouse a strong one-two punch in the final run on the 2-mile oval.
10. Brad Keselowski (unranked last week) -- Keselowski was in the mix in the closing laps at Fontana and finished seventh.
Dropped out: Ryan Blaney (No. 4 last week), Chris Buescher (No. 6 last week), Ricky Stenhouse Jr. (No. 7 last week), Martin Truex Jr. (No. 9 last week), Kyle Larson (No. 10 last week).