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NASCAR Power Rankings: Ross Chastain rides wall into first place

Marty Snider, Steve Letarte and Nate Ryan offer their reactions to Ross Chastain’s shocking, inimitable move at the end of the race in Martinsville to make the Championship 4 in Phoenix.

He’s No. 1 in your program, has No. 1 on his car, is one of four Cup championship finalists and, after Sunday’s remarkable finish, is No. 1 in last-lap strategy.

And Ross Chastain now is No. 1 in the NBC Sports NASCAR Power Rankings.

Chastain’s last-lap, pell-mell run to glory at Martinsville put him in the Championship 4 at Phoenix Raceway and added to his history of aggressive behavior.

NBC Sports NASCAR Power Rankings

1. Ross Chastain (No. 2 last week) -- No one else could be in this spot this week. Chastain amazed practically everyone, including many of his competitors, with his final-lap charge Sunday at Martinsville. The T-shirts should be flying out of Trackhouse Racing this week. (And, by the way, don’t try that move in your driveway).

MORE: NASCAR not likely to bar Ross Chastain move at Phoenix

2. Christopher Bell (No. 6 last week) -- Bell jumps four spots in the rankings after winning on a must-win Sunday at Martinsville. Now a winner three times this season, Bell is moving into elite-driver status.

3. Joey Logano (No. 3 last week) -- Logano is in the final four with a shot at a second title. He was seventh Sunday at Martinsville.

4. Chase Elliott (No. 4 last week) -- Elliott led 54 laps at Martinsville and rides into Phoenix with a solid shot at his second championship.

5. Kyle Larson (No. 5 last week) -- Larson finished second Sunday and was almost unnoticed in the frenzy surrounding Ross Chastain’s wild last lap.

6. Denny Hamlin (No. 1 last week) -- Hamlin will end another year Sunday without a Cup championship, having lost a Championship 4 spot to Chastain.

7. Ryan Blaney (No. 7 last week) -- Blaney finished a strong third at Martinsville but couldn’t score the win and a spot in the championship group. His season will be one of “almosts”.

8. William Byron (No. 9 last week) -- Byron failed to make the final four Sunday. His season has been a mix of ups and downs.

9. Chase Briscoe (No. 8 last week) -- Briscoe’s team made the ultimate no-tire-change gamble late in Sunday’s race, as he desperately searched for a win that would advance him into the Championship 4. The older tires didn’t last, and Briscoe came home ninth.

10. Daniel Suarez (unranked last week) -- Suarez finished 12th Sunday. What would have happened if he had gotten in the draft of teammate Ross Chastain?

Dropped out: Martin Truex Jr. (No. 10 last week).

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