NASCAR Power Rankings: William Byron returns to No. 1 spot
Three drivers -- Martin Truex Jr., Ross Chastain and William Byron -- were the standouts Monday at Dover Motor Speedway before Truex powered to the front in the final stage and won the season’s 11th race.
Byron finished a solid fourth after leading 193 laps and moves into the top spot in this week’s NBC Sports NASCAR Power Rankings. Byron, who has held the No. 1 position previously, moves up from No. 2.
The win lifted Truex to sixth place in the rankings.
Kyle Busch, No. 1 last week, led early at Dover but struggled mightily most of the afternoon and finished a lackluster 21st.
NBC Sports NASCAR Power Rankings
1. William Byron (second last week) -- For much of Monday’s race at Dover, Byron had the best car. He led 193 of the 400 laps before finishing fourth, his fourth top-five run this year.
2. Ross Chastain (fourth last week) -- Chastain remains aggressive -- sometimes too aggressive. He admitted to making a big mistake in triggering the crash that robbed Kyle Larson of a chance for a good finish Monday. But Chastain led 98 laps and finished second, his best finish of the season. He leads the Cup points standings.
3. Kyle Busch (first last week) -- Busch continued the remarkable trend of drivers rising to the top of the rankings one week and having a rotten week the next (watch out, William Byron). Busch led 25 laps in the early going Monday but was nabbed for speeding on pit road and finished a sour 21st, three laps down.
4. Kyle Larson (third last week) -- Larson appeared to have a powerful car Monday, but his race took a bad turn when a bump from Ross Chastain sent Brennan Poole into his path. After repairs, Larson returned to the race but limped home in 32nd.
5. Christopher Bell (seventh last week) -- Bell led only one lap Monday but was at or near the front most of the day and scored points in both stages. He finished sixth and gains two spots in the rankings.
6. Martin Truex Jr. (unranked last week) -- Younger brother Ryan showed Truex the way to victory lane with a win in Saturday’s Xfinity Series race, and Martin followed through on Monday, dominating the final stage and outrunning Ross Chastain to the finish. The win ended a 54-race streak for the former series champion.
7. Denny Hamlin (eighth last week) -- Hamlin remains winless this year, but he continues to stack up good finishes. Monday’s fifth-place run was his second top-five finish.
8. Joey Logano (sixth last week) -- Logano had a miserable Monday. He was missing from the action at the front and finally parked after a hard crash into the outside wall late in the race, finishing 31st and dropping two spots in the rankings.
9. Ryan Blaney (ninth last week) -- Blaney’s run-well-but-fail-to-win season rolls on. He was in the front pack much of the day Monday, ultimately finishing third, his third top-five run this year.
10. Chase Elliott (10th last week) -- Elliott had another representative race day in his third race back from injury, coming home 11th. He has finishes of ninth, 10th and 11th since returning to the No. 9 Chevrolet.
Dropped out: Alex Bowman (fifth last week).