NBC Sports NASCAR Power Rankings: Kyle Larson surges to No. 1
The NBC Sports Power Rankings typically don’t get too excited about the All-Star Race as it might relate to a driver’s positioning in the top 10, but it’s impossible to ignore Kyle Larson’s spectacular drive to victory Sunday night at North Wilkesboro Speedway.
In a move almost as meaningful as his acceptance of a $1 million check Sunday, Larson jumps a spot in the rankings to No. 1, replacing William Byron, who finished two laps behind Larson at North Wilkesboro.
Riding into this weekend’s 600-mile marathon at Charlotte Motor Speedway, Tyler Reddick rejoins the rankings after a third-place run in the All-Star Race.
NBC Sports NASCAR Power Rankings
1. Kyle Larson (second last week) -- Few All-Star Race winners have produced the dominant run Larson had in winning Sunday. He led 145 of the race’s 200 laps and was 4.5 seconds in front at the checkered flag.
2. William Byron (first last week) -- Byron drops out of the top spot after a dismal night in North Wilkesboro. He finished two laps behind Larson.
3. Chase Elliott (third last week) -- Although no one threatened Kyle Larson over the closing laps Sunday night, Elliott was at least in position to see Larson. Elliott finished fifth.
4. Ross Chastain (fifth last week) -- Only half of the field -- 12 drivers -- finished on the lead lap in the All-Star Race. Chastain came home 11th and, for a change, avoided controversy.
5. Martin Truex Jr. (fourth last week) -- Truex finished a lap down at North Wilkesboro, one of many drivers who couldn’t keep up with the Larson Express.
6. Denny Hamlin (sixth last week) -- Hamlin was 13th in the All-Star Race. He was the leading driver among those who were a lap down, though, so there’s that.
7. Christopher Bell (eighth last week) -- Bell finished 12th at North Wilkesboro on a night when two other Toyota drivers (Bubba Wallace and Tyler Reddick) were in the top three.
8. Kyle Busch (seventh last week) -- Busch failed to make any noise on All-Star night, finishing 22nd, two laps down.
9. Joey Logano (ninth last week) -- Logano rallied late to manage a top-10 run at North Wilkesboro.
10. Tyler Reddick (unranked last week) -- Reddick returns to the rankings after a third-place run in the All-Star Race.
Dropped out: Kevin Harvick (10th last week).