Power rankings after Atlanta: Kevin Harvick back to No. 1
Kevin Harvick’s absence from the top of the NBC Sports NASCAR Power Rankings didn’t last long.
After his win at Bristol, Brad Keselowski replaced Harvick, ending Harvick’s two-week reign at No. 1. But with Sunday’s win at Atlanta, Harvick is back on top and is once again the unanimous choice by NBC Sports’ NASCAR writers.
Ryan Blaney made the biggest jump in the rankings, from ninth last week to third this week. Only one driver dropped out of the top 10 from last week: Christopher Bell, replaced by Martin Truex Jr.
Here’s how this week’s rankings look:
1. Kevin Harvick (30 points): Of course he’s going to be strong at Atlanta. Of course he’s going to win there. Of course he’s going to be jump back to No. 1 in this week’s ranking. Last week: second.
2. Kyle Busch (27 points): Earned his third runner-up and sixth top-five finish of the season. But when will he finally break through for his first win of 2020? Last week: tied for sixth.
3. Ryan Blaney (21 points): Nice rally back from a last-place finish at Bristol. Atlanta makes it three top-five finishes in the last four races. Last week: ninth.
4. Brad Keselowski (18 points): Got as much out of his car as he could at Atlanta. Earned his fifth consecutive top-10 finish. Last week: first place.
5. Kurt Busch (17 points): Kudos to finishing sixth after having to start at the rear and do a pass through penalty at the beginning of the race because his car failed pre-race inspection three times. Has finished seventh or better in the last four races.
6. Martin Truex Jr. (16 points): Won both stages and finished third at Atlanta. Now heads to Martinsville where he won last fall’s playoff race. Is he about to start a big run? Last week: unranked.
7. Chase Elliott (13 points): Four top-five showings (including a win at Charlotte) and two other top-10 finishes this season. Look for even better things going forward. Last week: third.
8. Jimmie Johnson (11 points): He’s so close to a win that he and his fans can taste it. Could he finally snap his 105-race winless streak Wednesday night at Martinsville, where he has nine career wins? Last week: fifth.
9. Denny Hamlin (5 points): Finished fifth at Atlanta but barely got a look from the voters, even with a win and three other top-five finishes in the last six races. Last week: eighth.
10. Austin Dillon (4 points): Consistency has been an issue during much of his Cup career. But things are looking up of late: Has placed 11th or better in each of the last three races. Last week: tied for sixth.
Others receiving votes: Grant Enfinger (3 points), Ryan Newman (1 point)