NASCAR Power Rankings: Ross Chastain stays on top
Chase Elliott surged late in the evening to win Sunday’s rain-splattered NASCAR Cup race at Nashville Superspeedway, moving up to second in the NBC Sports NASCAR Power Rankings, but Ross Chastain retained the No. 1 spot.
Chastain raced near the front most of the night in Nashville and finished fifth. He leads the series in top-five finishes this season at eight.
Martin Truex Jr. and Kevin Harvick, both showing strength at Nashville, move into the rankings this week.
The Cup Series moves on to Road America on Sunday (3 p.m. ET, USA Network)
NBC Sports NASCAR Power Rankings
1. Ross Chastain (Last week: No. 1) -- Chastain made noise at the front of the pack again, challenging the race’s fast Toyotas much of the night before finishing fifth.
2. Chase Elliott (Last week: No. 5) -- Elliott jumps three positions this week based on a stellar final-stage run and victory at Nashville. He led the final 39 laps and held off challengers who had newer tires after a late-race round of pit stops.
3. Ryan Blaney (Last week: No. 4) -- Blaney had a quiet sort of race at Nashville, leading only a single lap, but he finished third and now has three straight top-10 runs. He spun with less than 100 laps left but benefitted from staying out during the final round of pit stops. Across the season, he has been in the top five for 1,856 laps, the leader in that category.
4. Joey Logano (Last week: No. 3) -- Although Logano wasn’t a force at Nashville, he ran a steady race, avoided trouble and came home ninth, giving him five top 10s in the past 12 races.
5. Kyle Busch (Last week: No. 2) -- Busch led 54 laps at Nashville but fell victim to late-race pit strategy. Pitting for tires in a last-gasp shot at catching leader Chase Elliott, Busch instead fell to 21st.
6. Kyle Larson (Last week: No. 6) -- Larson led no laps at Nashville but finished a consistent fourth and has three finishes of ninth or better in the past six races.
7. Christopher Bell (Last week: No. 7) -- Bell continues to put up strong numbers. An eighth-place run at Nashville marked his sixth finish of ninth or better in the past seven races.
8. Denny Hamlin (Last week: No. 9) -- Hamlin burst out of the gate with ferocity at Nashville, leading the first 65 laps. He totaled 114 for the evening, easily the race high. He finished sixth.
9. Martin Truex Jr. (Last week: unranked) -- On a night when Toyotas showed their power, Truex joined in, leading 82 laps, including 28 in a row twice. He dropped to 22nd at the finish after the late-race pit scramble.
10. Kevin Harvick (Last week: unranked) -- Harvick seems on the verge of ending what has been continuing misery for the No. 4 team. His winless streak has reached 60, but a 10th-place finish at Nashville moved him to 16th in the playoff standings, just above the cutoff line. He has two straight top 10s.
Dropped out: William Byron (Last week: No. 8), Daniel Suarez (Last week: No. 10)