NASCAR Power Rankings: Two-time winner William Byron is No. 1

Four races into the NASCAR Cup Series season, William Byron is a winner 50% of the time.

Byron added his second victory of the season Sunday with an overtime win at Phoenix Raceway, boosting him to first place in the NBC Sports NASCAR Power Rankings. Hendrick Motorsports drivers occupy three of the top five spots in this week’s rankings.

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NBC Sports NASCAR Power Rankings

1. William Byron (fifth last week) — Byron was the top dog at the beginning and at the end of Sunday’s race. He led 59 of the first 60 laps and then rebounded with the benefit of a late-race caution to notch his second win.

2. Kyle Busch (second last week) — Busch bounced back from a tough afternoon and rallied for an eighth-place finish Sunday.

3. Alex Bowman (fourth last week) — Bowman was a strong ninth at Phoenix, a finish good enough to boost him into first place in the points standings. Among full-time drivers, he has the season’s best average finish — 6.25.

4. Ross Chastain (first last week) — Chastain falls from the rankings’ top spot after crashing with old foe Denny Hamlin on the last lap at Phoenix, ruining what could have been a strong finish.

5. Kyle Larson (eighth last week) — Larson led 201 laps at Phoenix to again illustrate the strength of the No. 5 Chevrolets this season. A fourth-place finish boosts him three spots in the rankings. Larson is one of only five drivers with two top-five finishes this season.

6. Christopher Bell (sixth last week) — The Toyota contingent failed to lead a lap at Phoenix, but Bell had another steady race and came home sixth.

7. Kevin Harvick (ninth last week) — The Closer had the door slammed in his face Sunday as a late-race caution and pit stop strategy damaged his shot at the win. He led 36 laps.

8. Denny Hamlin (third last week) — While William Byron, Ryan Blaney, Tyler Reddick and Kyle Larson were wrestling for the win Sunday, Hamlin was jousting with Ross Chastain back in the shadows. Their incident dropped Hamlin to a 23rd-place finish.

9. Joey Logano (10th last week) — Logano was quiet most of the afternoon at Phoenix but came home 11th with a less-than-excellent car.

10. Ryan Blaney (unranked last week) — Blaney roared into the picture late in the race Sunday and almost stole the win. His second-place run gives him two top 10s for the season.

Dropped out: Daniel Suarez (seventh last week).

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