Ryan Blaney takes the top spot in the NASCAR Power Rankings after winning the NASCAR Cup Series championship.
Blaney originally took the top spot after winning at Martinsville. Kyle Larson moves into second after ending the year second in the championship standings.
NBC SPORTS NASCAR POWER RANKINGS
1. Ryan Blaney (Last Week: 1) — He lost the championship lead after the final pit stop of the Phoenix race but went out and passed both William Byron and Kyle Larson in the final 30 laps. Blaney finished second in the race and won his first Cup championship, the second straight for team owner Roger Penske.
2. Kyle Larson (3) — He finished third at Phoenix after running in the top 10 all afternoon. Larson fell short of his second title in three seasons but ended the year second in the standings. He posted four wins and 15 top-five finishes this season, tied for the second-most in his career.
3. William Byron (5) — He won the pole at Phoenix and led 95 laps. As he track changed, he lost the handling on his No. 24 Chevrolet. Byron ended his career season third in the championship standings after leading the series with six wins and 21 top-10 finishes.
4. Christopher Bell (2) — A blown brake rotor ended his quest for the championship before the race’s halfway point. Bell finished the season fourth in the championship standings after setting a career-best average finish of 12.9 and reaching the Championship 4 for the second consecutive season.
5. Denny Hamlin (4) — He ended the season with an eighth-place finish at Phoenix. Hamlin headed into the offseason fifth in the championship standings. This is the fifth consecutive season he has finished fifth or better in the standings.
6. Chris Buescher (8) — He led 18 laps and finished fifth after what he described as a dropped cylinder. Buescher ended the year seventh in the standings after setting career highs in wins (three), top fives (nine), top 10s (17) and average finish (12.1).
7. Bubba Wallace (6) — He closed out the season by finishing 10th at Phoenix. Wallace matched his career-best marks of 10 top-10 finishes and five top fives while improving his average finish from 18.3 to 15.9. He qualified inside the top 10 in the final nine races of the season and posted four of his top-10 finishes. Wallace finished a career-best 10th in the championship standings.
8. Tyler Reddick (7) — Reddick finished 22nd at Phoenix and ended the season sixth in the championship standings. In his first season with 23XI Racing, he matched his career-best marks of 16 top-10 finishes and 10 top fives. Though he ended the year with back-to-back finishes outside of the top 20.
9. Ross Chastain (NR) — He closed out the season by winning at Phoenix, his first win since Nashville in June. Chastain had speed after going through what he described as a “rough patch” and used it to hold off the Championship 4 drivers. He said this win would have “ripple effects” for Trackhouse Racing going into the offseason.
10. Martin Truex Jr. (10) — He started second at Phoenix and finished sixth after running inside the top 10 all afternoon. This was Truex’s second top-10 finish of the playoffs. He ended the season 11th in the standings after winning the regular-season championship.
Dropped out: Chase Elliott