Ryan Blaney takes the top spot in the NASCAR Power Rankings after winning at Martinsville Speedway.
Blaney is a new addition to the NASCAR Power Rankings. He replaces a former teammate, Brad Keselowski.
NBC SPORTS NASCAR POWER RANKINGS
1. Ryan Blaney (Last Week: NR) — He won his way into the Round of 8 at Talladega but started the round below the cutline. Blaney’s finishes in the Round of 8 were sixth at Las Vegas, second at Homestead and first at Martinsville. He peaked at the right moment.
2. Christopher Bell (1) — He won his way into the Championship 4 at Homestead. Bell then ran consistently inside of the top 10 at Martinsville before finishing seventh. Now he returns to Phoenix with a chance to win a Cup title.
3. Kyle Larson (2) — He won his way into the Championship 4 at Las Vegas. Larson finished sixth at Martinsville with a car that he said “wasn’t that good.” Now he will try to win his second Cup title in three seasons.
4. William Byron (3) — He had a difficult day at Martinsville in which he missed out on stage points, struggled with handling and finished 13th. Byron survived what he called “hell in a bottle” and advanced to the Championship 4 for the first time.
5. Denny Hamlin (4) — He failed to advance to the Championship 4 after leading 156 laps, scoring 19 stage points and finishing third. He could not overcome a point deficit caused by a power steering issue and subsequent crash at Homestead last week. Hamlin still has an opportunity to finish fifth or better in points for the fifth consecutive season.
6. Bubba Wallace (7) — He started sixth at Martinsville, a career-best at the short track, and finished 11th after recovering from an equipment interference penalty in stage 2. Wallace will now head to Phoenix, where he will close out a season in which he set career-best marks in laps led (285), average starting position (12.7) and average finishing position (16.1).
7. Tyler Reddick (5) — He entered Martinsville 10 points below the cutline. He failed to advance to the Championship 4 after struggling with handling and voltage issues at Martinsville. Reddick finished 26th and two laps behind the leaders. He can still finish eighth or better in points, marking a career-best.
8. Chris Buescher (7) — He was in a must-win situation at Martinsville. Buescher’s team put him in position to pursue this goal with a two-tire pit stop ahead of the final restart. He ultimately finished eighth. This was a career-best at Martinsville.
9. Chase Elliott (9) — He finished 17th at Martinsville after running outside of the top 10 and missing out on stage points. Elliott’s finishes in the Round of 8 were 32nd at Las Vegas, 15th at Homestead and 17th at Martinsville. He was not able to put the No. 9 in the Championship 4 on the owner side.
10. Martin Truex Jr. (10) — He started from pole at Martinsville and led 47 laps. A speeding penalty and a slow pit stop in the first two stages buried him outside of the top 25. Truex recovered to finish 12th but failed to advance to the Championship 4 after winning the regular-season championship.
Dropped out: Brad Keselowski (8)