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William Byron tops NASCAR Power Rankings after Martinsville win

William Byron has taken the top spot in the NASCAR Power Rankings after winning last weekend’s NASCAR Cup race at Martinsville Speedway.

Byron moved up several spots, as did one of his Hendrick Motorsports teammates. Three drivers fell out of the top 10 after back-to-back short track races.

NBC SPORTS NASCAR POWER RANKINGS

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NASCAR Cup Series Shriners Children's 500 - Qualifying

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1. William Byron (Last week: 6) — Byron qualified 18th at Martinsville but raced inside the top 10 throughout the afternoon. He led a race-high 88 laps and held off the field on an overtime restart to capture his third win of the season. Byron has won nine of the last 44 Cup races. He has a series-high 11 wins in the Next Gen era.

2. Kyle Larson (5) — Larson, the defending winner of the Martinsville spring race, was strong once again. He started from pole, led 86 laps and won the first stage. Larson was third before overtime but worked his way past teammate Chase Elliott in the final two-lap dash to the checkered flag. Larson only has one finish worse than fifth in the last four races, which has helped him take back the top spot in the Cup standings.

3. Denny Hamlin (2) — The 11th-place finish does not fully reflect Hamlin's performance at Martinsville. He led 66 laps, won stage 2 and put himself in fourth during the final stage. Once John Hunter Nemechek sent the race to overtime, Hamlin headed down pit road for four tires. He was the only lead lap car to do so at a place where track position mattered more than tires. The gamble did not pay off but Hamlin remained third in the Cup standings. He has finished 14th or better in the past six races while winning twice.

4. Martin Truex Jr. (1) — Truex started fourth at Martinsville but finished 18th on a day where none of the Joe Gibbs Racing Toyotas finished inside the top 10. Part of this finish was due to him staying out long on the final set of green flag pit stops with Daniel Suarez and Ty Gibbs. Truex is still second in points through eight races.

5. Chase Elliott (10) — Elliott seeks his first win since 2022 but continues to move closer to this outcome. He has three top-10 finishes in the past four races, headlined by his third-place finish last weekend at Martinsville. Elliott led 64 laps at the Virginia short track and scored 15 stage points. He has not finished worse than 19th this season.

6. Ty Gibbs (4) — Gibbs had the best average finish in Cup prior to back-to-back short track races in which he finished 16th or worse. Gibbs started 15th at Martinsville last weekend and missed out on stage points. He then ran 17 laps longer than leader Hamlin before making his final pit stop of the day. Gibbs ended the day 19th and fell to seventh in the Cup standings.

NASCAR Cup Series Cook Out 400
NASCAR Cup Series Cook Out 400

Winners, losers after NASCAR weekend at Martinsville Speedway

MARTINSVILLE, Va. — A look at the winners and losers after this weekend’s racing at Martinsville Speedway: Hendrick Motorsports — Becomes the first Cup team to sweep the top three spots in a race at Martinsville Speedway.

7. Christopher Bell (3) — Bell had the worst day of the JGR drivers last weekend at Martinsville. A right-front tire issue in stage 2 sent him to pit road, where he fell three laps down. Bell then spun during the final stage of the race. He ended the day 35th and snapped his four-race streak of top-10 finishes.

8. Alex Bowman (NR) — Bowman was inconsistent the first four weeks of the season with a runner-up at Daytona and three finishes of 18th or worse. He has since hit his stride. Bowman finished fourth at Bristol and Circuit of the Americas and eighth at Martinsville. He raced inside the top three at Richmond but fell to 17th after a caution in the second stage disrupted his pit strategy. Bowman is now 10th in points.

9. Tyler Reddick (NR) — The first five weeks of the season featured Reddick posting two top-10 finishes and three finishes of 29th or worse. Since crossing the line 30th at Bristol, he has gotten back into contention. Reddick finished fifth at Circuit of the Americas, 10th at Richmond and seventh at Martinsville. Last weekend marked Reddick's first top-10 finish at Martinsville since 2021.

10. Ryan Blaney (NR) — The reigning Cup champion was consistent early this season with top-five finishes at Atlanta, Las Vegas and Phoenix. Blaney then went through a stretch where he finished 12th or worse in three straight races. Last weekend at Martinsville, Blaney overcame an extra pit stop at the end of stage 1 to fix a loose tire and then used a two-tire stop at the end of stage 2 to get back track position. Blaney ended the day fifth, his fifth consecutive top-10 finish at the short track.

Dropped out: Brad Keselowski, Chris Buescher, Ross Chastain