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NASCAR Cup Series Power Rankings | After Race 17 at Nashville

If this past weekend’s Ally 400 proved anything, it’s that NASCAR made the right decision by returning the Music City. The first-ever NASCAR Cup Series event at Nashville Superspeedway did not disappoint. It seems safe to say that both the teams, drivers and crew chiefs got more than they bargained for from the unique concrete layout. While it was a weekend of firsts and new initiatives on many levels, some things remained consistent. After his third consecutive points race win, Kyle Larson continues to sit atop the latest FlurrySports NASCAR power rankings. 

While the top dog may not have changed, there was plenty of shuffling behind Larson this week on the heels of the Nashville race. Read on to see where your favorite driver stacks up.

NASCAR power rankings Cup Series Kyle Larson
Credit: Andrew Nelles / Tennessean.com

NASCAR Cup Series Power Rankings | After Nashville

1. Kyle Larson | Hendrick Motorsports #5

Last Week: 1

Can anyone give Kyle Larson a run for the NASCAR power rankings top spot? At this point, his lead is so large that he simply cannot be overtaken in a single weekend. Larson dominated the Ally 400 last Sunday to win his third consecutive points-paying race. Add in the $1 million he took home with his NASCAR All-Star Race victory and we have now seen the Hendrick Motorsports No. 5 Camaro parked in victory lane for four consecutive weeks. Oh, and he finished runner-up in three consecutive races prior to this incredible winning streak. Larson’s 1,426 laps led this season are 670 more than any other driver. 

2. William Byron | Hendrick Motorsports #24

Last Week: 6

William Byron bounced back from getting wrecked out at Sonoma with a solid All-Star Race. He then overcame numerous hurdles to finish third at Nashville this past weekend. After sliding him down the NASCAR power rankings following the last points race, Byron is back where he belongs right behind his Hendrick Motorsports teammate. In fact, Byron is tied with Kyle Larson for second in average finish on the season at 10.2. The fact that he has just one victory to Larson’s four speaks to the consistency of the No. 24 team.

3. Denny Hamlin | Joe Gibbs Racing #11

Last Week: 3

Thanks to the final stage of the Ally 400 turning into a fuel-saving game, Denny Hamlin wound up with a finish far worse than his performance truly deserved. The No. 11 Camry still leads all NASCAR Cup Series drivers in average finish (8.5) on the season. Even though he remains winless, Hamlin also still has a 10-point margin over Kyle Larson in the NASCAR points standings. All that being said, a certain Joe Gibbs Racing teammate is quickly catching up to him in these rankings.

4. Chase Elliott | Hendrick Motorsports #9

Last Week: 2

Chase Elliott was in the top-10 for what seemed like the entire race on Sunday. Things took a turn for the worst in the final stage. Elliott radioed to his team to say a wheel felt loose. He was passed by several cars but remained on track through the end of the race. The No. 9 car would go on to fail post-race inspection for five loose lug nuts. Elliott was disqualified and finished last by default. Quite the way for a streak of five consecutive top-3 finished to end.

5. Kyle Busch | Joe Gibbs Racing #18

Last Week: 7

For a driver who wasn’t happy with his car at all at Nashville, Kyle Busch sure made the most of things. After getting passed by nearly all lead-lap cars in the final stage due to some sort of issue, Busch rallied to finish 11th. A solid day in the end, but far from indicative of the No. 18 car’s performance early in the race. Busch continues to make strides and may be back in victory lane sooner than later.

6. Alex Bowman | Hendrick Motorsports #48

Last Week: 5

He was certainly a step behind his three Hendrick Motorsports teammates this week, but Alex Bowman earned a finish of 14th at Nashville. He also ran well in the NASCAR All-Star Race two weeks ago. With two wins in his pocket, Bowman is sitting pretty when it comes to making the postseason. The No. 48 hasn’t been nearly as noticeable as the other HMS cars most weeks, but Bowman keeps getting the job done.

NASCAR power rankings Cup Series Joey Logano Kyle Larson Kyle Busch
Credit: Peter Casey-USA TODAY Sports

7. Joey Logano | Team Penske #22

Last Week: 8

In what was a brutal Nashville race for the entire Team Penske organization, Joey Logano proved to be the lone bright spot. The No. 22 car was in the top-5 for much of the first two stages and wound up with a 10th place run. Logano ranks fifth in average finish among all drivers this season, a testament to his consistency. After a weekend the Penske garage would like to forget, Logano quietly jumps up one spot in the NASCAR power rankings.

8. Martin Truex Jr. | Joe Gibbs Racing #19

Last Week: 5

It really doesn’t make sense to have a driver with three wins on the year only ranked eighth. Yet, it really seems to be an all-or-nothing season for Martin Truex Jr. and the No. 19 team. When they hit the setup, they are next to unbeatable. When they miss, they miss badly. Truex started near the rear and got penalized twice on pit road at Nashville. He never cracked the top-10 and finished 22nd, the latest in a string of disappointing runs. 

9. Kevin Harvick | Stewart-Haas Racing #4

Last Week: 9

The Ally 400 proved to be a massive momentum booster for Kevin Harvick and Stewart-Haas Racing. Despite all the struggles that the organization has had this year, Harvick still ranks sixth among all drivers with an average finish of 11.2. His fifth-place showing at Nashville marked his fifth top-5 of the season. It’s a far cry from his dominance a year ago, but the No. 4 car seems to be getting closer to that elusive first victory.

10. Austin Dillon | Richard Childress Racing #3

Last Week: 10

Austin Dillon had to overcome his fair share of adversity to finish 12th at Nashville. The No. 3 team was even able to use a two-tire pit strategy at the end of Stage 2 to nab some crucial stage points. Dillon ranks eighth in average finish (12.9) on the season. He is also over 100 points clear of the current playoff cutline. While the consistency hasn’t been to the same degree as that of Kyle Larson and William Byron, Dillon has been more consistent than many realize.

11. Tyler Reddick | Richard Childress Racing #8

Last Week: 11

Tyler Reddick’s day at Nashville could’ve wound up a whole lot worse than his 18th-place showing. Fortunately, his spin coming off of pit road did not significantly damage the car. All told, the No. 8 was noticeably fast yet again.

12. Brad Keselowski | Team Penske #2

Last Week: 13

Brad Keselowski was part of the Team Penske day to forget last weekend. While he at least ran the entire race, he was never a factor for even a top-10 finish. He got lapped at the end and quite clearly had a miscalculated brake setup.

13. Daniel Suarez | Trackhouse Racing #99

Last Week: 15

Well, well, well, what have we here? On the heels of a seventh-place run, Daniel Suarez surges up two more spots in this week’s NASCAR power rankings. It may be their first-ever season, but the Trackhouse Racing Team is red-hot. Suarez now sits just 61 points below the playoff cutline.

Christopher Bell NASCAR Cup Series power rankings Kyle Busch Kyle Larson
Credit: John Raoux/AP Photo

14. Christopher Bell | Joe Gibbs Racing #20

Last Week: 17

Although his crew let a tire get away to the infield grass on a mid-race pit stop, Christopher Bell recovered well to score a top-10 finish. It was his sixth such finish of the season and perhaps signs that a midseason rut is coming to an end.

15. Ryan Blaney | Team Penske #12

Last Week: 12

The No. 12 Mustang was the first car to show signs of potential brake problems at Nashville. Sure enough, Ryan Blaney completely lost them shortly after his first pit stop and wrecked into the wall. Other than spurts of the All-Star Race, Blaney has been completely absent from the top-5 in recent weeks.

16. Ross Chastain | Chip Ganassi Racing #42

Last Week: 18

One could argue that Ross Chastain deserves to move up even further in this week’s NASCAR power rankings. After early-season struggles, the No. 42 appears to be putting things together. A runner-up finish at Nashville was Chastain’s second top-5 of the season. He also has now finished top-10 in three of the last four weeks.

17. Michael McDowell | Front Row Motorsports #34

Last Week: 16

It was a quiet Nashville weekend for Daytona 500 winner Michael McDowell. An average race resulted in an average finish of 16th. He is now 14 points behind Christopher Bell in the standings among drivers with a win.

18. Chris Buescher | Roush Fenway Racing #17

Last Week: 14

A flat tire sent Chris Buescher into the wall and ended his day early at Nashville. After a very solid stretch through April and May, Buescher has had a few finishes to forget the past few weeks. 

19. Kurt Busch | Chip Ganassi Racing #1

Last Week: 21

The other Chip Ganassi Racing Camaro was also seen among the top-10 finishers at Nashville. Kurt Busch caught a break with a timely caution during green flag pit stops early. Once at the front, the No. 1 was fast enough to stay there. Busch now trails Chris Buescher by 24 points in the standings for the final playoff spot.

Ricky Stenhouse Jr. NASCAR power rankings
Credit: Chris Graythen/Getty Images

20. Ricky Stenhouse Jr. | JTG Daugherty Racing #47

Last Week: 22

If not for a slow pit stop late in the race, Ricky Stenhouse Jr. very well could have finished in the top-3 last week. The No. 47 was absolutely flying on the long runs. While many teams failed to deliver on their setup for Nashville Superspeedway, JTG Daugherty Racing appeared to nail it.

21. Erik Jones | Richard Petty Motorsports #43

Last Week: 20

Erik Jones gambled to try and grab some stage points but failed to hang on to a top-10 spot. That was pretty much the only time the No. 43 was heard from at Nashville as he wound up 19th.

22. Matt DiBenedetto | Wood Brothers Racing #21

Last Week: 19

Nashville marked the first points race for Matt DiBenedetto with new crew chief Jonathan Hassler. Unfortunately, a strong first half failed to last until the end. DiBenedetto squandered a great chance to make up ground in the NASCAR Cup Series standings.

23. Bubba Wallace | 23XI Racing #23

Last Week: 23

Bubba Wallace was never spotted in the top-10 last week as he drove to a 20th place run. The only real noise he made was when he spun out to bring out a caution midway through.

24. Aric Almirola | Stewart-Haas Racing #10

Last Week: 29

Are Aric Almirola and the No. 10 team finally through with their 2021 curse? After winning the NASCAR All-Star Open, Almirola won the pole at Nashville and finished a season-high fourth. 

25. Ryan Newman | Roush Fenway Racing #6

Last Week: 27

Ryan Newman quietly worked his way to a 13th-place finish at Nashville. The next step for this team is carrying that consistency over into this coming weekend at Pocono. He is 81 points below his Roush Fenway Racing teammate in terms of the playoff cutline. 

26. Cole Custer | Stewart-Haas Racing #41

Last Week: 26

Prior to a mechanical problem that forced him to go to the garage for repairs, Cole Custer was running in the top-10 for much of the race. At least he was able to get back on the track and finish.

27. Ryan Preece | JTG Daugherty Racing #37

Last Week: 28

Ryan Preece was nowhere near as strong as his JTG Daugherty Racing teammate at Nashville. At least he can offset his Cup Series DNF result with his victory in Friday’s NASCAR Truck Series race.

Corey LaJoie Cup Series Kyle Busch
Carmen Mandato/Getty Images

28. Corey LaJoie | Spire Motorsports #7

Last Week: 28

After stringing together three straight top-20 finishes, Corey LaJoie and the No. 7 team did themselves one better at Nashville. If his 15th-place run starts a new streak, then we’ll really take him seriously.

29. Chase Briscoe | Stewart-Haas Racing #14

Last Week: 25

Things appeared to be going well for Chase Briscoe. Until they weren’t. Nonetheless, the fact that all four Stewart-Haas Racing cars were running together in the top-10 early on has to be considered a small victory for the organization. 

30. Anthony Alfredo | Front Row Motorsports #38

Last Week: 30

Not a bad run for Anthony Alfredo at Nashville. He finished 17th, right behind Front Row Motorsports teammate Michael McDowell. Both driver and team have certainly improved as this season has gone on.

31. Josh Bilicki | Rick Ware Racing #52

Last Week: 32

He finally did it. Quin Houff failed to turn a single lap at Nashville, and Josh Bilicki took full advantage. A 26th-place finish moved him ahead of Houff in both the points standings and the NASCAR power rankings for the first time this season.

32. Quin Houff | StarCom Racing #00

Last Week: 31

As mentioned above, Quin Houff failed to even run one lap this past weekend. In fact, he didn’t even make it to the backstretch in one piece. But thanks to Chase Elliott’s disqualification, at least he can say he didn’t finish last!


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