Kyle Larson maintains top spot in NASCAR Power Rankings after Darlington

Kyle Larson has kept the top spot in the NASCAR Power Rankings despite failing to finish last weekend’s race at Darlington Raceway.

A new driver joins the list after scoring his first win of the season. Another fell off the list after his second 27th-place finish in the last four races.

AUTO: FEB 25 NASCAR Cup Series Ambetter Health 400AUTO: FEB 25 NASCAR Cup Series Ambetter Health 400

AUTO: FEB 25 NASCAR Cup Series Ambetter Health 400

Chase Briscoe, Kyle Busch hold final two playoff spots at midpoint of Cup regular season

Chase Briscoe holds the final playoff spot by six points.


1. Kyle Larson (Last week: 1) — A tire issue ruined Larson’s day at Darlington. Prior to his crash in the final stage, Larson led 15 laps and scored his series-leading seventh stage win of the season. No other driver has more than three stage wins. Larson continues to lead the Cup standings.

2. Denny Hamlin (2) — Hamlin sustained damage in an incident that ended Ryan Blaney’s day. He remained in contention for a top-10 finish and then moved up to fourth after Tyler Reddick and Chris Buescher made unscheduled pit stops for flat tires. Hamlin’s last three finishes are first, fifth and fourth.

3. Chase Elliott (3) — Elliott struggled with handling at Darlington in the first two stages after starting 31st. He worked his way up to 16th before a slow pit stop dropped him back to 29th. Pit strategy helped Elliott gain positions and he ended the day 12th. This was only Elliott’s second finish outside the top 10 in the last seven races.

4. Martin Truex Jr. (4) — Truex finished fifth in the opening stage at Darlington but sustained damage in stage 2 when he was put three-wide between William Byron and Blaney. Truex finished 25th, his first finish worse than 20th this season. He remains second in the Cup standings, 30 points behind Larson.

NASCAR: Cup Practice & QualifyingNASCAR: Cup Practice & Qualifying

NASCAR: Cup Practice & Qualifying

Ryan Blaney not happy with William Byron after incident at Darlington

Ryan Blaney finished last in the 36-car field after hitting the wall while racing William Byron and Martin Truex Jr.

5. Alex Bowman (5) — Like Elliott, Bowman struggled with handling early at Darlington. Pit strategy in the final stage put him in contention for a top-10 finish, which Bowman delivered. He scored his fourth consecutive top-10 finish. Sunday marked the sixth time that Bowman has posted four consecutive top 10s since joining Hendrick Motorsports.

6. William Byron (6) — Byron spent the race contending for a top-10 finish despite struggling with handling in the early stages. He crossed the line sixth and snapped a two-race streak of finishes outside the top 20. Byron now has eight top-10 finishes, putting him in a tie with Bowman for the series lead.

7. Brad Keselowski (NR) — For the first time since April 2021, Keselowski has celebrated a Cup win. Last weekend’s race at Darlington was his most complete performance of the season as he started second, scored 17 stage points and capitalized on the late contact between Reddick and Buescher. Keselowski already has five top-five finishes this season after only posting seven last season.

8. Tyler Reddick (8) — Reddick’s finish does not reflect the performance. He started from pole at Darlington, led a race-high 174 laps and won the second stage. However, Reddick made contact with Buescher while racing for the lead. This cut his tire and sent both drivers to pit road. Reddick finished 32nd.

NASCAR: Cup QualifyingNASCAR: Cup Qualifying

NASCAR: Cup Qualifying

Daniel Suarez apologizes to fans for recent struggles, saying ‘we’re just slow’

Atlanta winner Daniel Suarez has one top-15 finish in the last nine races.

9. Noah Gragson (7) — Gragson started last at Darlington but worked his way up to 14th before the end of the race. This snapped his three-race streak of top-10 finishes. Gragson has finished 20th or better in seven consecutive races.

10. Ty Gibbs (10) — Gibbs turned in a career-worst finish last week at Kansas (32nd) but bounced back in a major way at Darlington. He started fourth, gained 17 stage points and crossed the line second to Keselowski. Sunday marked the best finish of Gibbs’ Cup career.

Dropped out: Kyle Busch

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