Denny Hamlin Maintains Pole Position in NASCAR Power Rankings Following Talladega Triumph

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Denny Hamlin Maintains Pole Position in NASCAR Power Rankings Following Talladega Triumph

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“Denny Hamlin Holds Top Spot in NBC Sports NASCAR Power Rankings After Talladega Success”

Denny Hamlin continues to reign supreme atop the NBC Sports NASCAR Power Rankings, showcasing his dominance with an impressive eighth consecutive top-10 finish in a Talladega playoff race.

Notable developments in the rankings include Chase Elliott’s significant climb and the emergence of a new driver in the top 10 as anticipation builds for the Round of 12 elimination race at the Charlotte Roval (2 p.m. ET on NBC).

NBC SPORTS NASCAR POWER RANKINGS

1. Denny Hamlin (Last Week: 1st): Despite a speeding penalty, Hamlin stormed to a third-place finish. He maintains an impeccable record, having not finished worse than 10th in a Talladega playoff race since 2015. Hamlin stands as the highest-seeded driver without a win in the Round of 12, with a string of top-five finishes, including his Round of 16 victory at Bristol.

2. William Byron (Last Week: 3rd): Byron secured a runner-up finish at Talladega, marking his second consecutive top-two finish in the playoffs. His Texas win already secured a spot in the next round. Byron’s consistent postseason performance includes just one finish outside the top 10, complemented by 18 stage points.

3. Kyle Larson (Last Week: 2nd): Larson endured a late-race crash, ultimately finishing 15th. Despite this setback, he managed to accumulate 12 stage points and remained comfortably above the cutline, heading to the Roval, where he triumphed in 2021.

4. Chase Elliott (Last Week: 7th): With only two finishes outside the top 10 in the past eight races, Elliott’s consistency shines. Although he ran out of fuel at Watkins Glen and secured an 11th-place finish at Texas, Elliott collected 13 stage points at Talladega, positioning the No. 9 entry well for advancement in the owner championship.

5. Chris Buescher (Last Week: 4th): Buescher, aiming for top-five finishes at Daytona and Talladega, expressed disappointment with his 19th-place finish. However, he lost only two points and maintains a 19-point cushion above the cutline. The Roval, where he boasts two consecutive top-six finishes, is up next.

6. Brad Keselowski (Last Week: 5th): Keselowski’s day took a turn for the worse after initiating a wreck with Carson Hocevar’s Chevrolet. Despite qualifying fifth and winning stage 2, Keselowski finished 32nd and finds himself just two points above the cutline. He faces a challenging battle against drivers with road course wins for Round of 8 qualification.

7. Bubba Wallace (Last Week: 6th): Wallace’s prospects of gaining points or contending for a win faded at a track where he previously triumphed. Struggling to secure track position, Wallace finished 23rd. Now, he faces a nine-point deficit on a road course, a style that doesn’t align with his strengths, in his quest to advance to the next playoff round.

8. Christopher Bell (Last Week: NR): Bell’s 14th-place finish at Talladega marked only his second finish outside of the top 10 during the playoffs. Despite driving a damaged race car in the final two stages following a crash involving Ross Chastain, Bell outperformed eight other playoff drivers. He maintains a 22-point lead above the cutline, heading to a track where he is the defending winner.

9. Tyler Reddick (Last Week: 8th): Reddick’s recent playoff performances have seen him finish no better than 15th in the past three races after his Kansas win. At Talladega, he secured a 16th-place finish, missing out on stage points but moving to just two points below the cutline. As a three-time road course winner, Reddick eyes Round of 8 qualification at the Roval.

10. Martin Truex Jr. (Last Week: 10th): Truex hasn’t found his way inside the top 10 since Watkins Glen in August, concluding Talladega in 18th place. Despite this, he succeeded in avoiding wrecks and completing the race, resulting in minimal playoff point loss. Truex now enjoys a 17-point buffer above the cutline, heading to a road course, a track style where he has previously excelled.

Reference:

https://www.nbcsports.com/nascar/news/denny-hamlin-keeps-top-spot-in-nascar-power-rankings-after-talladega

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