NASCAR Power Rankings: Track Elliott back to the top

After his third win of the season on Sunday at Atlanta Motor Speedway, Chase Elliott reclaimed first place in our NBC Sports NASCAR Power Rankings.

Elliott has won two of the last three Cup races and also won at Nashville Superspeedway on June 26th. This was followed by a second place at Road America.

Ross Chastain, the previous No. 1, slips to No. 2 in the Power rankings. His second place finish on Sunday continues a string of strong results for him, but it didn’t come without further controversy.

Ryan Blaney remains in 3rd place. As he continues to seek his first win of the season, the Team Penske driver is citing solid results.

The Cup Series season resumes Sunday at New Hampshire Motor Speedway (3 p.m. ET, USA Network).

NBC Sports NASCAR Power Rankings

1. Chase Elliott (Last Week: #2) – Elliott won both stages, leading the most laps (96) and fending off Corey LaJoie’s attack on the last lap to secure the win. Sunday’s triumph continues an impressively consistent run for Elliott in 2022.

2. Ross Chastain (Last week: #1) – Chastain’s second place was his third consecutive top five finish and fifth in the last 10 races, dating back to his April 24 victory at Talladega Superspeedway. In the same 10 races he has eight top 10 finishes.

3. Ryan Blaney (Last week: #3) – Blaney led just two laps on Sunday but came away with 46 points (the second-highest of any driver) en route to fifth place. He still holds the largest points cushion (+133) among the three riders currently in the 16-rider playoff field on points.

4. Kyle Larson (Last week: No. 4) – The reigning Cup champion did well to salvage a 13th place finish on Sunday. Larson suffered from handling issues early on and once those were resolved he was also involved in Sunday’s two big wrecks on Lap 91 and Lap 170. It could have been a lot worse.

5. Joey Logano (Last week: #5) – Logano, an innocent bystander in the wreck on lap 91, was able to climb back onto the lead lap and was inside the top 10 late in the final stage. But another crash with eight laps to go – this time with Denny Hamlin – ended his day and brought him the 26th place.

6. Christopher Bell (Last Week: #7) – Bell scored points in both legs, but his day went awry at the worst possible time. He spun out of the top 10 with 25 laps to go and then his left rear tire came loose during pit stops in the caution that followed as he left his stable. Bell, whose pit crew was overhauled on Sunday, was 19th.

7. Kevin Harvick (Last week: #8) – A misbehaving car in traffic handicapped Harvick, but his 12th place finish still reduced his gap by one point (-20 to -19) to Christopher Bell for 16th and final playoff spot.

8. Kyle Busch (Last Week: #6) — A tough day in the office for Busch, who collided with Logano during the pile-up on lap 91 and was later involved in another incident with Cody Ware and Landon Cassill on lap 189. He brought the car home and finished 20th.

9. Martin Truex Jr. (Last week: Unranked) – After being flipped by Chastain to start the big crash on lap 91, Truex Jr. recovered and was on the front row with three laps to go in Sunday’s final restart. But contact with Corey LaJoie sent Truex out of the pack and out of the competition. Truex finished 11th.

10. Denny Hamlin (Last Week: #9) – A possible top five result for Hamlin was nullified when Chastain came onto the circuit and passed him with 14 laps to go and spun him. Hamlin was 25.

dropped out: Tyler Reddick (Last week: #10)

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