Power Rankings: Ryan Blaney all smiles after winning the All-Star

The All-Star race at Texas Motor Speedway on Sunday night brought a little chaos to the table.

In the same accident, the top three drivers in the NBC Sports Power Ranking were expelled, and this year’s winner Ryan Blaney took home a million-dollar check that he had to win twice.

NASCAR Power Rankings

1. Chase Elliott (Last Week: Issue 1) Elliott may not have been a precedent at the start of Sunday’s showdown race, he was sixth when the accident happened, but Chevrolet No. 9 remains one of the most consistent in the series. Elliott is averaging 10.4 points this season, second behind Blaney’s 10.3, and the No. 12 Ford’s 52-point lead in the points standings. With Dover’s victory, Elliott enters the second half of the regular season with a lot of smiles, despite being an All-Star DNF.

2. Kyle Busch (Last Week: Issue 2) The 2022 edition of the All-Star Race looked like it was going to be lost by Busch, as the No. 18 Toyota led each of the 47 laps in Texas. That was until it flattened at the exit of the 4th bend of its right rear tire, slowing down in front of the pitch and becoming the ramp for Ross Chastain’s 1st Chevrolet. Although the result is disappointing, and the accident is frightening, it is not to be expected that this radar blip will interfere with Busch. The two-time champion has finished in the top 10 in six of the last seven points of the race, with the only exception being when he met in Brad Keselowski’s Darlington accident.

3. Ross Chastain (Last Week: Issue 3) While Kyle Busch dominated the night, Chastain did well in the top five in Texas. Before taking a flight over Busch’s car, Chastain was running third, showing the speed we expected from his Trackhouse Racing Chevrolet No. 1. Chastain, who has drawn the most sets in two wins this year, has ranked the top five and four top-10 in his last six outings. Expect the same thing this weekend at Charlotte Motor Speedway.

4. Ryan Blaney (Last Week: Issue 8) The 12th car finally returned to Victory Lane. No, it’s not a point race and it doesn’t block Blaney in the playoffs, but winning the All-Star Race gives Blaney a much-needed boost as part of his early season speed has faded. Blaney still has work to do in the points race – he hasn’t finished in the top 10 since finishing fifth in Bristol’s dirt – so perhaps a Texas win with the last 84 laps out of 140 laps could turn Penske’s back on its program. On 1.5-mile tracks.

5. Christopher Bell (Last Week: Issue 4) Like most of his five friends this week, Bell ran into big problems in the All-Star Race. Joe Gibbs Racing Toyota was No. 20 when he lost control on the 4th lap of Texas, sending him off the outside wall and out of the competition. However, the third-year driver finished in 10th place when he bounced back and remains stunned. Bell finished seventh or better in four of the last five races.

6. Joey Logano (Last Week: Issue 7) Logano has begun to regain the strength he lost last month. His Darlington victory was the exception to the 17th or 17th in all three races. An excellent pit stop between the second and third stages on Sunday gave Logano the third place finish in the final stage of the All-Star Race, and Logano finished fourth. The results need to be better and more consistent — 17. that position was in the last point race in Kansas — but Sunday was a good show for the 2018 Cup winner.

7. Kyle Larson (Last Week: Issue 5) Larson’s All-Star Race abruptly ended while he was second on the 4th lap of his right tire. But the runner-up in the series has quietly prevailed in recent weeks. In his last five races, his only finish out of the top six was 36th in Darlington as a result of an engine explosion. Being the runner-up in Kansas is a good way to announce the chances of having a Coca-Cola 600 at Charlotte this weekend.

8. Alex Bowman (Last Week: Issue 6) Bowman had a quiet but fruitful All-Star weekend and continues to deliver strong results at No. 48 Chevrolet. The Las Vegas winner has seven top 10 finishes in his last nine races, finishing 10th in Atlanta in March. Bowman hasn’t shown speed in winning the race in a long time, but good, consistent finishes are on the right track.

9. William Byron (Last Week: Issue 9) Byron’s heat wave has cooled considerably, and he hasn’t reached the top-10 finish since Martinsville won. But the No. 24 car still shows up on the track with fast cars: Byron was back in the middle to win in Darlington and became one of the many trampled by a Kansas-led tire.

10. Denny Hamlin (Last week: Uncategorized) For the first time this season, we welcome Hamlin to NBC Sports Power Ranking. No, being second in the All-Star Race doesn’t mean much. But for a team that has struggled to finish, Hamlin will take what he gets right now. The Richmond winner has been very quick in recent weeks, taking 109 laps between Dover and Darlington, and eventually finishing second in the top-10 of the year in Kansas, where he finished fourth. Is his bad luck finally over?

Excluded: Martin Truex Jr. (Last week: No. 10).

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