NASCAR Cup Series
NASCAR Power Rankings: Kyle Busch, Kyle Larson jockey for top spot
NASCAR Cup Series

NASCAR Power Rankings: Kyle Busch, Kyle Larson jockey for top spot

Published Jul. 12, 2023 11:13 a.m. ET

With seven consecutive top-10 finishes, including four top-5 finishes in his last five races, Kyle Busch is back atop the power rankings. 

Granted, some of those finishes were thanks to strategy and fortunate circumstances, but he's still getting results while other drivers struggle to capitalize on having fast cars.

William Byron moves up three spots to fourth thanks to his win Sunday at Atlanta Motor Speedway.

Here are the rankings going into the race this weekend at New Hampshire Motor Speedway.


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1. Kyle Busch (Last week: 4): Busch didn't want to see Byron win at Atlanta as Byron is starting to pile up the playoff points that would help him get through the playoff rounds if he has an issue. If the playoffs started today, Byron would have 39 playoff points, and Busch would be next with 25.

2. Kyle Larson (LW: 1): Larson blamed himself for his woes at Atlanta as his race ended early with damage. Larson now has six races where he has failed to finish this year. He's fast but he's got to finish more often because not finishing a race in the playoffs can make the difference between advancing and not advancing.

3. Martin Truex Jr. (LW: 2): Truex has had back-to-back weekends where he hasn't finished on the lead lap. He has dropped to 21 points behind series points leader Byron with seven races remaining left in the regular season.

4. William Byron (LW: 7): Thanks to his victory at Atlanta, Byron has collected a series-best four victories this year. He also has won the most stages with seven stage wins (next is Ross Chastain with five stage wins). He's setting himself up for a deep playoff run.

Byron prevails at Atlanta

William Byron won the Quaker State 400 after an early ending due to rain.

5. Denny Hamlin (LW: 5): Hamlin unintentionally got into Alex Bowman at Chicago, and a week later at Atlanta, Bowman unintentionally got into Hamlin. Bowman says their cars must have magnets in them. Whatever it is, it is keeping Hamlin from building momentum.

6. Ross Chastain (LW: 3): Chastain was among the several top drivers who had sour days at Atlanta. He's 53 points behind Byron for the series points lead, and he's seeing any hope of earning the regular-season title slip away.

7. Christopher Bell (LW: 6): Bell seems to be in a little bit of a funk with two top-10 finishes in his last six starts. He needs to get the ship turned. 

8. Ryan Blaney (LW: 10): Blaney won the opening stage at Atlanta with a sweet move and then finished second in the second stage. He finished ninth thanks in part to pit strategy, but he should take confidence into the Daytona and Talladega races later this year.

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9. Chase Elliott (LW: 8): Elliott lost ground to the playoff bubble as he went from 55 points behind with eight races remaining to 60 points behind with seven left. He now has to average likely at least 30 points a race (seventh with no stage points) to have a legitimate shot at making it on points. 

10. Brad Keselowski (LW: NR): Finally putting Keselowski back on this rankings list after his sixth-place finish at Atlanta, his best finish in his last six races. He doesn't have the swagger fully back, but you can just tell he has a little more confidence about him.

On the verge: Chris Buescher, Alex Bowman, Kevin Harvick, Joey Logano, Michael McDowell, Tyler Reddick

Bob Pockrass covers NASCAR for FOX Sports. He has spent decades covering motorsports, including the past 30 Daytona 500s, with stints at ESPN, Sporting News, NASCAR Scene magazine and The (Daytona Beach) News-Journal. Follow him on Twitter @bobpockrass, and sign up for the FOX Sports NASCAR Newsletter with Bob Pockrass.

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