NASCAR Cup Series
NASCAR Power Rankings: Kyle Larson unseats William Byron at the top
NASCAR Cup Series

NASCAR Power Rankings: Kyle Larson unseats William Byron at the top

Updated Apr. 30, 2024 7:18 p.m. ET

Kyle Larson vaults to the top spot this week after his second-place finish Sunday at Dover Motor Speedway. He has shown the most consistent speed of any driver this year — he has six stage wins, four more than any other driver.

Larson is followed by the two three-time winners (William Byron and Denny Hamlin) and then Martin Truex Jr., who once again couldn't capitalize with one of the best cars on track.

As the series heads to Kansas, the third "traditional" 1.5-mile track of the season, we'll take a look at how these drivers did in their first two intermediates at Las Vegas and Texas and what they need to show at the next two at Kansas and Darlington (a 1.336-mile oval) over the next couple of weeks.

1. Kyle Larson (Last Week: 3)


Larson won Vegas by leading 181 laps and then finished 21st at Texas after leading 77 laps before a wheel came off his car under caution, putting him two laps down and forcing him to try to rally. It would be a surprise if the Hendrick driver is not a contender this weekend (he lost an epic battle with Denny Hamlin at Kansas a year ago) or next weekend (he won the most recent race at Darlington).

2. William Byron (LW: 1)

Byron finished 10th at Vegas and third at Texas. There's no reason to think he won't finish top-10 the next two weeks. He just needs to avoid days such as Sunday where he led 36 laps before a bad pit stop mired him in the middle of the field and he got caught up in a wreck.

3. Denny Hamlin (LW: 5)

Hamlin was eighth at Vegas and 30th at Texas (where he spun while battling for the lead). Hamlin has led laps every race this year, including 16 at Vegas and 37 at Texas. Even if he has hiccups the next couple of weeks, that wouldn't be a concern for this Joe Gibbs Racing team. He is the defending spring race winner of Kansas.

'I love winning' — Denny Hamlin on capturing the Würth 400 at Dover

4. Martin Truex Jr. (LW: 8)

Truex was seventh at Vegas and 14th at Texas. He should be a contender at both races the next couple of weeks, and if he isn't, that will be disappointing to the Joe Gibbs Racing driver. He really needs a victory to check that box for the year and give the team a little more confidence.

5. Chase Elliott (LW: 4)

Elliott was 12th at Vegas and won at Texas. Elliott has three top-5s and five top-10s in his last seven Cup starts so he is on a bit of a roll. Top-5s the next two weeks would be another good sign for the sport's most popular driver.

6. Tyler Reddick (LW: 2)

Reddick was second at Vegas and fourth at Texas. And the 23XI Racing driver won at Kansas in September. Unlike Hamlin and Larson, Reddick hasn't been as consistent this year, so he needs to have strong races at the tracks in the upcoming weeks to show they still have that speed.

7. Christopher Bell (LW: 6)

Bell had an awful Vegas where he spun on his own and finished 33rd, and Texas wasn't much better as he finished 17th. The JGR driver made the second round of qualifying at both tracks — a sign he had speed — but didn't get the results. That's been the story of many days this year for Bell, who has five finishes of 17th or worse. He needs to finish in the top 10 the next couple of weeks — he has a top-10 car just about every week.

NASCAR Cup Series: Würth 400 highlights

8. Alex Bowman (LW: 10)

Bowman was 18th at Vegas and then a wreck put him out of Texas as he finished 37th. While he has four top-5 finishes (and six top-10s) in the 11 races this year, he needs more consistency. A pair of top-10s, with one of those a top-5, would be a good sign for the Hendrick driver over the next couple of weeks.

9. Ty Gibbs (LW: 9)

Gibbs was fifth at Vegas but then 13th at Texas. Gibbs snapped a four-race slide without a top-10 with a 10th at Dover last weekend. The JGR driver will need top-10s the next couple of weeks to show that the slide is over.

10. Ryan Blaney (LW: NR)

Blaney was third at Las Vegas, while he crashed and finished 33rd at Texas. The only Ford driver on this list, the finish isn't as important in the next two races as much as showing Blaney and Team Penske are making gains when it comes to speed and productive adjustments, something Ford teams seem to lack with the new Ford body.

On the verge: Chase Briscoe, Kyle Busch, Ross Chastain, Brad Keselowski, Joey Logano, Bubba Wallace

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


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