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Power Rankings: Charlotte – 1

  1. Kyle Busch (+2)

Busch has now won a points race at every track on the Cup Series circuit. That’s a pretty impressive feat. Equally as impressive is the fact that he led a shocking 377 of Sunday night’s 400 laps. Busch now trails Harvick by only one win so far this season, and that puts Busch on top of this week’s power rankings.

  1. Kevin Harvick (-1)

Harvick made some history of his own this weekend, but not the good kind. For the first time in 1,089 NASCAR national series starts, Harvick finished last. Despite his series-leading five wins on the season, Harvick has been feast or famine this season. All of his finishes better than 30th have been seventh or better. Unfortunately, Harvick has three finishes worse than 30th so far this season. That puts him third in the points, 88 points behind leader Kyle Busch. His last-place finish at Charlotte drops him from the lead to second in the power rankings.

  1. Martin Truex Jr. (+1)

Truex had a very strong race on Sunday night, finishing each stage in the top ten, and second in the race. He even seemed to close a bit on Kyle Busch in the closing laps of Sunday night’s race. However, Truex was never fast enough to challenge Busch. Truex has recovered well from a rough period where he failed to finish three of four races, following up with three top five finishes. If there’s going to be a third musketeer to compliment Busch and Harvick, Truex looks to be the top contender.

  1. Joey Logano (-2)

Logano had a 22nd-place finish Sunday night, his first finish outside the top 20 all season. Logano blamed damage he received from a spin with Jimmie Johnson for the lack of speed, but there seems to be something a bit more there, given he failed to finish inside the top ten in any of the three stages.

  1. Denny Hamlin (+3)

Hamlin was very strong all race, scoring points in all three stages and finishing third in the race. He has also been quietly strong as of recently, with top ten finishes in seven of the last eight races. His remarkably consistent run in the 600 (as well as his competitors’ relative struggles) have vaulted him to fourth in the rankings.

  1. Kurt Busch (NC)

Like Hamlin, Busch has been remarkably consistent lately. Busch now rides a streak of four top ten finishes after a strong eighth-place showing at Charlotte. There’s no doubt that Busch will keep his place in the rankings if he keeps this up.

  1. Kyle Larson (NC)

Larson comes off an decent seventh-place run, but, like Keselowski, he’s struggled with consistency,

  1. Brad Keselowski (-3)

Keselowski has struggled with inconsistency all season, so, despite a top five run at Charlotte, he drops a few positions in the rankings. Keselowski has three top five finishes this season, but as many DNFs. A win would help him a ton.

  1. Clint Bowyer (+1)

Bowyer finished 12th, scoring points in two of the three stages. He stayed out of trouble all night and continues an impressive season with the best team in the sport.

  1. Aric Almirola (-1)

Almirola had a very similar race to Bowyer, running near him all night and ending up in 13th place after scoring points in two of the three stages. He has only a single DNF, which also happens to be his only finish outside the top 20 all season. He falls behind Bowyer only because of his slightly worse average finish.

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