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Power Rankings – Chicagoland

  1. Kevin Harvick (NC)

Harvick maintains supremacy, despite Kyle Busch matching his win total of five this weekend. Harvick won stage two with a late pass of Kurt Busch and led 39 laps, third-most of anyone. While Harvick ended up third, he was, again, clearly one of the top dogs, and shows no signs of slowing down.

  1. Kyle Busch (+1)

Busch fell to third after failing to keep up with Truex at Sonoma, but his winning performance at Chicagoland puts him right back to second. Busch now has five wins in 2018, tying him with Harvick. Like Harvick, Busch shows no signs of slowing down, and may even be distancing himself from Truex a little.

  1. Martin Truex Jr. (-1)

Truex had a solid run at Chicagoland, finishing top four in both stages and fourth in the race. The stat that sticks out to me is that he didn’t lead all day, and was the only driver in the top five to never find the front. He just couldn’t find the speed of the SHR cars, Kyle Busch, or Larson.

  1. Kyle Larson (+3)

After less-than-impressive runs at both Michigan and Sonoma, Larson rebounded in spectacular fashion on Sunday, bumping and spinning his way to a second-place finish to Kyle Busch.  While Larson’s season has been hit-and-miss, this weekend was a huge hit, both for Larson and for the fans. As for being a fourth championship contender, Larson will have to show more consistent speed and minimize mistakes to solidify himself as a contender.

  1. Clint Bowyer (+1)

Bowyer had one heck of a day, recovering from three penalties in stage one to finish the race sixth. Bowyer also led 21 laps before the series of penalties.

  1. Brad Keselowski (-1)

Keselowski finished top ten, led laps, and finished both stages in sixth. However, he was plain outmatched by the frontrunners. Unless he starts winning or leading way more laps, it will be hard to justify moving Keselowski above sixth. Odds are he will only fall.

  1. Kurt Busch (-2)

Busch had a solid run going, finishing both stages in the top four and leading 20 laps. However, his race fell apart as the handling on his race car became erratic in the final stage, starting out loose before turning tight. This caused Busch to fall all the way back to 17th.

  1. Aric Almirola (+2)

Almirola showed true SHR speed on Sunday, leading a race-high 70 laps and winning stage one. He looked to be in position to grab the second stage as well, before a loose wheel caused him to pit from the lead. He recovered and re-entered the top 10 during the final stage, but another loose wheel set him back to his finishing position of 25th.

  1. Joey Logano (-1)

Similar to teammate Keselowski, Logano had a decent run at Chicagoland, scoring points in both stages and ending up eighth. He just couldn’t find the speed of the frontrunners. If Stewart-Haas teammates Almirola and Kurt Busch can keep their speed up, it’s likely Logano will stay down here.

  1. Denny Hamlin (-1)

After a spin early in the final stage, Hamlin was able to recover to a seventh-place finish. Look for Hamlin to move up a bit if he can keep these top tens up, especially if the Penske gang or the bottom two Stewart-Haas cars struggle.

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