Kyle Larson takes NASCAR top spot

Edwin  - CEO March 5, 2024
Updated 2024/03/05 at 6:25 PM
5 Min Read
NBC Sports
NBC Sports

Soars in Power Rankings after Las Vegas win

 

NASCAR Cup Series EXTENDED HIGHLIGHTS: Pennzoil 400 | 3/3/24 | Motorsports on NBC

 

John Newby reports for NBC Sports that Kyle Larson rocketed to the top spot in the NASCAR Power Rankings after a dominant win at Las Vegas Motor Speedway.

 

The list sees multiple changes after the first intermediate track on the schedule.

 

NBC SPORTS NASCAR POWER RANKINGS

 

1. Kyle Larson (Last week: 7) — Larson led a race-high 181 laps, swept the first two stages for the second consecutive race at Las Vegas, and scored his first win. He took the points lead and showed that he will again be a driver to contend with this season.

 

2. Ryan Blaney (1) — One week after finishing second at Atlanta, Blaney delivered another top-five finish. He scored points in stage 2 and finished third to move into second place in the Cup standings. Now he heads back to Phoenix, a track where he has finished no worse than fourth in five straight races.

 

3. William Byron (2) — Byron had one of the fastest cars in Las Vegas but did not have the opportunity to contend for the win due to a large trash bag sending him down pit road for an unscheduled stop. The reigning Daytona 500 winner still salvaged a 10th-place finish, leaving Las Vegas fourth in points.

 

4. Ross Chastain (4) — Chastain continues to show speed this season. One week after finishing seventh at Atlanta, he scored a fourth-place finish at Las Vegas. The season is early, but Chastain has been in contention in all three races. This is consistency that was lacking for much of last season.

 

5. Ty Gibbs (NR) — Gibbs’s rookie season was not a fluke but a sign of things to come. The second-year driver has continued to improve in the No. 54 Toyota. He started the season by finishing 17th at Daytona and 10th at Atlanta. Gibbs then went out and finished fifth at Las Vegas after recovering from a pit road penalty on Lap 161. He also did so without first gear.

 

6. Daniel Suarez (5) — The reigning Atlanta winner did not have the right speed to contend for the win at Las Vegas but led 15 laps after staying out on old tires on Lap 27 while most of the field stopped for tires. Suarez ended stage 1 in 17th place but worked his way back up to 11th by the end of the race.

7. Bubba Wallace (3) — The only driver to post back-to-back top-five finishes to start the season, Wallace endured a difficult race in Nevada. He had the speed to race inside the top 10 in the first stage but fell 13 laps down when his team had to cut a stuck lug nut to get the left front tire off of the No. 23 Toyota. Wallace fell ten spots in the Cup standings after finishing 35th but remained above the playoff cutline.

 

8. Tyler Reddick (NR) — Once again, Reddick has speed in the No. 45 Toyota, which he used to score the second-most stage points on Sunday before finishing second. Reddick also continues to deal with setbacks on pit road, an issue he dealt with throughout last season. Last weekend’s race was the latest example as he slid through his pit stall on the stop after stage 1. Reddick lost ten spots after backing up before his team could begin working.

 

9. Denny Hamlin (9) — Hamlin’s season has featured him running inside the top 10 in all three races while scoring 18 stage points and leading 41 laps. He has also been involved in multiple incidents that have kept him out of contention for wins. Last weekend’s race was Hamlin’s cleanest outing. He scored 14 stage points, led 16 laps, and crossed the line eighth.

 

10. Martin Truex Jr. (NR) — Truex, who won the regular-season championship last season, has enjoyed an uneventful start to the season. He finished 15th and 12th at Daytona and Atlanta while finishing on the lead lap. Truex then finished seventh at Las Vegas after scoring 14 stage points. He is now third in points heading to Phoenix.

 

Dropped out: Chase Elliott, Alex Bowman, Kyle Busch

 

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