NASCAR Power Rankings: Kyle Larson reclaims top spot after Sonoma win

Larson scored his 26th career victory at his home track in Wine Country on Sunday

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After Austin Cindric’s shocking win at Gateway, Kyle Larson returned to victory lane with his third win of the season on Sunday at Sonoma Raceway. In his home-track victory, the Northern California native led 19 laps and drove through the field in Stage 3 to seal the win.

NBC and USA Network will take over broadcasts for the remaining 20 races this season, starting with the Iowa Corn 350 at Iowa Speedway this weekend.

How does the field stack up heading into the first Cup Series race since 1953 in the Hawkeye State? Here’s our latest NASCAR power rankings:

1. Kyle Larson

Last week: 2

Larson’s 26th career victory ties him with Hall of Famers Dale Earnhardt Jr. and Fred Lorenzen for 32nd on the all-time list. The 31-year-old star is back atop the points standings and power rankings, despite missing the Coca-Cola 600 to run the Indy 500 two weeks ago.

2. Denny Hamlin

Last week: 1

The top two continue to flip-flop, and this week it’s Hamlin on the losing end. He completed just two laps at Sonoma before his engine expired, ending a streak of five straight top-fives. Iowa will be a new challenge for the 43-year-old veteran, as he never raced at the track in the lower series like many of his younger competitors have.

3. Tyler Reddick

Last week: 4

The most consistent season of Reddick’s five-year career continued with an eighth-place finish at his home track. Reddick, who hails from Corning, California, won Stage 1 but wasn’t as efficient as Larson at working through slower traffic in the later laps. Still, Reddick is up to fourth in the points standings with 10 top-10s through 16 races.

4. Chase Elliott

Last week: 5

Speaking of consistency, let’s take a look at Elliott. The 2020 champion finished fourth at Sonoma, which improved his series-best average finish to 9.5. He’s yet to finish worse than 19th in a race this season and his current streak of 19 straight top-20s is a personal best. Elliott is now second in the points standings behind his teammate Larson.

5. Brad Keselowski

Last week: 3

Keselowski drops two spots despite a solid 13th-place run at Sonoma. For a guy who has struggled on road courses, a top-15 has to feel pretty good. Keselowski had just four top-15s in his first 13 road course starts since joining RFK Racing. Looking ahead to Iowa, he had three Xfinity Series wins in seven starts at the track.

6. Christopher Bell

Last week: 7

It was a quiet ninth-place finish for Bell at Sonoma, but it certainly wasn’t easy. He was involved in the multi-car pile-up on lap 36, sustaining minor damage before recovering in the final stage. Bell, 29, is a two-time Iowa winner in the Xfinity Series.

7. William Byron

Last week: 6

Byron was 30th at Sonoma after winning two of the last three road course events – and Sunday was a doozy of a race. He slid off track and pitted with a flat tire in Stage 1, then was involved in the big wreck with Bell and others in Stage 2 before another tire issue and more damage in Stage 3.

8. Ryan Blaney

Last week: 9

Seventh-place marked Blaney’s best road course finish in exactly two years (when he was sixth at Sonoma). The defending champion hasn’t raced at Iowa since 2015 – when he led 252 of 260 laps to win the Xfinity Series event. Perhaps his first win of 2024 could come this weekend.

9. Martin Truex Jr.

Last week: 8

Whatever can go wrong, will go wrong for Truex. He was set for a second-place finish before running out of fuel on the final lap and coasting across the line in 27th. That marks four straight finishes outside the top-10 for the No. 19 team.

10. Chris Buescher

Last week: First four out

Buescher led 32 laps, won Stage 2 and finished third in a strong performance at Sonoma. It was a much-needed effort after three straight finishes of 14th or worse, as he still sits around the playoff bubble. On a positive note, one of his three Xfinity Series wins came at – you guessed it – Iowa.

First four out: Ty Gibbs, Alex Bowman, Ross Chastain, Joey Logano

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