SiriusXM NASCAR Radio Power Rankings

Pete Pistone will unveil Power Rankings each week of the NASCAR season. Check out this week’s edition of NASCAR Power Rankings below, and listen to SiriusXM NASCAR Radio (Ch. 90) on the SXM App now.

The NASCAR Cup Series kickoff the Playoffs at Darlington Raceway. Here’s a look at the “Power Rankings” after Sunday night’s Cookout Southern 500:

1. Kyle Larson

The best way to start the Playoffs is in Victory Lane and that’s exactly what Larson did in the Cookout Southern 500. His third win of the season and first at Darlington sent the former series champion to the Round of 12 on Sunday night.

Playoff Ranking: 1st
Last Week: 5th

2.  Chris Buescher

The Playoff opener didn’t see Buescher slow down by any means and he kept his Roush Fenway Keseolwski Racing Ford upfront finally crossing the finish line with a third place outing.

Playoff Ranking: 4th
Last Week: 3rd

3. William Byron

The No. 24 car definitely got better as the track changed conditions and Byron took the checkered flag with a top-five finish.

Playoff Ranking: 2nd
Last Week: 2nd

4. Denny Hamlin

The dominant car over the first two stages but Hamlin left Darlington completely frustrated after leading a race-high 177 laps. A vibration sent him to pit road and before he could try and race his way back he got damage in an accident ending any hope for a comeback.

Playoff Ranking: 5th
Last Week: 4th

5. Martin Truex Jr.

A very surprising outing for Truex Jr. to start the Playoffs and not in a good way. A poor qualifying effort on Saturday led to a big struggle from the 31st starting spot in Sunday’s race and Truex Jr. was never a factor.

Playoff Ranking: 6th
Last Week: 1st

6. Brad Keselowski

Nothing flashy just a workman-like effort for Keselowski who held his ground in the Playoff race with a solid performance. RFK carried its consistency from the regular season to the Playoffs.

Playoff Ranking: 8th
Last Week: 6th

7. Bubba Wallace

It was an adventure at times for Wallace who did his best not to make too many enemies in the Playoff opener. He turned in a steady performance to give 23XI Racing a couple of drivers inside the top-10 at Darlington.

Playoff Ranking: 13th
Last Week: 7th

8. Tyler Reddick

A strong effort for Reddick who started at the front of the field and was there for most of the 500 mile on Sunday. Did his best to try and run down eventual race winner Kyle Larson but was forced to settle for second place.

Playoff Ranking: 3rd
Last Week: NR

9. Chase Elliott

Another top-10 finish for Elliott who wasn’t quite good enough to play the role of spoiler and challenge the Playoff drivers for the win. But still a solid start to trying to win the owner championship for Hendrick Motorsports.

Point Standings: 19th
Last Week: 9th

10. Kyle Busch

Started at the rear of the field after making an unapproved adjustment and was forced to fight his way to the front of the field all night at heat a couple times. Busch did all he could to finish 11th in Darlington.

Playoff Ranking: 7th
Last Week: 8th

Dropped Out: Joey Logano

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