Here’s how Sunday’s Xfinity 500 at Martinsville Speedway impacted this week’s Power Rankings:
1. Kyle Larson – His quest for a fourth straight win came to an end thanks in no small part to a pair of pit road speeding penalties. But Larson still has nine victories to his credit and a tenth next week in Phoenix would lock down his first career NASCAR Cup Series title.
Driver Rating: 111.9Playoff Standings: T-1st Previous Ranking: 1st
2. Denny Hamlin – Late contact from eventual race winner Alex Bowman kept Hamlin out of Victory Lane and, not surprisingly, he was not pleased with the developments. But Hamlin still moves on to the Championship 4 and has a shot next week to finally win that elusive title.
Driver Rating: 109.2Playoff Standings: T-1st Previous Ranking: 2nd
3. Chase Elliott – Just a 16th place finish for Elliott after late contact from Brad Keselowski. But it was only his second finish outside the top-10 in the last eight races at Martinsville, and he advanced to the Championship Four for the second time. He also led his most laps ever in a race at 289.
Driver Rating: 101.5Playoff Standings: T-1st Previous Ranking: 3rd
4. Martin Truex Jr. – It was by no means easy, but Truex Jr. has finished top-10 in eight of the last nine races at Martinsville. He advanced to the Championship Four for the fifth time, this time by three points, and gained them on the last choose in overtime after going from sixth to fourth.
Driver Rating: 96.7Playoff Standings: T-1st Previous Ranking: 8th
5. Alex Bowman – Scored his fourth win of the season and sixth career Cup Series victory Sunday at Martinsville. Bowman’s fourth win came with some controversy but he is tied for the second-most victories of the 2021 campaign.
Driver Rating: 84.7 Previous Ranking: NRPoint Standings:
6. William Byron – His end-of-season performance was impressive again in Martinsville. Byron has finished top-10 in four of the last five races at Martinsville and he’s also finished top-10 in the last three races of the 2021 season.
Driver Rating: 97.9 Previous Ranking: 4thPoint Standings:
7. Kyle Busch – He was literally racing for his Playoff life down the stretch on Sunday and Busch was involved in battle after battle for position. He took the checkered flag second and missed the cut by three points.
Driver Rating: 96.9Point Standings: 5th Previous Ranking: 5th
8. Brad Keselowski – He was as aggressive as he needed to be Sunday especially in the closing laps but when the checkered flag flew even a third-place finish was not good enough for Keselowski to make it to the Championship 4. He’ll end his Team Penske career next week in Phoenix.
Driver Rating: 87.9Point Standings: 6th Previous Ranking: 6th
9. Joey Logano – A top-10 finish at Martinsville wasn’t going to be good enough for Logano to advance to the Championship 4 and have a shot at a second career NASCAR Cup Series title. A valiant effort but Logano came up short on Sunday.
Driver Rating: 95.2Point Standings: 8th Previous Ranking: 10th
10. Ryan Blaney – Failed to make the Championship 4 after coming to Martinsville with high hopes after his recent outings at the track. But a myriad of challenges throughout the day caught up with Blaney who eventually missed the cut.
Driver Rating: 91.3
Point Standings: 7thPrevious Ranking: 7th
Dropped Out: Tyler Reddick
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