NASCAR Cup Series

Martin Truex Jr. takes top spot in NASCAR Power Rankings after Richmond

Martin Truex Jr. takes top spot in NASCAR Power Rankings after Richmond

Martin Truex Jr. takes the top spot in the NASCAR Power Rankings after a fourth-place finish at Richmond Raceway.

Truex continues his meteoric rise up the power rankings while one of his teammates loses three spots. A new driver joins the top 10 as a former champion falls out.

NASCAR Cup Series Toyota Owners 400

Martin Truex Jr. laments late caution that cost him Richmond win

The Easter Sunday race at Richmond ended in overtime.

  • John Newby,

NBC SPORTS NASCAR POWER RANKINGS

1. Martin Truex Jr. (Last week: 2) — An untimely caution and a slow pit stop played a role in Truex failing to win Sunday's Cup race at Richmond. He still led the most laps (228) and kept his spot atop the Cup standings. Truex, who has five consecutive top-10 finishes, also left Richmond with the best average finish (8.1) in Cup.

2. Denny Hamlin (4) — Hamlin did not have the dominant car Sunday at Richmond; he didn't need it. He had a fast enough car to move inside the top five with two laps remaining in the race and then his pit crew put him in the lead for the overtime restart. Hamlin held off Truex, Kyle Larson and Joey Logano at the end of the race and won for the fifth time at Richmond. He is one of only two drivers with two wins this season.

3. Christopher Bell (3) — Bell started 29th, worst among Toyota drivers but worked his way through the field. He was inside the top 10 at the end of stage 2. Bell recovered from a speeding penalty during green flag pit stops in the final stage. He went back through the field and finished sixth, his fourth straight top-10 finish.

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From Geoff to Jeff and Jimmie to Chase, Martinsville special to Hendrick Motorsports

The winningest Cup team and Martinsville Speedway share a special bond.

  • Dustin Long,

  • Dustin Long,

4. Ty Gibbs (1) — Gibbs, who entered the weekend with the best average finish in Cup, saw his streak of top-10 finishes end at Richmond. He was not a factor during the race as he missed out on stage points and received a speeding penalty on Lap 172. Gibbs finished 16th. He now has the second-best average finish (9.0) in the series.

5. Kyle Larson (5) — Larson had a car capable of winning at Richmond. He led 144 laps and won the first stage. A caution in stage 2 kept his one-stop strategy from playing out and forced him to work his way back through the field as the race progressed. Larson finished third, his third top-five finish in the last five races.

6. William Byron (6) — Byron has struggled at Richmond in his Cup career, a point he emphasized prior to last weekend's race. These struggles were evident early as Byron was the only Hendrick driver outside the top 10. However, the team continued working and put him in contention for a top-10 finish. Byron ended the day seventh, his first top 10 at Richmond since the 2022 spring race.

7. Chris Buescher (9) — Buescher won last summer's race at Richmond, but he wasn't in contention for the win last weekend. He still ran inside the top 10 and finished ninth. This was Buescher's fifth top-10 finish in the last six races and a career-high four in a row.

8. Brad Keselowski (10) — Like Buescher, Keselowski wasn't in contention for the win. He still had a car strong enough to race inside the top 10. Keselowski finished eighth and rebounded from a 33rd-place finish at COTA. He remains 16th in the Cup standings.

NASCAR Cup Series Toyota Owners 400

NASCAR official explains why no penalty to Denny Hamlin on final restart at Richmond

Denny Hamlin details why he took off where he did for the final restart.

  • Dustin Long,

  • Dustin Long,

9. Ross Chastain (7) — Chastain was able to keep pace with the leaders on the wet weather tires but he faded after moving to the slicks. He finished 15th for the second time in three weeks and fell to ninth in the Cup standings.

10. Chase Elliott (NR) — Elliott hasn't been in contention for wins this season, but he delivered his best performance thus far last weekend at Richmond. He started second, his best starting position this season, and led five laps. Elliott scored stage points and finished fifth — his first top five since the regular-season finale at Daytona last season.

Dropped out: Ryan Blaney

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