Power Ranking After: All-Star

  • Oops!
    Something went wrong.
    Please try again later.
·9 min read
In this article:
  • Oops!
    Something went wrong.
    Please try again later.


This content is not available due to your privacy preferences.
Update your settings here to see it.


Often the All-Star race can throw a monkey wrench into a season. Typically this race is filled with chaos as drivers struggle to maintain track position. But what seemed like an over-complication of the rules last week, might well have been the right recipe that has eluded the series for years.

Turning the race into essentially 15-lap heats, followed by one longer stage that allowed drivers to get a little momentum, and finally a 10-lap trophy dash channeled the drivers’ aggression. Inversions at the end of the first several stints meant there was not a whole lot to be gained by spinning a competitor since both drivers were going to head back to eighth through 12th – but positions mattered just the same. The result was clean, hard racing.

It was also a perfect mix of circumstances to find the best driver because the format insured they would be in heavy traffic for part of the race – even if they were capable of dominating while up front. That also affected Kyle Larson, who scored the best Average Running Position with a 4.43. He admitted to being challenged when dropped back in traffic.

And with the exception of Brad Keselowski, who’s second-place finish was countered by the sixth-best Average Run and Denny Hamlin with the seventh-best running position before he pitted on the final lap – most of the drivers earned their spot. The All-Star race deserves a place in the Power Rankings.

Top 10

1. Kyle Larson (last week: 2) +1
Weeks in the top 10: 14
Weeks as #1: 2
Cup wins: 3 (Las Vegas 1, Charlotte, Sonoma)
Power Average: 2.67
If there was any doubt about Larson being the strongest driver in the field, the All-Star race should have dispelled them. His level of aggression and car control seems unmatched at the moment. His outside pass on Chase Elliott late in the race was something other drivers should study and his description of it suggests he knew just how much he was on the ragged edge.

2. Chase Elliott (last week: 1) -1
Weeks in the top 10: 18
Weeks as #1: 4
Cup wins: 1 (COTA)
Power Average: 4.29
There is nothing wrong with being the second-best driver in the field at this stage of the season. The only time it really matters, will be in Phoenix Raceway at the end of the year when winning is essentially the only thing that matters. Elliott is a stronger driver at the moment because Larson is his teammate. The combined notebook from these two drivers elevates the organization and until the competition catches up, there will be plenty of victories for both drivers.

3. Kyle Busch (last week: 3)
Weeks in the top 10: 17
Cup wins: 1 (Kansas 1)
Power Average: 7.08
Not everyone’s finish mirrored their strength. Busch was great in clean air and struggled in traffic, which has been a pattern of his season. But he was among the leaders for much longer than he was in the middle of traffic and that earned him the third-best Driver Rating. Ultimately it is the ninth-place finish that goes into the record books, but bettors and gamers want to pay attention to strength-based stats simply because one never knows when a driver will position themselves up front for a short run to the finish.

4. Denny Hamlin (last week: 5) +1
Weeks in the top 10: 18
Weeks as #1: 8
Cup wins: 0 (Points leader by +47)
Power Average: 7.33
We’re not sure why Hamlin chose to pit on the final lap of All-Star race. That relegated him to 21st in the field. Perhaps he had a mechanical issue – or he was frustrated and wanted to get a head start out of the parking lot. Or, just maybe, he saw the “If you’re not first, your last” poster one time too many and took it literally. But that is why we look at strength-based stats in addition to raw finishes. Hamlin had the 11th-best Driver Rating and the seventh-best Average Running Position, and those are more indicative of his effort.

5. William Byron (last week: 4) -1
Weeks in the top 10: 12
Weeks as #1: 1
Cup wins: 1 (Homestead)
Power Average: 7.74
In pre-race coverage, we noted that the two other Hendrick Motorsports did not get the respect they deserved with betting lines of 13/1 and 14/1 – and also suggest Byron should have been ranked ahead of Bowman. Both analyses proved correct. Byron ultimately finished seventh in the All-Star race, but his strength-based stats put him firmly in the top five. He will be a factor as long as Hendrick keeps fielding cars this strong.

6. Joey Logano (last week: 8) +2
Weeks in the top 10: 18
Weeks as #1: 1
Cup wins: 1 (Bristol dirt)
Power Average: 8.40
The All-Star race looked pretty much like all of Logano’s races this season. He was near the front for a while, in the pack for a while, and in contention as the checkers neared. Putting oneself in a position to win is half the battle and as long as Logano does that, he is going to get another victory now that it seems NASCAR is running out of unique winners.

7. Alex Bowman (last week: 12) +5
Weeks in the top 10: 5
Cup wins: 1 (Richmond 1, Dover 1)
Power Average: 9.69
The best thing about Bowman is that he is finally developing consistency. With his top-10 in the All-Star race, he now has five consecutive strong runs. That streak was kicked off by his second win of the season at Dover International Speedway and at the time, we weren’t sure what to do with him. The reason for our consternation was that his first win at Richmond was followed by three sub-15th-place results.

8. Tyler Reddick (last week: 6) -2
Weeks in the top 10: 6
Cup wins: 0
Power Average: 9.78
We were pretty sure that Reddick was going to advance out of the Open. We also thought he would challenge for a top-10 once he was in the big show, but that did not happen. He wound up near the back of the pack in 16th. Since this was not a points’ paying race, it will quickly disappear from memory unless he starts to struggle in the coming weeks. In that case, this could be a watershed.

9. Martin Truex Jr. (last week: 15) +6
Weeks in the top 10: 14
Weeks as #1: 2
Cup wins: 3 (Phoenix 1, Martinsville 1, Darlington 1)
Power Average: 11.46
When Truex is good, he’s great. When he’s not great, he struggles. That leaves us to believe that this team is experimenting wildly some weeks. Logano did the same thing in 2020 and lost most of his momentum as he entered the playoffs. Bettors and gamers can expect the results for this team to reverse quickly as the final 10 races approach, however, and then the question will be if they have forgotten how to win when it matters most.

10. Kevin Harvick (last week: 7) -3
Weeks in the top 10: 15
Cup wins: 0
Power Average: 11.92
We keep expecting Harvick to turn his season around. It isn’t happening and he finds himself on the cusp of being dropped from the top 10. A big reason for his vulnerability is a pair of accidents in the last two road course events, but top-fives are becoming too rare to bail him out. He has only two of those on unrestricted tracks this year. It’s hard to win a Cup race this season from sixth or worse.

Other drivers with wins, not among the top 10: Michael McDowell (Daytona 1), and Christopher Bell (Daytona road), Ryan Blaney (Atlanta 1), and Brad Keselowski (Talladega 1).

Dropped from the Top 10

13. Ryan Blaney (last week: 9) -4
Weeks in the top 10: 10
Cup wins: 1 (Atlanta 1)
Power Average: 12.35
Blaney’s top-five last week in the All-Star race was encouraging, but it doesn’t quite offset a best finish of eighth in points’ paying races during the past 45 days. The good news is that he has been hovering in the low-teens or high single digits, so it will take only a little improvement to get back up to the leaders.

14. Brad Keselowski (last week: 10) -4
Weeks in the top 10: 12
Cup wins: 1 (Talladega 1)
Power Average: 13.00
Keselowski is in the same boat as Blaney. He has one top-10 in the last 45 days and that is about to age out of the formula. He finished third at Kansas Speedway during a span of races when it appeared he was about to turn things around. And, he had just come off his Talladega lottery win. Beginning with Darlington Raceway, however, he’s failed to crack the top 10 in a points’ paying race and that makes him a highly questionable value.

Winners, Last 45 Days (Outright Odds to win)
Save Mart 350k, Kyle Larson (+850)
Coke 600, Kyle Larson (+450)
Texas Grand Prix, Chase Elliott (+240)
Drydene 400, Alex Bowman (+1800)
Goodyear 400, Martin Truex Jr. (+775)
Buschy McBusch 400, Kyle Busch (+1200)

PointsBet is our Official Sports Betting Partner, and we may receive compensation if you place a bet on PointsBet for the first time after clicking our links.

Power Average, Last 45 Days

This
Week

Driver

Power
Avg.

Last
Week

Difference

1.

Kyle Larson

2.67

2

1

2.

Chase Elliott

4.29

1

-1

3.

Kyle Busch

7.08

3

0

4.

Denny Hamlin

7.33

5

1

5.

William Byron

7.74

4

-1

6.

Joey Logano

8.40

8

2

7.

Alex Bowman

9.69

12

5

8.

Tyler Reddick

9.78

6

-2

9.

Martin Truex Jr.

11.46

15

6

10.

Kevin Harvick

11.92

7

-3

11.

AJ Allmendinger

NM

12.

Chris Buescher

12.31

13

1

13.

Ryan Blaney

12.35

9

-4

14.

Brad Keselowski

13.00

10

-4

15.

Austin Dillon

13.09

14

-1

16.

Austin Cindric

14.62

17

1

17.

Ross Chastain

14.94

16

-1

18.

Kurt Busch

16.82

23

5

19.

Matt DiBenedetto

17.94

19

0

20.

Chase Briscoe

18.36

22

2

21.

Erik Jones

18.97

25

4

22.

Christopher Bell

19.03

21

-1

23.

Michael McDowell

19.71

19

-4

24.

Bubba Wallace

20.28

24

0

25.

Daniel Suarez

20.42

28

3

26.

Ricky Stenhouse Jr.

22.03

30

4

27.

Corey LaJoie

22.50

32

5

28.

Ryan Preece

23.10

27

-1

29.

Ryan Newman

23.10

29

0

30.

Ty Dillon

23.60

33

3

31.

Anthony Alfredo

24.90

34

3

32.

Cole Custer

25.60

31

-1

33.

JJ Yeley

27.40

36

3

34.

Aric Almirola

27.52

35

1

35.

Justin Haley

29.62

38

3

36.

Ben Rhodes

30.60

37

1

37.

Cody Ware

31.56

41

4

38.

Scott Heckert

31.60

40

2

39.

James Davison

31.81

44

5

40.

Josh Berry

32.20

42

2

41.

BJ McLeod

32.24

43

2

42.

Garrett Smithley

32.77

46

4

43.

Kyle Tilley

32.80

45

2

44.

Quin Houff

33.42

47

3

45.

David Starr

33.83

50

5

46.

Josh Bilicki

34.00

48

2

47.

Joey Gase

35.00

49

2

48.

Matt Mills

37.00

51

3

Our goal is to create a safe and engaging place for users to connect over interests and passions. In order to improve our community experience, we are temporarily suspending article commenting