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NASCAR Cup: power rankings after Bristol Motor Speedway

BRISTOL, TN – APRIL 16: Kyle Busch, driver of the #18 Skittles Toyota, and Kyle Larson, driver of the #42 McDonald’s Chevrolet, race during the rain delayed Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series Food City 500 at Bristol Motor Speedway on April 16, 2018 in Bristol, Tennessee. (Photo by Jerry Markland/Getty Images)

By AMANDA VINCENT

The Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series is eight races into its 36-race season, and Kyle Busch is coming off his second-consecutive win with trips to victory lane at Texas Motor Speedway in Fort Worth on April 8 and Monday at Bristol (Ten.) Motor Speedway. And prior to those wins, Busch was running none too shabbily. Sure, Kevin Harvick was winning hand-over-fist, making three-straight trips to victory lane at Atlanta Motor Speedway, Las Vegas Motor Speedway and ISM Raceway near Phoenix, and his Stewart-Haas Racing teammate Clint Bowyer added a fourth SHR win at Martinsville, but even then, Busch was finishing near the front, usually in second or third.

For that reason, Busch leads Auto Racing Daily’s latest power rankings. Oh, and he leads the points standings, heading into Saturday night’s Toyota Owners 400 at Richmond (Va.) Raceway, the second-straight short track race and third, overall, so far, this season.

Here’s a further rundown of the latest AutoRacingDaily.com power rankings:

1. Kyle Busch (see above)

2. Kyle Larson — Larson has been carrying the banner for the struggling Chevrolet camp all season, so far. What has he done for the manufacturer lately? Well, he finished second in the most recent race at Bristol after leading a race-high 200 laps in the 500-lap race. It was his third runner-up showing of the season after finishing second at Auto Club Speedway in Fontana, Calif., last month.

3. Ryan Blaney — Blaney’s 35th-place finish at Bristol Monday wasn’t indicative of how good Blaney was at Bristol. Heck, he didn’t even race on Monday since he was caught up in a multi-car crash, not of his doing, before the race was called on Sunday for rain, to be resumed on Monday. On Sunday, before his unfortunate demise at the hands of others, Blaney was the class of the field. He led 100 of the 117 laps he ran.

4. Kevin Harvick — Okay, so Harvick was outside the top-five at the Bristol checkered flag, as he finished seventh. But that was a seventh-place finish after starting in the back in a backup car as a result of a Friday practice crash. Sure, these power rankings are usually a “what have you done for me lately” kind of game, but we’re not far removed from Harvick’s three-straight wins, and he’s still running well. As a matter-of-fact, that seventh at Bristol is his worst finish in the last three races. We’re just a race removed from a runner-up finish to Busch at Texas.

5. Joey Logano — I’m going with consistency on this pick. Logano is second to Busch in points. What does that tell me? Aside from Busch, Logano has been the driver up from most consistently. He was ninth at Bristol, and he hasn’t won yet, but Logano only has one finish outside the top-10 in the first eight races. I figure if you’re that close to the front that often, a win is sure to come sooner rather than later.

Follow Auto Racing Daily on Twitter @AutoRacingDaily or like Auto Racing Daily on Facebook (facebook.com/autoracingdailyonline).

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Posted by on April 18, 2018. Filed under Breaking News,Featured,Monster Energy NASCAR Cup,NASCAR. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. You can leave a response or trackback to this entry

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