Ross Chastain, starting what appears to be another strong season with Trackhouse Racing, has moved into first place in the NBC Sports NASCAR Power Rankings.
Chastain has finishes of ninth (Daytona), third (Auto Club) and 12th (Las Vegas) to start the season. He has led 97 laps.
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Kyle Busch dropped from first to second after a 14th-place finish Sunday at Las Vegas.
New to the rankings this week are Vegas winner William Byron, whose standout day in the desert pushed him to fifth in the rankings, and Kyle Larson, who was a strong second Sunday.
NBC Sports NASCAR Power Rankings
1. Ross Chastain (second last week) — Chastain faded near the end at Las Vegas on Sunday but continued to show that he’ll probably be a weekly win threat.
2. Kyle Busch (first last week) — Busch’s 14th-place finish at Vegas isn’t a good indication of how well he ran there.
3. Denny Hamlin (fifth last week) — Hamlin led 10 laps at Las Vegas and was in the mix at the end.
4. Alex Bowman (sixth last week) — Bowman was third in line in the one-two-three Hendrick Motorsports finish at Vegas. He has finishes of fifth, eighth and third this year and has led all three races.
5. William Byron (unranked last week) — Byron was embarrassingly dominant at Vegas, leading 176 laps and outrunning teammate Kyle Larson in overtime for the win.
6. Christopher Bell (seventh last week) — Bell bounced back with a fifth at Vegas after an accident slapped him with a 32nd-place run at Auto Club. He’ll be looking for improvement at Phoenix, a track where he has never led a lap.
7. Daniel Suarez (ninth last week) — Suarez has had top-10 runs in all three races and, along with teammate Ross Chastain, has kept Trackhouse Racing in the spotlight.
8. Kyle Larson (unranked last week) — Barring a late-race caution, Larson probably would have won at Vegas despite William Byron’s powerful run.
9. Kevin Harvick (eighth last week) — Harvick finished ninth at Vegas a week before his magic track — Phoenix.
10. Joey Logano (third last week) — After a tough race at Vegas and a last-place finish, Logano drops in the rankings.
Dropped out: Chase Elliott (fourth last week), Brad Keselowski (10th last week).