The Geico 500 at Talladega Superspeedway didn’t quite have the fireworks we’ve come to expect from a superspeedway race, however we heard a number of drivers like Kyle Busch, Ryan Blaney and Martin Truex Jr. talk about how hard it was to pass.
A late block from Kyle Larson sent Kurt Busch into the wall right at the end there, which allowed Ross Chastain to take the checkered flag, followed by Austin Dillon, and Kyle Busch in the top three, but overall, we’ve learned a few things about this Cup Series season:
Trackhouse Racing is the real deal, some NASCAR veterans like Kevin Harvick and Brad Keselowski are in trouble, and Dale Earnhardt Jr. belongs in the booth every Sunday.
So without further ado, after the Geico 500 at Talladega Superspeedway, here’s your Week 11 NASCAR Cup Series Power Rankings before we head to Dover International Speedway:
On The Bubble:
Tyler Reddick, Aric Almirola, Chase Briscoe
10. Austin Dillon
Austin Dillon has quietly found himself at #13 in the Cup Series points standings. With second place finish at Talladega yesterday, marking three Top 5 finishes on the year, and a number of Top 10s, Austin Dillon is on the up and up despite a DNF at Bristol.
A Top 5 finish at Talladega this week has Martin Truex Jr. breaking into our Power Rankings this week. At 8th in the points standings, we haven’t see Truex really dominate this year, but he’s been solid and I’m sure the veteran will be there when it comes time to talk about Championship contenders.
8. Joey Logano
Logano may not have a win, but he’s been damn close a number of times. Despite only leading 35 laps this year, Logano sits at number 6 in the points standings with an average finish of 14.2. A few Top 5 finishes, a handful of Top 10 finishes, Joey has raced nearly as well as anyone in the field this year.
7. Alex Bowman
Alex Bowman may bore me to death, but that doesn’t mean he doesn’t perform. Sitting 5th in the points standings, Bowman has one win, two Top 5 finishes, despite only leading 16 total laps.
6. Kyle Larson
Hard to ever bet against Kyle Larson. With one win under his belt, five Top 5 finishes, one pole win, the 12th highest average finish, and some decent laps led, Larson has yet to show the brilliance we saw last season, but he’s been in competitive in damn near every race.
5. Ross Chastain
What a surprise Ross Chastain has been. His first Cup Series win, and the first for his team Trackhouse Racing, Ross has a whopping six Top 5 finishes in ten races this season, and has led for a total of 157 laps. And after securing his second career win this season at Talladega, he’s clearly in the midst of a breakout season.
Rowdy may have “backed into a win” at Bristol and sneaked into a 3rd place finish on the last lap at Talladega this past week, but all that matters is where you finish. With one win, a three Top 5 finishes, over 100 laps led, and league leading seven Top 10 finishes, Kyle Busch has consistently finished near the top this season.
Now to be honest, I could make a case for any order of the Top 3, but here we go:
3. William Byron
After rough starts at Daytona and California, Byron has been dominate this season. With two victories already and a whopping 520 laps led, not to mention four Top 5s and four Top 10s, Byron’s poised to be a Championship contender.
He won Stage 2, but unfortunately, 15th finish at Talladega, after an 18th at Bristol, drops him to number three on the list this week.
2. Chase Elliott
Winless and leading the points standings, Chase Elliott has been the definition of high-level consistency this year with a league leading average finish of 10.5 and seven Top 10 finishes. He might not be winning quite yet, but he’s been near the top damn near every race.
1. Ryan Blaney
Ryan Blaney hasn’t won yet, but you can argue that nobody has been better this year. He’s been fast, he’s been competitive, he’s narrowly won a number of times. Three pole wins, four Top 5 finishes, six Top 10 finishes… save for a couple wrecks trying to win on the final lap, and Keselowski wrecking him out of Las Vegas, he could be looking at Top 5 finishes in nearly every race.
He led some laps and was contending at Talladega and then his outside row seemed to crumble, shuffling him to the back, but with an average finish of 11.2 and 362 laps led, he’s another contender to be looking at his first career Cup Series Championship.