Saturday, May 28, 2022

NASCAR Power Rankings: Ryan Blaney takes lead from Ross Chastain after Martinsville

NASCAR Power Rankings: Ryan Blaney takes lead from Ross Chastain after Martinsville

133 laps led over the past two weeks give Blaney the edge in new Power Rankings.

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CBS Sports

We’ve reached the point in the 2022 season where there’s now a legitimate argument to be made for multiple drivers as the best in NASCAR right now. If you think in terms of race wins, it’s William Byron’s pair of victories following Martinsville. If you’re looking at flashiness and pizazz, it’s Ross Chastain. But if you value consistency, it’s probably Ryan Blaney.

Blaney has been fast all season, as demonstrated by his winning a series-leading three poles. He’s led 339 laps, and has strung together three top-10 finishes in a row to go with three top five finishes and five overall top 10s. And he’s just three points back of Chase Elliott for the Cup Series points lead, making him a legitimate early contender for the regular season championship even as he continues to look for his first win of the season.

It would have been difficult for anyone else to knock Ross Chastain off his perch at the top of the CBS Sports NASCAR Power Rankings — after all, he’s had five top fives and a win in his last six races — but a better overall last two weeks by Blaney puts him in the top spot in this week’s post-Martinsville edition of the Power Rankings.

While Blaney and Chastain swap places, William Byron has jumped three spots in the rankings to move up to third, making him one of this week’s biggest movers along with Austin Dillon (+6), Kurt Busch (+5), and Cole Custer (+3). Most other drivers have had relatively stable gains or losses, with a few sad exceptions.

Denny Hamlin is the biggest loser (-9) after following up his Richmond win with a horrible showing at Martinsville. Daniel Suarez also lost over half a dozen spots, losing seven spots overall.

Here’s a look at our updated rankings in their entirety:

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