Saturday, June 25, 2022

NASCAR Power Rankings: Ross Chastain re-takes lead after Chase Elliott’s troubles

NASCAR Power Rankings: Ross Chastain re-takes lead after Chase Elliott's troubles

Chastain capitalized on a cut tire by Elliott to land back on top in our Power Rankings

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CBS Sports

After a resilient performance last week in Darlington, Chase Elliott looked like he was well on his way to continuing to pad his points lead and affirming his status as the top driver in NASCAR throughout the first half of the regular season.

But sometimes, racing has a way of dragging one back down to earth.

In Stage 3 of Sunday’s race at Kansas, Chase Elliott was well within contention for a top five finish when the left rear tire on his car went down, sending him for a wild spin through Turn 3 that led to him losing multiple laps after his car — sans tire carcass — ended up stuck in the infield. Despite leading twice for 10 laps and earning multiple stage points during the day, Elliott had little choice but to whimper home several laps down.

Elliott’s tire failure kept him from building on his points lead, which is now down to 52 points over Ryan Blaney. It also cost him the top spot in CBS Sports’ NASCAR Power Rankings.

Taking advantage of Elliott’s problems was Ross Chastain, who re-took the lead in our rankings after losing it at Darlington last week by earning a solid seventh-place finish.

With Kurt Busch breaking a recent string of bad luck by picking up his first win of the season, this week’s Power Rankings saw quite a bit of movement. Busch gained seven spots to move up to 13th, making him the second-biggest mover behind Ricky Stenhouse Jr. (+8). Denny Hamlin gained six spots and Kyle Larson five, making it four drivers in total who gained five spots or more.

On the other side of that is a number of drivers who lost a big chunk of spots, several of whom were dropped down in the rankings in order to accommodate others who moved up. Tyler Reddick (-7) was the biggest loser, headlining four other drivers who lost five spots or more.

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

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