SiriusXM NASCAR Radio’s Power Rankings

NASCAR kicked off a three-race short track swing on Sunday. Here’s a look at the ‘Power Rankings’ after a visit to Richmond Raceway.

Pete Pistone
April 4, 2022

RICHMOND, VIRGINIA – APRIL 03: Denny Hamlin, driver of the #11 FedEx Express Toyota, celebrates after winning the NASCAR Cup Series Toyota Owners 400 at Richmond Raceway on April 03, 2022 in Richmond, Virginia. (Photo by Jared C. Tilton/Getty Images)

Pete Pistone will unveil Power Rankings each week of the NASCAR season. Check out this week’s edition of NASCAR Power Rankings below, and listen to SiriusXM NASCAR Radio (Ch. 90) on the SXM App now.

NASCAR kicked off a three-race short track swing on Sunday. Here’s a look at the Power Rankings after a visit to Richmond Raceway:

1. Chase Elliott

There wasn’t much to cheer about if you were a Chase Elliott fan on Sunday as he was surprisingly not competitive in Richmond. But somehow after seven races he has climbed to the top of the point standings in a tie with Blaney.

Driver Rating: 93.8
Point Standings: T-1st
Last Week: 2nd

2. William Byron

The Hendrick Motorsports driver led 122 laps and Byron definitely had one of the best cars in Richmond. But his team’s pit strategy was just a bit off and he left Sunday’s race with a third-place finish, the best in his Cup career at the track.

Driver Rating: 97.8
Point Standings: 4th
Last Week: 4th

3. Denny Hamlin

The drought to start the year ended for Hamlin with his 47th career Cup win and first since September of last season. Hamlin only led one time for five laps but thanks to great pit strategy from crew chief Chris Gabehart was able to become the seventh different winner in the year’s opening seven races.

Driver Rating: 84.7
Point Standings: 20th
Last Week: NR

4. Ross Chastain

A big drop off from his first career win at COTA the week before. Chastain was in some controversy early in the race after contact with Ryan Blaney and faded back to finish 19th in Richmond.

Driver Rating: 93.3
Point Standings: 6th
Last Week: 1st

5. Alex Bowman

It wasn’t easy but Bowman scored another top-10 finish and has done so in four of the last five races of the season. He also has top-10 runs in three of the last four Richmond races.

Driver Rating: 89.5
Point Standings: 7th
Last Week: 4th

6. Martin Truex Jr.

The first top-five finish since finishing second in the season finale at Phoenix last year came at the right time for Truex Jr. The Joe Gibbs Racing driver led 80 laps and if not for some late pit strategy not working out might have had an even better finish.

Driver Ratings: 91.9
Point Standings: 3rd
Last Week: NR

7. Kyle Larson

A major rally for Larson who didn’t qualify well and started 21st but he was able to make a comeback late in the race to put his third top-five finish on the board and end his string of three straight races finishing outside the top-25.

Driver Rating: 85.5
Point Standings: 12th
Last Week: 7th

8. Ryan Blaney

The Team Penske driver won the pole and had one of the fastest cars in the field early on Sunday leading every lap on the opening stage. But Blaney faded back and despite leading a 128 laps, he added to his stat of whenever leading 100 laps of more not winning as he ended up seventh in Richmond.

Driver Rating: 106.6
Point Standings: T-1st
Last Week: 8th

9. Kyle Busch

A piece of tape on his grille caused NASCAR to black flag Busch late in the race and that took him out of contention for a better finish then the ninth-place performance he put on the board on Sunday afternoon.

Driver Rating: 84.9
Point Standings: 10th
Last Week: 10th

10. Chase Briscoe

He qualified well but slipped back in the field as the race wore on. Briscoe did all he could to try and get inside the top-10 but ended his day in Richmond with an 11th-place finish.

Driver Rating: 81.2
Point Standings: 9th
Last Week: 9th

Dropped Out: Austin Cindric, Tyler Reddick