SiriusXM NASCAR Radio’s Power Rankings

The NASCAR Cup Series opened the Playoffs at Darlington Raceway. Take a look at the NASCAR Power Rankings after the Cookout Southern 500.

Pete Pistone
September 6, 2022

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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. Revisit previous editions of our Power Rankings here.

The NASCAR Cup Series opened up the Playoffs last Sunday at Darlington Raceway. Here’s a look at the Power Rankings after the Cookout Southern 500:

1. Denny Hamlin

The Joe Gibbs Racing driver came up one position shy of his fifth career Darlington Cup Series victory when he followed race winner Erik Jones to the checkered flag. Hamlin didn’t not make contact with Jones when it looked like he had a chance but rather raced him cleanly and kicked off his quest for a championship with a second place performance.

Playoff Grid: 3rd
Last Week: 5th

2. Chase Elliott

The worst possible way to start the Playoffs happened to Elliott in Darlington. He came into the night on top of the standings but left ninth on the grid when he was the first car out of the race after an accident on lap 113.

Playoff Grid: 9th
Last Week: 1st

3. Joey Logano

The pole sitter had his Shell Pennzoil Ford in the number one spot for 64 laps on Sunday. Logano fell back some in the later going but added a fourth place finish to his 2022 Darlington resume that saw the Team Penske win at the track back in May.

Playoff Grid: 1st
Last Week: 4th

4. Tyler Reddick

He was good at Darlington this year following up his May run with a third place effort on Sunday. Reddick has been second and third the last two weeks and hopes to keep that momentum alive as the Playoff race moves to Kansas Speedway this Sunday.

Playoff Grid: 5th
Last Week: 8th

5. Christopher Bell

A solid night fo Bell who qualified outside the front row and stayed in the hunt most of the 500 mile Darlington grind. He didn’t lead any laps but Bell’s Playoff run opened up with a Top Five after his fourth place performance.

Playoff Grid: 4th
Last Week: 7th

6. Kevin Harvick

A scary night for Harvick that started out well but ended with his Stewart-Haas Racing Ford in flames. He finished 33rd and was not pleased at all with the situation that turned his car into an inferno on lap 274.

Playoff Grid: 16th
Last Week: 3rd

7. Kyle Larson

The mysterious engine issues of the season plagues Larson again Sunday night in Darlington. He was able to get things back running after falling three laps down and had to battle back in a big way just to finish 12th on Sunday night.

Playoff Grid: 7th
Last Week: 2nd

8. Ross Chastain

Another Playoff driver that experienced some mechanical gremlins taking Chastain out of the equation to compete for the win. He was credited with a 20th place finish and has some ground to make up after just one race in the opening round.

Playoff Grid: 8th
Last Week: 6th

9. Kyle Busch

He had one of the most dominant cars of the night leading a race-high 155 laps. But and engine issue under caution eliminated Busch from the race after 345 laps and he ended up with a disappointing 30th place finish.

Playoff Grid: 11th
Last Week: 9th

10. William Byron

He finished second at Darlington in the spring and came back strong for the Southern 500. He led 50 laps but some issues later in the race slid Byron back in the running order and he wound up with an eighth place Darlington finish.

Playoff Grid: 2nd
Last Week: NR

Dropped Out: Daniel Suarez