Power Rankings After Richmond

K.Larson

MRN's Pete Pistone unveils this week's Power Rankings following the Federated Auto Parts 400 at Richmond Raceway. (Photo: Getty Images)

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2017 Driver Ratings

Martin Truex Jr. endured a challenging finish Saturday in Richmond but still remains on top of the Power Rankings.

1. Martin Truex Jr.: A bittersweet night for Truex, who was recognized as the regular-season champion but saw a win go out the window in a cloud of controversy late in the race. He didn’t win but still enters the playoffs with a healthy cushion of points as the favorite for the crown.

Points Standing: 1st
Previous Ranking: 1st
Driver Rating: 114.3

2. Kyle Larson: First win on a track not two miles long and it came in dramatic fashion. Larson took advantage of the overtime restart and drove off after Truex crashed to put win No. 4 of the season on the board.

Points Standing: 2nd
Previous Ranking: 7th
Driver Rating: 103.8

3. Kyle Busch: Fast as always and in contention to win but wound up falling back late because of the controversial caution and ensuing restart. Let’s just saw Busch wasn’t enamored with the turn of events.

Points Standing: 3rd
Previous Ranking: 2nd
Driver Rating: 107.4

4. Denny Hamlin: Was in the middle of the overtime controversy, making contact with Truex to trigger the crash that ultimately ended the race. He endured a tough weekend in his home state that included being booed in pre-race introductions.

Points Standing: 7th
Previous Ranking: 3rd
Driver Rating: 92.5

5. Erik Jones: Had a shot to get his first career win and with it, a playoff berth. But the night’s final restart did not go in Jones’ favor. He finished inside the top 10 but won’t have a shot at the title in his rookie year.

Points Standing: 18th
Previous Ranking: 6th
Driver Rating: 85.5

6. Matt Kenseth: The hard-luck award winner from Richmond. Kenseth was involved in a pair of weird incidents, first a caution when he locked up the brakes and the second on pit road when an ambulance somehow found itself in his path. The good news is that Kenseth will be in the playoffs.

Points Standing: 15th
Previous Ranking: 4th
Driver Rating: 90.9

7. Kevin Harvick: Surprisingly not a factor in Richmond, a track where Harvick has run well throughout his career. He qualified decently but finished 15th and is also in the camp of "needs to increase regular-season performance to make a playoff impact."

Points Standing: 6th
Previous Ranking: 5th
Driver Rating: 101.5

8. Brad Keselowski: He’ll be the lone playoff entry for Team Penske after teammate Joey Logano came up one position short of winning and making the grid. Keselowski finished just outside the top 10 in Richmond and needs to up his game to challenge for a second title.

Points Standing: 4th
Previous Ranking: 9th
Driver Rating: 95.3

9. Jimmie Johnson: A top-10 Richmond performance was better than what Johnson has put on the board lately. He has three top-five finishes to his credit and they all came in his trio of wins. It will be interesting to watch if the No. 48 team can turn on the switch many are waiting for now that the playoffs are here.

Points Standing: 5th
Previous Ranking: 10th
Driver Rating: 86.5

10. Jamie McMurray: Looks like McMurray will need to employ the consistency strategy he used to make the playoffs in order to win the championship. He went winless in the first 26 races and ended the regular season with a 14th-place Richmond finish.

Points Standing: 16th
Previous Ranking: 8th
Driver Rating: 88.4

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