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Power Rankings

Driver Ratings

MRN’s Pete Pistone unveils this week’s Power Rankings following the Daytona 500.

1. Denny Hamlin – It took overtime but Hamlin became a two-time Daytona 500 winner on Sunday. Drafting help when it was needed and a fast car added up to Hamlin getting a victory in the first race of this season after going through a winless 2018 leading Joe Gibbs Racing to a very emotional celebration in Daytona.

Driver Rating: 87.5
Point Standings: 1st
Previous Ranking: 8th

2. Kyle Busch – He’s still searching for that elusive Daytona 500 win and came up one position short on Sunday. Busch was in the middle of the defeat with his JGR teammates but wasn’t able to get around in the race for the checkered flag any further than second place.

Driver Rating: 109.2
Point Standings: 3rd
Previous Ranking: 3rd

3. Joey Logano – He appeared to have the strongest car on track in the late going but could not find the drafting help, namely from Michael McDowell, to help push him to the lead. Logano was forced to settle for a fourth-place finish behind a Joe Gibbs Racing 1-2-3 sweep.

Driver Rating: 91.0
Point Standings: 2nd
Previous Ranking: 1st

4. William Byron – The young Hendrick Motorsports driver displayed plate racing skills of a veteran on Sunday. Byron started from the pole and was at the front of the field for 44 laps. He too was a victim of a big accident that ended what might have been a storybook finish.

Driver Rating: 114.0
Point Standings: 20th
Previous Ranking: NR

5. Matt DiBenedetto – Can you say career day? That’s what DiBenedetto had Sunday in the Daytona 500 when he led a race-high 49 laps in his Leavine Family Racing debut. The boxscore says he finished 28th thanks to an accident but that doesn’t tell the whole story for DiBenedetto by any means.

Driver Rating: 105.3
Point Standings: 20th
Previous Ranking: NR

6. Kevin Harvick – His win in Thursday’s Duel 150-mile qualifying race proved how fast and strong Harvick’s new Mustang was in Daytona. Although he didn’t lead a lap in the 500, Harvick had his mount in the lead pack and was a threat to win until he like many others were knocked out of the race in a multi-car crash.

Driver Rating: 91.7
Point Standings: 14th
Previous Ranking: 2nd

7. Erik Jones – His last two Daytona starts have ended with a win and a third-place finish. Jones followed his Joe Gibbs Racing teammates Denny Hamlin and Kyle Busch across the finish line to kick off his 2019 campaign in fine form.

Driver Rating: 93.5
Point Standings: 5th
Previous Ranking: NR

8. Brad Keselowski – A pre-race favorite, Keselowski was forced to start 35th in the field after a poor qualifying effort. But he methodically sliced his way through the pack to the lead draft only to suffer a cut tire and spin late. But the Team Penske driver fought back for an impressive 12th-place effort.

Driver Rating: 75.4
Point Standings: 11th
Previous Ranking: 6th

9. Kyle Larson – An overall challenging day for Chip Ganassi Racing that wound up decent for Larson, who somehow managed to notch a top-10 finish after being involved in at least a pair of on track incidents. Larson also started in the back after a pre-race transmission change.

Driver Rating: 74.7
Point Standings: 7th
Previous Ranking: 7th

10. Jimmie Johnson – A top-10 finish in his first start with new crew chief Kevin Meendering a pretty good way to kick off the new relationship. It wasn’t easy for Johnson who battled through numerous challenges including receiving damage on pit road to drive his battered No. 48 Chevy home to a ninth place Daytona 500 finish.

Driver Rating: 88.4
Point Standings: 8th
Previous Ranking: NR

See Also: Preseason Power Rankings

Dropped Out: Martin Truex Jr., Chase Elliott, Kurt Busch, Ryan Blaney