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Power Rankings After Daytona

2021 Driver Ratings

Pete Pistone’s NASCAR Cup Series Power Rankings after the O’Reilly Auto Parts 253 at the Daytona International Speedway Road Course.

1. Denny Hamlin – He has finished top-three in both Daytona road course starts last August and on Sunday. Hamlin won Stage 2 was forced to battle back from some adversity and was able to get back to the front of the field to finish third in Sunday’s second race of the season.

Driver Rating: 121.9
Point Standings: 1st
Previous Ranking: 1st

2. Chase Elliott – Elliott led a race high 44 laps but failed to win after winning the last four road course races. A late race caution for wet weather changed the complexion of the race with Elliott leading and through a series of pit stops and events, that included a spin while running fourth, the best he could do was post a 21st-place finish Sunday.

Driver Rating: 111.7
Point Standings: 5th
Previous Ranking: 2nd

3. Christopher Bell – He scored his first career Cup win in the 38th start of his career. Bell led three times for five laps, including the final two to become the second straight driver to win for the first time to open the season on the heels of Michael McDowell’s Daytona 500 victory. It’s the first time since the first two seasons of Cup (1949 and 1950) that there were first time winners in the first two races of the season.

Driver Rating: 113.1
Point Standings: 4th
Previous Ranking: NR

4. Michael McDowell – The Daytona 500 winner followed up his career performance a week ago with an impressive run on Daytona’s Road Course. This is McDowell’s only his fourth season in Cup with multiple top-10 finishes and Sunday’s eighth was his best road-course finish.

Driver Rating: 85.5
Point Standings: 6th
Previous Ranking: 4th

5. Joey Logano – He has finished runner-up in each of the last two road course races. Logano lost the lead with two to go Sunday after getting passed as the leader on the last lap in the Daytona 500 last week. Logano had great short run speed, but needed more on the long run.

Driver Rating: 113.0
Point Standings: 2nd
Previous Ranking: 6th

6. Kevin Harvick – He’s tied with Kurt Busch after his 23rd top 10 on a road course and turned in a much better performance than Harvick was able to do in the Busch Clash to kick off Speedweeks at Daytona.

Driver Rating: 104.2
Point Standings: 3rd
Previous Ranking: 5th

7. Brad Keselowski – The Team Penske driver recorded only his second road course top five in the last 10 races. Keselowski overcame some obstacles and contact late to get back on track for the good rebound from his last lap Daytona heartbreak the week before in the 500.

Driver Rating: 83.5
Point Standings: 10th
Previous Ranking: 7th

8. Kurt Busch – The veteran scored his 23rd career top-10 on a road course and is tied with Kevin Harvick for the most among active drivers. Busch went for a long off-course excursion in the second half of the race but was able to reel things back in and charged back to the front for the solid finish.

Driver Rating: 79.7
Point Standings: 8th
Previous Ranking: NR

9. Ryan Preece – The JTG Daugherty Racing driver has come out of the gate strong with a pair of great runs first in the Daytona 500 and again Sunday on the Daytona road course. Preece started sixth and posted a 13.6 average running position on his way to a ninth-place finish.

Driver Rating: 88.8
Point Standings: 7th
Previous Ranking: NR

10. Kyle Larson – The results don’t indicate how well Larson drove Sunday in his first road course start for Hendrick Motorsports. He was in position in the end but carried too much speed into Turn 6 and backed his Chevrolet into the tire barrier.

Driver Rating: 90.3
Point Standings: 12th
Previous Ranking: 9th

Dropped Out: Kyle Busch, Austin Dillon, Bubba Wallace