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NASCAR power rankings: The best Cup drivers heading to Road America

Alex Andrejev, The Charlotte Observer on

Published in Auto Racing

NASCAR goes road course racing this weekend at Road America. The Cup Series will compete at the four-mile, 14-turn course near Elkhart Lake, Wis., on Sunday, July 4. The Jockey Made in America 250 starts at 2:30 p.m. on NBC.

Below are The Charlotte Observer’s NASCAR power rankings for the week of June 28. This list is updated each week.

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Honorable mention

— Chase Elliott (-2) didn’t have the weekend the No. 9 team was hoping for at Pocono following a post-race disqualification for loose lug nuts at Nashville the week prior. Elliott finished 12th and 27th on Saturday and Sunday, respectively. He earned a top 10 during the second stage of Sunday’s race, but pit in the final stage with a flat tire.

— Alex Bowman (+1) won Saturday’s race at Pocono, climbing to the first-place spot with fewer than 15 laps left. He was nearly beat by Hendrick Motorsports teammate Kyle Larson, but Larson crashed with a flat tire on the final lap, giving Bowman his third win of the year. He finished seventh on Sunday.

 

Top 3

— 3. Kyle Busch (+1) earned a second- and first-place finish over the weekend, overcoming a transmission issue on Sunday to win a race determined by fuel mileage. Busch has two wins (eight top fives) and sits fifth in point standings, 111 points behind series leader Denny Hamlin.

— 2. William Byron (no change) scored another top five on Saturday with a third-place finish at Pocono. Byron placed out of the top 10 Sunday, in 12th, but won the second stage of the race and led 22 laps. He fell just short on fuel at the end of Sunday’s race and pit from the lead in the final five laps. Byron has eight top fives and one win this year.

— 1. Kyle Larson (no change) nearly finished first and second over the weekend to complement Busch, but Saturday’s last-lap crash relegated Larson to ninth place that day. The No. 5 team recovered Sunday despite early damage to the nose of the car and finished in second place for Larson’s 11th top five (14th top 10) this year. He sits two points behind Hamlin.

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