NASCAR Power Rankings: Tyler Riddick grabs second win in Indy Originally appeared NBC Sports Chicago
A trip to Indianapolis Motor Speedway – the racing capital of the world – will never disappoint.
Sunday’s Cup Series race was chaotic at times, with three warnings in the final stage and a controversial overtime resumption. But she finished with Tyler Riddick in the victory lane for the second straight race on the road.
Looking ahead, the series heads to Michigan Raceway next week for its annual Irish Hills trip.
So, who is the driver to beat after 22 races? Here are our power rankings with just four races ahead of qualifying:
1. Chase Elliott
Last week: 1
Elliott’s streak of five straight runs finished first and second when he came out second in the final laps. He is still recovering to finish 16th and expand his points tally to 125 above Ryan Blaney. The maximum points you can score in a race is 60, so Elliott has cleared the field with more than two full races.
2. Ross Chastain
Last week: 2
After being out of the picture all day, Chastain found himself near the front for extra time. Instead of trying to get into the first corner, he drove straight and cut the track. He went out fighting for the win and crossed the finish line in second place, but earned a 30-second penalty for being cut short and finished 27th.
3. Kyle Larson
Last week: 3
Indy wasn’t kind to the defending champion, with Larson starting 22nd, never finding the speed and having a hard crash when his brakes failed.
Larson should be confident heading to Michigan next week, where he has racked up three wins. He also won California State in February, the track most compared to Michigan State.
4. Christopher Bell
Last week: 5
A poor restart and a flat tire later decimated Bell’s chance of winning, but it was encouraging that Toyotas are doing well after their recent struggles in the road track. Bale recovered to finish 12th race after leading 17 laps, and it was his third race in a row with double-digit laps.
5. Ryan Blaney
Last week: 7
Blaney fought at the front all day before becoming, like Elliot, a victim one turn. Weave, no caution was called and he finished 26th. On the bright side, Blaney climbed to second in the standings and there was a repeat winner, who holds his block in the qualifying streak.
6. Kyle Bush
Last week: 6
A cloud of uncertainty still follows Busch as long as he doesn’t have a contract for 2022. But on the track, Indy had a relatively quick jog of 18th. He finished 11th and scored 12 stage points. However, Bosch has run seven straight races without a top 10 – his longest running streak since running eight straight races without being in the top ten to start his career in 2004-05.
7. Martin Truex Jr.
Last week: 4
With each passing race, Truex will likely enter the playoffs without a victory. He finished 21st in Indy and wasn’t a factor in the score. If Truex fails to win before Daytona, it could create one of the most nerve-wracking races of his career that the Hall of Fame deserves.
8. Tyler Riddick
Last week: the first four out
Do we have a new road track king? Reddick’s first two wins have come in the last two road races, even after the recent announcement that he was leaving Richard Childress Racing for 23XI Racing in 2024. Things are going to be awkward for the next 16 months as they work toward an inevitable breakup, but in the meantime, Looks like this team can compete for a championship.
9. Denny Hamlin
Last week: 8
One week after stripping Hamlin of Pocono’s win, he delivered an uninspiring run in 14th place. The day started even worse, with Hamlin spinning and losing corners all over the track. So, in this regard, taking 15th place is not a bad thing.
10. Joey Logano
Last week: 10
It’s tough to get past Lugano’s five-round bombshell, turning into one turn late in the race. His movement triggered a sequence that eliminated many of the aforementioned early candidates. But Lugano left Brickyard with sixth place, his best in nearly two months since his Gateway win.
The first four out: William Byron, Kevin Harvick, Daniel Suarez and Alex Bowman