By: Pete Pistone – @PPistone | MRN.com on October 10, 2017 | 9:38 A.M. EST
MRN’s Pete Pistone unveils this week’s Power Rankings following the Bank of America 500 at Charlotte Motor Speedway. (Photo: Getty Images)
Win No. 6 of the season put Martin Truex Jr. back on top of the Power Rankings.
1.Martin Truex Jr.: He “only” led 91 laps at Charlotte, but that was more than enough to score win No. 6 of the season. Truex appears to be unstoppable and has already claimed a berth in the semifinal round of the playoffs.
Points Standing: 1st
Previous Ranking: 2nd
2. Kyle Busch: A rough day for Busch at Charlotte. He had no shot at winning his third straight race. A Friday trip into the wall during practice was just the tip of the iceberg for Busch, who made more contact several times with it on Sunday and limped home with a 29th-place finish.
Points Standing: 6th
Previous Ranking: 1st
3. Kyle Larson: A mistake on pit road spelled doom for Larson, who lost several spots on a late stop when a crew member fell down while changing tires. Larson did finish in the top 10 but easily lost four or five spots in the aftermath of the miscue.
Points Standing: 2nd
Previous Ranking: 3rd
4. Chase Elliott: Erased the disappointment of his second-place finish in Dover with another runner-up performance in Charlotte. But this one felt different as Elliott put last week’s frustration behind him to score his third second-place finish in four playoff races.
Points Standing: 4th
Previous Ranking: 7th
5. Jimmie Johnson: A mid-field qualifying spot presented an early challenge for Johnson, who overcame the less-than-ideal starting position to put a top-10 finish on the board.
Points Standing: 7th
Previous Ranking: 5th
6. Denny Hamlin: Overall, Hamlin had a good weekend in Charlotte even if it wasn’t spectacular. He qualified on the pole and backed it up with a top-five finish in the Bank of America 500.
Points Standing: 5th
Previous Ranking: 8th
7. Kevin Harvick: The Stewart-Haas Racing driver turned in a third-place finish at Charlotte. That erased the memory of what has been a mediocre playoff for Harvick, who looks to build on last week’s momentum in the next two weeks of the second round.
Points Standing: 3rd
Previous Ranking: 9th
8. Jamie McMurray: Coming off a fifth-place finish in Charlotte, McMurray is an adept restrictor-plate racer, so the Chip Ganassi Racing driver has a shot at moving up the playoff grid this weekend at Talladega Superspeedway.
Points Standing: 8th
Previous Ranking: 10th
9. Brad Keselowski: Qualified well with a sixth-place starting spot, but Keselowski faded as the race went by. He took the checkered flag in 15th place and continues to look not much more than average as the playoffs continue.
Points Standing: 10th
Previous Ranking: 6th
10. Matt Kenseth: Starting to lose some steam at the wrong point of the season. Kenseth wasn’t much of a factor Sunday at Charlotte and goes into Race 2 of the second round looking for a spark.
Points Standing: 9th
Previous Ranking: 4th