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Pete Pistone’s Power Rankings After Texas | MRN

Texas Recap and Results | Driver Ratings

MRN’s Pete Pistone unveils this week’s Power Rankings following the AAA Texas 500 at Texas Motor Speedway.

1. Martin Truex Jr. – A mediocre qualifying effort gave Truex Jr. the 17th starting spot but he was able to move up in the field and took the checkered flag sixth in Texas. But the heavy lifting was done the previous week in Martinsville for Truex Jr. who won to lock in his spot in the Championship 4.

Driver Rating: 102.4
Point Standings: 1st
Previous Ranking: 1st

2. Kevin Harvick – There’s something about the fall playoff race at Texas and Harvick. The Stewart-Haas Racing driver scored his third straight win in the AAA Texas 500 and now has advanced to the Championship 4 at Homestead for the fifth time in the current playoff format’s six seasons.

Driver Rating: 105.0
Point Standings: 2nd
Previous Ranking: 5th

3. Kyle Busch – Running the tank dry on fuel with a delayed pit stop on Lap 312 was one of the day’s challenges for Busch who still was able to come home with a top-10 finish. The regular season champion is 22 points above the cutline and will try to secure a berth in the Championship 4 this weekend at ISM Raceway.

Driver Rating: 106.9
Point Standings: 3rd
Previous Ranking: 3rd

4. Joey Logano – Another one of those patented “blue collar” days for Logano and company. He finished fourth to score his first top-five since the regular season finale at Indianapolis and Logano is 20 points above the playoff cutline heading to Phoenix.

Driver Rating: 98.0
Point Standings: 4th
Previous Ranking: 6th

5. Denny Hamlin – What he could not afford to happen in Texas indeed did happen to Hamlin. He spun out and went for a wild ride through the infield that caused damage to Hamlin’s Toyota. A 28th-place finish added up to a 44 point swing for Hamlin, who came to Texas 24 to the good and left 20 below the playoff cutline.

Driver Rating: 96.3
Point Standings: 5th
Previous Ranking: 2nd

6. Ryan Blaney – Good but not good enough for Blaney in Texas. He started 15th and posted a 12.7 average running position in the race. However, an eighth-place finish leaves Blaney fighting for his playoff life this week in Phoenix.

Driver Rating: 93.1
Point Standings: 6th
Previous Ranking: 4th

7. Kyle Larson – The victim of an inopportune caution flag describes Larson’s afternoon in the Lone Star State. He accused Bubba Wallace of spinning out purposely to cause the fateful caution that took Larson out of contention to win the race and he ended up finishing 12th.

Driver Rating: 89.9
Point Standings: 7th
Previous Ranking: 9th

8. William Byron – He had his car out front for eight laps on Sunday but overall it was just an all right day for Byron. He qualified 18th and finished 17th in a disappointing follow-up to his second place Martinsville run a week ago.

Driver Rating: 85.5
Point Standings: 10th
Previous Ranking: 8th

9. Brad Keselowski – A hard crash after losing control of his car in the traction compound racing off the fourth turn ended Keselowski’s day in Texas. He not only hit the wall but had Ricky Stenhouse Jr. lose control as well and the two drivers exited early with severely damaged cars.

Driver Rating: 95.6
Point Standings: 9th
Previous Ranking: 7th

10. Chase Elliott – From bad to worse. That’s the only way to describe Elliott’s playoff run after he made an early exit from Sunday’s race when he slammed the wall on lap nine. Elliott has one way to keep his championship hopes alive and that’s to win Sunday at ISM Raceway in Phoenix.

Driver Rating: 92.5
Point Standings: 8th
Previous Ranking: 10th

Dropped Out: None

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