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NASCAR power rankings: 10 best NASCAR drivers right now

Check out Sportsnaut's NASCAR power rankings which will be updated throughout the entire 2024 season after every Cup Series event.

NASCAR power rankings,
Credit: Matthew O'Haren-USA TODAY Sports

Who is the best NASCAR driver right now? We’re through 13 Cup Series races this season with the All-Star Race approaching. Following a wild finish in the Goodyear 400, it’s time to revisit our NASCAR power rankings.

For now, we’re examining the 10 best NASCAR drivers in 2024. However, we’ll dive further into the 5 drivers who missed the cut when we further update our NASCAR power rankings later this week. Bookmark this page for updates every week.

NASCAR power rankings: 10 best drivers in 2024

1. Kyle Larson (2)

NASCAR power rankings, Kyle Larson
Credit: Matthew O’Haren-USA TODAY Sports
  • Kyle Larson stats: 1 win, 5 top 5s, 3 poles, 570 laps led, 1 DNF, 11.64 average start, 11.73 average finish

Kyle Larson moves to the No. 1 spot in our NASCAR power rankings heading into May. While the No. 5 car finished second to Denny Hamlin in the Wurth 400 last Sunday (0.256 seconds margin), he still leads NASCAR in laps led (570). Larson has also recorded top-three finishes in three of his last five races and won the pole three times over that span. That said, it’s a neck-and-neck race between Larson, Hamlin and William Byron.

2. Denny Hamlin (5)

NASCAR power rankings 2024, Denny Hamlin
Credit: Matthew O’Haren-USA TODAY Sports
  • Denny Hamlin stats: 3 wins, 4 top 10s, 3 top 5s, 535 laps led, 1 pole, 10.9 avg. start, 14.18 avg. finish

Denny Hamlin called his shot and that alone is worth a bump in the latest NASCAR power rankings. After finishing 30th and 37th in his previous two races and without a top-10 finish since his win at Richmond Raceway, Hamlin returned to victory lane this past Sunday. Hamlin has now tied Byron for the most wins in NASCAR this season (three), already matching his total from last season, and he has the second-most laps led (535). While he’s still fourth on the points leaderboard, Hamlin’s finishes (second-most stage wins) matter.

Related: NASCAR standings

3. William Byron (1)

NASCAR power rankings 2024, William Byron
Credit: Matthew O’Haren-USA TODAY Sports
  • William Byron stats: 3 wins, 7 top 10s, 4 top 5s, 185 laps led, 1 pole, 1 DNF, 12.09 avg. finish

William Byron didn’t have luck on his side at Dover, getting taken out in a wreck that he just got caught up in. It was a setback points-wise (13 on the day), but the season-long numbers are what matter. Heading into May, Byron is tied for the second-most top 5 finishes (four) and shares the lead with Tyler Reddick for most top 10 finishes seven) and he has the highest average starting position (9.1) this season. While Sunday snapped a streak of five consecutive top-10 finishes, Kansas should start a new one.

Related: NASCAR TV ratings

4. Chase Elliott (3)

NASCAR power rankings, Chase Elliott
Credit: Matthew O’Haren-USA TODAY Sports
  • Chase Elliott stats: 1 win, 5 top 10s, 4 top 5s, 131 laps led, 0 DNF, 11.6 avg. start, 10.27 avg. finish

It’s been a good stretch at the track for Chase Elliott. Starting 29th, he worked his way up to a fifth-place finish and has now placed fifth or better in four of his last five races. Over that span, Elliott has also picked up 204 points to vault up the standings. While Elliott only ranks sixth in laps led, he’s near the top when it counts with the second-highest average finish (10.3) in NASCAR this year.

Related: 10 best NASCAR drivers of all-time

5. Tyler Reddick (5)

NASCAR power rankings, Tyler Reddick
Credit: Matthew O’Haren-USA TODAY Sports
  • Tyler Reddick stats: 1 win, 7 top 10s, 4 top 5s, 124 laps led, 1 DNF, 12.36 avg. start, 12.6 avg. finish

After recording his first win of the season, things seemed to be looking up for Tyler Reddick and the 23XI team with the No. 4 spot in the starting lineup at Dover. However, Reddick finished the race 11th, placing 1.5 seconds out of a top 10 finish and 15 behind the winner. It might not have been the end result he wanted, but Reddick still secured 38 points (sixth-most) on the day. Plus, he boasts a 6.33 average finish in the last six races.

Also Read: Michael Jordan celebrates first in-person NASCAR win

6. Martin Truex Jr (6)

It’s been that type of year for Martin Truex Jr, finishing close to the checkered flag but not experiencing victory lane. Dover marked his third top-four finish on the season, all of them coming since Bristol. Most importantly, in terms of the playoff push, Truex Jr. picked up a season-high 51 points on Sunday. A celebration feels inevitable for Truex Jr., but for now, he’ll have to just take boasting the highest average finishing position (9.4) and being in company with Larson and Hamlin as the only drivers with 300-plus laps led this season.

Related: NASCAR results

7. Ryan Blaney (9)

  • Ryan Blaney stats: 5 top 10s, 4 top 5s, 122 laps led, 1 pole, 1 DNF, 13.82 avg. finish

The ups and downs of the 2024 NASCAR reason provided a high moment for Ryan Blaney and Team Penske in the Wurth 400. He pled seventh at Dover, snapping a two-race streak outside the top 10. Blaney also recorded 40 points, the first time since Phoenix (41) that he’s cracked that mark. What will need to improve heading into Kansas is a 12th-ranked average starting position (13.5), that trails the likes of Joey Logano, Austin Cindric and Michael McDowell.

Related: NASCAR schedule

8. Ty Gibbs (7)

  • Ty Gibbs stats: 6 top 10s, 3 top 5s, 201 laps led, 11.82 avg. start, 11.545 avg. finish

May will be a great test for Ty Gibbs. The second-year Cup Series driver got off to a scorching hot start, recording three top-5 finishes and five top-10 results with a 7.833 average finishing spot across his first six races. He’s been in a bit of a slump ever since. Larson hasn’t cracked the 30-point mark in a race since the Circuit of the Americas and his average finishing spot over the last five races os 16. Dover (10th place), might be a turning point, but what makes May important is seeing how Gibbs responds to a rough stretch.

Also Read: MLB schedule

9. Alex Bowman (UR)

  • Alex Bowman stats: 6 top 10s, 4 top 5s, 6 laps led, 1 DNF, 15.18 avg. start, 13.64 avg. finish

Outside of a DNF at Texas Motor Speedway, placing 37th on the day with just 1 point, Alex Bowman has been phenomenal behind the wheel as of late. Removing TMS from the picture, Bowman’s average finish in the last seven races is 6.57. He also has finished 8th or better in three of his last four, with Dover (41 points) providing his highest total since the Daytona 500. The one drawback that really separates him from others in our NASCAR power rankings, Bowman ranks 28th in laps led (6).

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10. Ross Chastain (UR)

  • Ross Chastain stats: 4 top 10s, 1 top 5, 65 laps led, 1 DNF, 17.9 avg. start, 13.27 avg. finish

The battle for the 10th spot in our NASCAR power rankings is tight, but Ross Chastain sneaks in for his first appearance. Chastain was sensational early, with top-seven finishes in Atlanta, Las Vegas and Phoenix. Texas Motor Speedway (32nd) hurt him and he hasn’t finished in the top 10 since the Circuit of the Americas. However, 55 points with top-13 placements in the last two weeks could be a sign of a turnaround.

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