NASCAR Power Rankings: William Byron Retains Top Spot After Tyler Reddick’s COTA Victory

NASCAR Power Rankings: Byron Retains Top Spot After Reddick’s COTA Victory originally appeared on NBC Sports Philadelphia

The first NASCAR street race of 2023 brought exciting action to the fans.

In the end, Tyler Reddick was victorious at the Circuit of the Americas (COTA) after leading for 41 laps. It was Reddick’s fourth career win but his first for Michael Jordan’s 23XI Racing after joining the Toyota team that season.

After the first road race of the season, the first short track showdown is on the agenda. Richmond Raceway will host the Cup Series this weekend in which hometown hero Denny Hamlin will attempt to defend his win from last spring.

So who is the rider to beat after round six in 2023? Here’s our latest power ranking:

1.William Byron

Last week: 1

Byron nearly won his third race of the season in COTA after starting from pole, winning stage one and leading 28 laps. However, the restarts in overtime weren’t quite to his liking and he ended up finishing fifth. The #24 continues to show speed on all types of routes.

2. Kyle Busch

Last week: 2

Richard Childress Racing continues to provide Busch with fast cars for the team in his debut season. The two-time series champion finished second at COTA and earned him four top 10 finishes from six starts that year – including his win in California. Richmond has been one of Busch’s best tracks with six wins and 27 top-10 finishes in 34 career starts.

3.Ross Chastain

Last week: 5

After winning at COTA last year, fourth place wasn’t what Chastain was aiming for in 2023. But after a spin on the final laps and a restart from behind, fourth place was a massive recovery for the No. 1 team. Chastain leads the points standings but his winning streak has reached 32 races.

4.Kyle Larson

Last week: 4

Larson’s car must have looked like a cone to the other drivers at COTA. He was shot twice in the opening stages before even more trouble later on. In the second stage he spun alone, later racing on the pit lane and then suffering a broken toe link before somehow recovering and finishing 14th.

5. Alex Bowman

Last week: 7

In six races, Bowman has three top fives and has finished no worse than 14th. He continued that hot streak at COTA and finished third while struggling for the win late on. There’s no doubt Bowman has been the most consistent rider this season as he heads to Richmond where he won in 2021.

6. Christopher Bell

Last week: 3

Much like Larson, Bell has been in a constant struggle at COTA since the green flag fell. He spun several times throughout the race before an accident at the penultimate restart ended his day. 31st place was Bell’s second finish outside of the top-30 this season. It’s been feast or famine for Bell this season as his other four races all ended in top six finishes.

7.Joey Logano

Last week: June 6th

After a win in Atlanta, Logano was a step behind at COTA. He did not score any stage points and finished 28th after colliding with Bell on that final warning. Richmond, where Logano has two wins and 16 top-10 finishes in 27 career starts, should be a different story.

8. Kevin Harvick

Last week: 9

Even if he doesn’t have great speed in his car, Harvick can still achieve respectable results. He finished 13th at COTA and gave the 47-year-old veteran five top-15 finishes in six races this season. Harvick was second at the spring race and won the summer race at Richmond last year.

9. Tyler Reddick

Last week: First four out

Reddick has become the new road-course king with three wins and five top-10 finishes in his last five starts since last July. Now that he’s essentially made the playoffs, it’s all about racking up more wins. Richmond wasn’t Reddick’s best track (zero career top 10), but Toyota usually dominates at the short Virginia track.

10. Denny Hamlin

Last week: 10

That position is Hamlin’s until further notice. He finished 16th at COTA after again failing to capitalize on late race starts. However, if any stretch can break Hamlin’s slump, it’s Richmond. Hamlin, a Virginia native, has four wins and 17 top fives in 32 career starts at the track.

The first four out: Ryan Blaney, Brad Keselowski, Daniel Suarez, Austin Cindric

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