New Leader in NASCAR Cup Series: Kyle Larson Overtakes Denny Hamlin

Kyle Larson ascends to top position in NBC Sports NASCAR Power Rankings:

Kyle Larson claimed his third victory of the season and second in five Cup starts at Sonoma on Sunday, securing his place as the new leader in points and NBC Sports NASCAR Power Rankings. In an unexpected turn of events, Denny Hamlin, who had previously held the top spot, faced engine trouble on the second lap at Sonoma and finished last for the second consecutive year. This marked the end of Hamlin’s streak of five consecutive top-five finishes.

Chase Elliott’s fourth-place finish at Sonoma moved him from ninth to second in the points standings. Meanwhile, Brad Keselowski saw his streak of three consecutive top-three results come to an end after a 13th-place finish at Sonoma. Despite this setback, Keselowski has achieved five top-five finishes in the last eight races and has risen from 18th to seventh in the points rankings. Tyler Reddick secured a stage win and finished eighth at Sonoma, bringing his streak of top-10 finishes to three races and giving him a total of 10 top-10 finishes this season.

Christopher Bell’s ninth-place finish at Sonoma marked his fourth top-10 result in the last five races. William Byron’s difficult race saw him finish 30th after dealing with a leaking tire and getting caught in an incident. This marks the fourth time in the last six races that Byron has failed to finish in the top 10. Ross Chastain’s fifth-place finish at Sonoma is his second top-10 finish in the last three races.

Alex Bowman finished 15th at Sonoma, marking his second consecutive race outside of the top 10 after a previous streak of five top-10 finishes. Ty Gibbs hit the Turn 11 wall at Sonoma, damaging his car and finishing 37th after placing 11th or better in the three previous races. Martin Truex Jr., who had been holding down third place in points rankings, dropped out due to a difficult race that saw him finish 29th.

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Sophia Reynolds

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