NASCAR Power Rankings: Byron retains top spot after Reddick's COTA win


The first NASCAR road course race of 2023 delivered fans some thrilling action.

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

After the first road course race of the season, it’s now time for the first short track showdown. Richmond Raceway will host the Cup Series this weekend, where hometown hero Denny Hamlin will look to defend his win from last spring.

So, who’s the driver to beat after the sixth race of 2023? Here’s our latest power rankings:

1. William Byron

Last week: 1

Byron nearly won his third race of the season at COTA after starting on the pole, winning the first stage and leading 28 laps. The overtime restarts didn’t quite go his way, though, and he ultimately finished fifth. The No. 24 continues to show speed at all different types of tracks.

2. Kyle Busch

Last week: 2

Richard Childress Racing continues to give Busch fast cars in his debut season for the team. The two-time series champion finished second at COTA, giving him four top-10s in six starts this 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 isn’t what Chastain was aiming for in 2023. But after spinning in the final laps and restarting at the rear, fourth place was a massive recovery for the No. 1 team. Chastain leads the points standings, but his winless streak has reached 32 races.

4. Kyle Larson

Last week: 4

Larson’s car must have looked like a bowling pin to the other drivers at COTA. He was spun twice in the opening stage before even more issues later on, spinning on his own in the second stage, later speeding on pit road and then suffering a broken toe link before somehow recovering to finish 14th.

5. Alex Bowman

Last week: 7

Through six races, Bowman has three top-fives and hasn’t finished worse than 14th. He continued that hot streak at COTA, finishing third while battling for the win late. There’s no doubting that Bowman has been the most consistent driver this season as he heads to Richmond, where he won in 2021.

6. Christopher Bell

Last week: 3

Similar to Larson, Bell was in a constant struggle at COTA from the drop of the green flag. He spun multiple times throughout the race before an accident on the penultimate restart ended his day. The 31st-place result was Bell’s second finish outside the top-30 this season. It’s been feast or famine for Bell this season, as his other four races have all ended with top-six finishes.

7. Joey Logano

Last week: 6

Fresh off a win in Atlanta, Logano was a step behind at COTA. He scored no stage points and finished 28th after colliding with Bell on that final caution. Richmond, where Logano has two wins and 16 top-10s in 27 career starts, should be a different story.

8. Kevin Harvick

Last week: 9

Even when he doesn’t have great speed in his car, Harvick can get respectable finishes. He was 13th at COTA, giving the 47-year-old veteran five top-15s in six races this season. Harvick finished second in 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-10s in his last five starts dating back to last July. Now that he’s essentially locked into the playoffs, it’s all about stacking up more victories. Richmond hasn’t been Reddick’s best track (zero career top-10s), but Toyota is typically dominant at the Virginia short track.

10. Denny Hamlin

Last week: 10

This position is Hamlin’s until further notice. He finished 16th at COTA after, once again, failing to capitalize on late-race restarts. If any track can snap Hamlin’s slump, though, it’s Richmond. Hamlin, a Virginia native, has four wins and 17 top-fives in 32 career starts at the track.

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

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