The NASCAR Cup Series heads west this weekend for a race at Sonoma Raceway in Sonoma, California. The Toyota/Save Mart 350 is 4 p.m. Sunday on FOX.
Below are The Observer’s NASCAR power rankings for the week of May 31. This list is updated each week.
Denny Hamlin (-1) finished seventh at Charlotte on Sunday for his 11th top-10 finish in 15 races this year. Hamlin continues to lead the series in points (633), but he hasn’t cracked the top three since a 32nd-place finish at Talladega.
Martin Truex Jr. (-3) drops out of the top three from first after a string of disappointing finishes for the No. 19 team. Since winning at Darlington, Truex has finished 19th, 35th and 29th in the last three races, respectively. His team struggled to get a flat tire off his car late in the race at Charlotte to put him nine laps down at the checkered flag. He now sits sixth in points (486) behind Hamlin, Kyle Larson, William Byron, Chase Elliott and Joey Logano.
3. Chase Elliott (previously unranked) cracks the top three in Power Rankings after the No. 9 driver won a rain-shortened race at Circuit of the Americas and finished second at the Coke 600. Elliott finished in the top 10 in the past five races (top-three finish in the past three) and heads to a road course this weekend where he has two top-10 finishes in five races.
2. William Byron (+1) finished fourth at Charlotte and challenged his Hendrick Motorsports teammates up front, leading 19 laps during the 400-lap event. (Elliott led the second-most laps in the race with 22.) Byron earned his 12th top-10 finish and sixth top-five finish to continue a trend of high-level consistency this year for the No. 24 team.
1. Kyle Larson (+1) jumps to the top spot in Power Rankings after sweeping all four stages of the Coca-Cola 600 and leading just over 80 percent of the laps. Larson is the first driver this season to lead more than 1,000 laps. He finished second in all three races prior to Charlotte, where he earned his second win of the season.