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NASCAR heads to Dover this weekend with the Cup Series nearly halfway through the regular season. The 13th race on the Cup schedule, the Drydene 400, is 2 p.m. Sunday on FS1.

Below are The Observer’s NASCAR power rankings for the week of May 10. This list is updated each week.


Kyle Busch (previously unranked) moves into a top-five spot this week after winning at Kansas on May 2 and finishing third at Darlington last weekend. He led a combined 29 laps in the last two races and has four top-five finishes.

Kyle Larson (unranked) also jumps up multiple spots to place just out of the top three for his second-place finish at Darlington. He was the only driver to challenge Sunday’s race winner, Martin Truex Jr., and earned his fifth top-five finish last weekend. He won at Las Vegas earlier this year and led 132 laps at Kansas despite his 19th place finish after late-race contact with Ryan Blaney. The No. 5 team bounced back last Sunday.

TOP 3:

3. William Byron (no change) earned his 10th top-10 finish in a row at Darlington (fourth top-five) by placing fourth Sunday. He said after the race that he feels like his No. 24 team is “in the mix with the top teams” but that they’re still trying to “break the seal” on speed to run more consistently in the top three.

2. Denny Hamlin (no change) finished in fifth Sunday for his ninth top-five finish in 12 races. He continues to lead the Cup Series in points (529 points) over Martin Truex Jr., who’s in second (454) but still hasn’t won a race this year. Hamlin didn’t seem flustered by this fact post-race, saying an upcoming win for the No. 11 team was “just the law of averages.”

“You can’t be in the top-two, three the entire race and not win a race,” Hamlin said. “… Eventually the odds start coming back to you.”

1. Martin Truex Jr. (no change) steamrolled the field last Sunday to score his third win of the season, the most of any driver this year, on another playoff track. He led 85% of the laps at Darlington and won both stages of the race. Truex finished in second place in back-to-back races at Dover last year, meaning he’s likely to remain atop the Power Rankings for another week.