NASCAR STRENGTH RANKINGS: Chase Elliott moves into second place after first win of 2022

1 Ross Chastain – One of the factors that made Ross Chastain so popular with fans is that he races as hard for third on the last lap as he did for 15th when he was in the JD Motorsports cars in the Xfinity series. Chastain will fight to stay at the point he has reached in his career. 2 Chase Elliot While Chase Elliott was beginning to build a points lead in the regular season championship standings, he was missing out on a winning opportunity to confirm that lead. After Dover, the problem was solved. 3 Ryan Blaney The good news for Ryan Blaney was that he was able to use strategy to win Stage Two at Dover, taking 10 points to catch up with Chase Elliott for the lead points. The bad news is that Elliott won while Blaney slipped to 26th. 4 Kyle Bush A.J. Allmendinger’s wheel likely cost Kyle Busch a chance to win, but it didn’t cost him a top ten finish. Busch will recover from falling into a lap on a pit road and having to take a wave around him, finishing seventh. 5 Alex Bowman Like Busch, Alex Bowman also had to struggle from going into the pit road at the wrong time. His car looked better than Bosch’s during the final round, finishing fifth. 6 William Byron William Byron’s team suffered a setback on Saturday when Byron crashed his base car, forcing him to shore up the race. Byron finished 22nd, his third outside the top 10 since his victory in Martinsville. 7 Chase Briscoe – Sometimes, the matter of having a good day or not is a relative thing. Chase Briscoe’s 13th place finish isn’t the greatest thing as his standards have been raised, but he will take it after suffering an early crash in Talladega. 8 Kyle Larson Kyle Larson didn’t quite have the car to pull the “Spin and Win” after wrapping it around the front extension. But “spin and get sixth” isn’t something to sniff at either. 9 Christopher Bell Christopher Bell is starting to look like the driver he envisioned being when he was promoted to Joe Gibbs Racing in 2021. Bell has now earned two top five spots and four top 10 finishes in six races since COTA in March. 10 Martin Truex Jr. If the outside lane had been open a little longer, Martin Truex could have left Dover in third. He ended up falling out of the top five, but ended up in 12th. 11 Tyler Riddick Tyler Reddick’s #8 hit the #8 ball when he rolled it in practice. Things never got better, as Reddick had a tire problem and then crashed onto the back, finishing 30th. 12 Austin Dillon Austin Dillon’s end in Dover wasn’t what we meant last week when we talked about having a lot of doubles and triples. Dillon was non-working all day, finishing in a disappointing 23rd place. 13 Kevin Harvick Kevin Harvick was running outside the top 10 late going to Dover, but he ended up rallying for the last 25 laps to finish ninth. This is the kind of undisclosed charge that befits a “cagey vet vet.” 14 Joey Logano It’s clear that Penske Power took off completely in Dover. Joey Logano crashed into Turn 1 after a run with Eric Jones, and ended up limping at home in 29th. 15th Eric Jones Finishing in the last 10 of the top 10 at Dover, Eric Jones has a top 10 in a row for the first time since the fall of 2020. Having had six of the top 10 in all of 2021, Jones and Betty GMS have already earned four this season. 16 Daniel Suarez The first rule of racing is to destroy someone else without destroying yourself. If that’s really what Daniel Suarez was trying to do when he bombed Cory Lagoy, it didn’t quite work – but Suarez finished 14th anyway. 17 Chris Bucher While Brad Keselowski may be the face of RFK Racing, Chris Buescher appears to be the most promising asset. Buescher won his first career spot with Dover and led the first 18 laps before finishing eighth. 18 Kurt Bosch For the second week in a row, Kurt Busch was sent to the wall after someone else came across him. Bush came home on the 31st, marking his third straight race with an accident not of his own making. 19 Justin Haley Justin Haley drove 19 laps at Dover after driving six laps over the four years of entering the race. He ended up just outside the top 10, but finished 15th in his competition to the death this season. 20 Eric Almerola Dover is a special place for Eric Almerola’s racing career, as it was the site of his first truck series win in 2010. He had no other memory in his shop this weekend, as Almerola finished one lap 19. 21 Brad Kiselowski Unlike Chris Boecher’s big weekend, Brad Keselowski took the back seat among the RFK drivers in Dover. Keselowski got into the top 10 at one point, but once did end up in 20th place in the end. 22 Bubba Wallace Bubba Wallace was 11th with just over 25 laps, but faded in the closing laps and ended up in 16th. However, a trouble-free day and a finish outside the top 15 is about as much as Wallace could ask for at this point. . 23 Austin Cendrick Austin Sendrick learned a hard lesson about Dover, turning and hitting the wall in Turn 3 in his first crash of the race. Cindric’s crew was unable to repair the steering damage before the crash clock ran out, leaving Cendric in last position. 24 Michael McDowell – Although Michael McDowell’s top ten streak ended in Dover, he and his racing team would be delighted with their 17th place finish. It’s only the fifth top 20 finish that McDowell has earned in 11 races this season. 25 Cole Custer Things were set to go Cole Custer’s way in the right direction for some time, and a 15th place finish at Dover was an encouraging sign. It’s his second best 15 points in the last three races. 26 Denny Hamlin Denny Hamlin led twice at Dover for 67 laps early, then a wheel fell off. His car was fast enough to get him back into fourth, but he crashed trying to overtake a spinning car. It was just this kind of year. 27 Ricky Stenhouse Jr. Ricky Stenhouse Jr.’s runner-up brings him back to the power ratings and then some. Stenhouse has now finished second in all three seasons since joining JTG Daugherty Racing. 28 Ty Dillon It was a tough day all over for Ty Dillon in Dover. Dillon had a right front tire that started loosening during a long green flag track, and ended up four laps in 27th place. 29 Cory Lagoy Corey LaJoie was running and inside the top 15 before the connection with Daniel Suarez put him in the wall in Turns 3 and 4. Fortunately, it was no worse than the wear and managed to finish 18th. 30 Harrison Burton – Despite rotating in practice, Harrison Burton was able to use strategy to get a Top 10 in Stage 2, kept his nose clean, and finished 24th – better than any rookie on the field, and trouble-free too.

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