Power Ranking the NASCAR Cup Series after Daytona International Speedway as the teams prepare for Auto Club Speedway this weekend.
The Next Gen car has officially passed its first test. The 2022 edition of the Daytona 500 was an exciting one, complete with a rollover accident at the end of the first stage, a couple of ‘big ones,’ and a nail-biting finish that ended with rookie Austin Cindric taking the Harley J. Earl trophy for his first career win. Wrecks took out many of the top contenders for the race, including defending champion Kyle Larson, three-time Daytona 500 winner Denny Hamlin, and 2014 champion Kevin Harvick, among others. Ahead of this week’s race at Auto Club Speedway, we have some shake-ups in the power rankings, though the top largely stays the same for fear of an overreaction.
2022 NASCAR Cup Series power ranking comes before the first points-paying race of the year, the Daytona 500 at Daytona International Speedway.
The 2022 NASCAR season is just a few days away, which means the excitement and anticipation are building. With the Next-Gen car making its debut, drivers like Harrison Burton, Austin Cindric, and Justin Haley moving up to Cup full-time, and teams such as 23XI Racing, Trackhouse Racing, and Kaulig Racing expanding their operations, there is plenty to look forward to heading into 2022. While there have been some shake-ups in terms of expectations coming into the season, some parts of NASCAR remain the same from last year, and the first edition of this season’s power rankings showcase that.
The Pre-Dover Power Ranking comes after their race at Darlington and before the Drydene 400 at Dover International Speedway on Sunday afternoon.
After the first 11 races of the season brought ten different winners, with plenty of unpredictable finishes, more of the same was expected at Darlington. Martin Truex Jr, however, decided to throw a wrench in the season’s plan. Truex put on an absolutely dominating performance, sweeping both stages and the race for his third victory of the season. His performance drew him closer to the top of the point standings for a new No. 1 in the power ranking for the first time in a long time.
The pre-Richmond power ranking for the NASCAR Cup Series is out just before the Toyota Owners 400 at Richmond Raceway on Sunday afternoon.
The streak of different winners has finally ended with the Cup Series at the second short track of the season at Martinsville. Martin Truex Jr. took advantage of a late pit-road penalty for Ryan Blaney to secure his second win of the year. Truex’s victory stopped a string of seven straight unique winners to start the 2021 season and is now the first Cup driver with multiple wins.