What to Watch: Full guide to the South Point 400 at Las Vegas Motor Speedway
South Point 400 at Las Vegas Motor Speedway (⏰ 7 p.m. ET | ???? NBCSN, TSN | ???? PRN, SiriusXM) Everything you need to know for Sunday’s Round of 12 opening race and 30th points-paying NASCAR Cup Series event of the 2021 season. Where: Las Vegas, Nevada Green flag: 7:19 p.m. ET Grand Marshal: Dana White, UFC […](⏰ 7 p.m.
There was a share of wild action in Monday’s Cup playoff race at Talladega Superspeedway, but what happened there didn’t alter the top of the NBC Sports NASCAR Power Rankings.
Denny Hamlin remains No. 1, Kyle Larson stays No. 2 and Martin Truex Jr. is back at No. 3 heading into Sunday’s Cup playoff cutoff race at the Charlotte Roval (2 p.m. ET, NBC).
Christopher Bell, who finished fifth at Talladega, moves back into the top 10, knocking William Byron out of this week’s rankings.
NASCAR Power Rankings after Talladega
1. Denny Hamlin (Last week: No. 1) — Keeps top spot after seventh-place finish at Talladega (but gets win as car owner for Bubba Wallace and 23XI Racing). Hamlin is the only driver who has advanced to the next round of the playoffs heading into Sunday’s cutoff race at the Charlotte Roval.
What drivers said after Las Vegas
In the 4th quarter against the 49ers, Packers WR Davante Adams seemingly suffered a helmet-to-helmet hit, but it wasn’t called. Adams was able to return soon thereafter.
2. Kyle Larson (Last week: No. 2) — Collected in a crash and finished 37th. Had not finished worse than 10th in the playoffs before Talladega. Due to the benefit of all those playoff points (60) he’s earned, he’s still 22 points above the cutline despite the poor finish.
3. Martin Truex Jr. (Last week: No. 3) — His 12th-place finish at Talladega was his worst result in the playoffs this season. Previously, his worst playoff finish this year was seventh.
4. Kevin Harvick (Last week: No. 5) — He just keeps on cranking out top-10 finishes. He placed eighth at Talladega. Harvick and Denny Hamlin are the only drivers to finish in the top 10 in each playoff race this season.
5. Joey Logano (Last week: No. 7) — His third-place finish continues his playoff streak. He has not finished worse than 11th in the postseason this year.
Early odds list Denny Hamlin as PointsBet favorite for Talladega
Denny Hamlin is favored, while Kyle Larson faces his longest odds since the spring race in Talladega.Hamlin has been the favorite in the first three races of 2021 on superspeedways with odds ranging from +675 to +800. This week, he faces his longest odds on the track type with a +850. Hamlin began the season with a fifth-place finish in the Daytona 500, which was his sixth consecutive top-five at Talladega and Daytona International Speedway. His two latest efforts netted a 32nd at Talladega and 13th at Daytona.
6. Chase Elliott (Last week: No. 4) — Left Talladega with an 18th-place finish. He has three finishes of 18th or worse and two top-five results in the playoffs.
7. Ryan Blaney (Last week: No. 6) — Saw streak of three consecutive top-10 finishes end with a 15th-place showing at Talladega.
8. Brad Keselowski (Last week: No. 9) — Finished runner-up to Bubba Wallace. Keselowski scored the most points at Talladega (52).
9. Christopher Bell (Last week: Unranked) — Fifth-place result at Talladega marks his second top-five finish in the last four races.
10. Kyle Busch (Last week: No. 10) — Placed 27th at Talladega. He has three finishes outside the top 20 and two results inside the top 10 in this year’s playoffs.
Dropped out: William Byron (Last week: No. 8)
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NASCAR Power Rankings: Denny Hamlin stays No. 1 originally appeared on NBCSports.com
NASCAR Power Rankings: Kyle Larson keeps hold of No. 1 after Texas win .
Kyle Larson's win at Texas was his third in these playoffs.That performance keeps him atop the NBC Sports NASCAR Power Rankings. Denny Hamlin remains second. Ryan Blaney moves up two spots to third.