NASCAR Power Rankings: Kevin Harvick wins again at Richmond originally appeared on NBC Sports Washington
After getting his 58th career win in September 2020, Kevin Harvick waited 65 races to earn his 59th victory last week.
To get win No. 60, the 46-year-old veteran only had to wait seven days. Harvick triumphed at Richmond Raceway on Sunday, leading 55 laps – more than he led in the first 23 races of 2022 combined.
There are just two races left in the regular season – the road course at Watkins Glen next week and the superspeedway at Daytona after that.
So, who’s the driver to beat as the playoffs draw near? Here’s our latest power rankings:
1. Chase Elliott
Last week: 1
By finishing fifth at Richmond, Elliott is just four points away from clinching the regular-season title (and the all-important 15 playoff-point bonus). Richmond hasn’t been Elliott’s best track, but Watkins Glen certainly has. He has two wins and a runner-up in his last three starts at the road course.
2. Christopher Bell
Last week: 5
Outside of a crash at Michigan last week, Bell has been one of the series’ hottest drivers since he won at New Hampshire. Bell finished second at Richmond, and he might’ve won if the race was a few more laps as he was running down Harvick.
3. Denny Hamlin
Last week: 6
After a dismal start to the year, Hamlin is up to 12th in the standings with his fourth-place Richmond run. Rounding into form for the playoffs, the No. 11 led 22 laps and grabbed 17 stage points. Next week could be a struggle for Hamlin, though – he hasn’t scored a top-10 in four road course races this season.
4. Ross Chastain
Last week: 2
It was a tale of two races for Chastain, who won the first stage handily before fading to finish two laps down in 18th. He’s finished 18th or worse in four straight races. Most critically, Chastain added another name to his growing list of enemies after connecting with Kyle Busch, who hilariously used “Chastain” as a verb in his post-race interview.
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