The twists and turns of Daytona International Speedway’s road course not only provided the second first-time winner of the season but shook up the NBC Sports NASCAR Power Rankings. Christopher Bell ‘s win vaulted him into the rankings for the first time this season, but he’s behind a new No. 1. Bell is one of two drivers making their first appearance this season in the rankings. NASCAR Power Rankings after Daytona road course race 1. Denny Hamlin (Last week: No. 2) — Opens the season with back-to-back top-five finishes. He also moves into the points lead. No driver has scored more stage points (38) or stage wins (three) than Hamlin this season. His stage points alone would rank tied for 15th in the season standings. He also had the best average running position on the Daytona road course at 4.3. 2. Michael McDowell (Last week: No. 1) — Daytona 500 winner overcame a flat tire before the start Sunday’s race on the road course and went on to finish eighth. He has two top 10s this season. He had four last year. 3. Christopher Bell (Last week: Unranked): Scored first career Cup win with a strong performance at Daytona that… Read full this story
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