NASCAR Power Rankings: Here’s Where the Cup Series Drivers Stand Before COTA

by Caitlin Berard
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(Photo by David J. Griffin/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)

This Sunday, NASCAR Cup Series drivers will roll into Austin, Texas, for the EchoPark Automotive Texas Grand Prix at COTA (Circuit of the Americas). Though the upcoming road course race only marks the 6th competition out of the 26 that make up the regular season, some drivers have already made their mark this year.

Some are even within arm’s reach of the brass ring that is a spot in the NASCAR Cup Series playoffs later this year. But which NASCAR drivers are closest to the playoffs? Which NASCAR drivers have the best shot at claiming a top-10 finish at COTA?

Well, to answer those questions, we have to look at the power rankings of each of the NASCAR Cup Series drivers going into this weekend’s race at COTA. Here’s where each driver who calls himself one of NASCAR’s finest stands.

2022 NASCAR Cup Series Driver Power Rankings Ahead of COTA

This Sunday’s EchoPark Automotive Texas Grand Prix at COTA will feature 39 drivers, each man giving his all in an attempt to score a high finishing position. However, only about half of them have shown enough promise to earn a position in the power rankings ahead of the unusual race.

Listed below are the top 20 Cup Series drivers and their car numbers. Beneath each driver are their overall points thus far, as well as their team affiliation, their best finish, and their total number of laps led in the first five races.

20. Austin Dillon (No. 3)

  • Team: Richard Childress Racing
  • Best finish: 2
  • Laps led: 1
  • Total points: 100

2022 average finish: 18.80

19. Brad Keselowski (No. 6)

  • Team: RFK Racing
  • Best finish: 9
  • Laps led: 70
  • Total points: 116

2022 average finish: 19.00

18. Bubba Wallace (No. 23)

  • Team: 23XI Racing
  • Best finish: 2
  • Laps led: 15
  • Total points: 118

2022 average finish: 16.20

17. Austin Cindric (No. 2)

  • Team: Team Penske
  • Best finish: 1
  • Laps led: 21
  • Total points: 117

2022 average finish: 17.60

16. Daniel Suárez (No. 99)

  • Team: Trackhouse Racing
  • Best finish: 4
  • Laps led: 13
  • Total points: 128

2022 average finish: 14.40

15. Denny Hamlin (No. 11)

  • Team: Joe Gibbs Racing
  • Best finish: 13
  • Laps led: 32
  • Total points: 83

2022 average finish: 25.20

14. Aric Almirola (No. 10)

  • Team: Stewart-Haas Racing
  • Best finish: 5
  • Laps led: 6
  • Total points: 145

2022 average finish: 10.20

13. Tyler Reddick (No. 8)

  • Team: Richard Childress Racing
  • Best finish: 3
  • Laps led: 95
  • Total points: 127

2022 average finish: 19.40

12. Kurt Busch (No. 45)

  • Team: 23XI Racing
  • Best finish: 3
  • Laps led: 8
  • Total points: 148

2022 average finish: 9.60

11. William Byron (No. 24)

  • Team: Hendrick Motorsports
  • Best finish: 1
  • Laps led: 148
  • Total points: 158

2022 average finish: 19.20

10. Chase Briscoe (No. 14)

  • Team: Stewart-Haas Racing
  • Best finish: 1
  • Laps led: 126
  • Total points: 152

2022 average finish: 14.00

9. Ross Chastain (No. 1)

  • Team: Trackhouse Racing
  • Best finish: 2
  • Laps led: 125
  • Total points: 140

2022 average finish: 15.20

8. Alex Bowman (No. 48)

  • Team: Hendrick Motorsports
  • Best finish: 1
  • Laps led: 16
  • Total points: 141

2022 average finish: 14.80

7. Ryan Blaney (No. 12)

  • Team: Team Penske
  • Best finish: 4
  • Laps led: 205
  • Total points: 150

2022 average finish: 15.80

6. Kevin Harvick (No. 4)

  • Team: Stewart-Haas Racing
  • Best finish: 6
  • Laps led: 12
  • Total points: 128

2022 average finish: 15.20

5. Martin Truex Jr. (No. 19)

  • Team: Joe Gibbs Racing
  • Best finish: 8
  • Laps led: 17
  • Total points: 140

2022 average finish: 15.40

4. Kyle Busch (No. 18)

  • Team: Joe Gibbs Racing
  • Best finish: 4
  • Laps led: 98
  • Total points: 133

2022 average finish: 12.80

3. Chase Elliott (No. 9)

  • Team: Hendrick Motorsports
  • Best finish: 6
  • Laps led: 91
  • Total points: 168

2022 average finish: 12.40

2. Joey Logano (No. 22)

  • Team: Team Penske
  • Best finish: 5
  • Laps led: 31
  • Total points: 166

2022 average finish: 11.40

1. Kyle Larson (No. 5)

  • Team: Hendrick Motorsports
  • Best finish: 1
  • Laps led: 59
  • Total points: 138

2022 average finish: 19.80

NASCAR Drivers Most Likely to Snag the Victory at COTA

Now that we know a bit about the power rankings of the top 20 NASCAR drivers, as well as a few of their important stats, let’s talk about which among them is most likely to get the checkered flag in Austin.

So far, the 2022 Cup Season winners stand as follows:

  • Daytona 500: Austin Cindric
  • WISE Power 400: Kyle Larson
  • Pennzoil 400: Alex Bowman
  • Ruoff Mortgage 500: Chase Briscoe
  • Folds of Honor QuikTrip 500: William Byron

Should any of the above drivers finish first, they will automatically punch their ticket to the playoffs. That said, we have to take this Sunday’s special circumstances into account. Rather than a traditional speedway, the Cup Series drivers will compete in a road course, which requires an entirely different set of strengths.

With that in mind, we have to look at the drivers with the most experience, and the most success, in road course starts. For example, though Bubba Wallace is an undeniably strong competitor, he hasn’t taken a single top 10 finish in 15 road course starts.

On the flip side, Martin Truex Jr. hasn’t had the best showing thus far in the season, but he has an excellent record in road course races, with four road course wins under his belt.

The true road course powerhouse, however, is Kyle Larson. After a promising start to the season, Kyle Larson has suffered a string of bad luck the last few weeks. But with three road course victories to his name in 2021 alone, the No. 5 driver’s luck might be about to change. For this reason, Kyle Larson stands at the top of our NASCAR drivers power rankings.

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