Martin Truex Jr. has put together an incredible run in the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series so far this season. If he keeps it up, he will be difficult to catch once The Chase begins. Truex solidified his position at the top of the NASCAR power rankings with another win in the I LOVE NEW YORK 355 at The Glen last week. With the exception of a small move in the middle of the pack, the rest of the list will stay pretty much the same following heading in to the second and final race at Michigan this weekend. Here is a look at the NASCAR top five power rankings for this week according to the sports betting odds.
1. Martin Truex Jr.
Last Week: 1
NASCAR Championships Odds: +450
Truex was a “garage rat” at Watkins Glen as a child when he loved to watch his father race. Last Sunday, he lived out his dream of winning a NASCAR Cup Series race at the track. Truex held off Matt Kenseth just enough to finish .414 seconds ahead of him to clinch his series-leading fourth win of the season. Truex has finished third or better in four of his last five starts including a pair of victories. If he can extend his lead atop the point standings in the Pure Michigan 400, then he will be very comfortable out front heading in to the final stretch of the MENCS season.
2. Kyle Larson
Last Week: 2
NASCAR Championships Odds: +550
Larson’s struggles continued at Watkins Glen last weekend when he placed 23rd in the I LOVE NEW YORK 355 at The Glen. The driver of the No. 42 Chevrolet has finished outside the top-20 in three straight races after placing outside of the top-20 only three previous times all season. Larson might be forcing the issue a little bit but he will need to figure things out heading in to the race at Michigan this weekend. Larson has fallen to third in the point standings following another disappointing outing. He is still considered among the favorites to contend for a title, but he will need to turn things around in a hurry to keep that from changing.
3. Kyle Busch
Last Week: 4
NASCAR Championships Odds: +650
Busch led all 20 laps of the race’s first stage after winning the pole at Wakins Glen. However, a couple of mistakes forced him to the back of the pack and he was forced to rally just to add another top-10 finish to his resume. Busch has leapfrogged Harvick in the point standings and while he won’t catch Truex he can certainly put some pressure on him down the final stretch of the regular season and gain some momentum heading in to the Chase. Busch is listed at +650 odds to win a MENCS title this season, but he definitely deserves the No. 3 spot on this list ahead of Jimmie Johnson this week.
4. Jimmie Johnson
Last Week: 3
NASCAR Championships Odds: +650
The No. 48 Hendrick Motorsports Chevrolet has finished in the top-10 only once since June 18th. Johnson has fallen out of the top-10 in the standings over that span, dropping to 11th behind Jamie McMurray, Matt Kenseth and Clint Bowyer. Johnson’s experience and success has kept the experts from completely writing him off but he will need to start contending if he is going to compete for an MENCS title this season. The sportsbooks didn’t adjust his odds to win a championship following another disappointing at Watkins Glen. However, he does move from No. 3 to No. 4 in our power rankings this week.
5. Kevin Harvick
Last Week: 5
NASCAR Championships Odds: +750
Harvick’s run of four straight top-10 finishes came to an end when he placed 17th at Watkins Glen last weekend. However, Harvick still earned 20 points so the race wasn’t a total disappointment. Harvick is now fourth in the point standings with four races to go until the Chase. As long as he can finish strong, he will enter the playoffs with a legitimate shot at contending for an MENCS title this season. He’s currently fifth in line to win it all according to the betting odds.
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