As the 2023 NASCAR season heats up, fans are eagerly watching to see which drivers will emerge as this year's top contenders. With several races already in the books, it's clear that there are some drivers who are off to a strong start. In this blog, we'll take a look at the NASCAR power rankings for 2023 so far, breaking down which drivers are leading the pack and what has contributed to their success. From veterans to up-and-comers, there's no shortage of talent on the track this year, and we'll be examining who has what it takes to take home the championship at season's end. So buckle up and get ready for a deep dive into the current state of NASCAR racing!
1. William Byron
- Previous Unranked, High 4
Who else would it be at number one? William Byron has been flying the last two weeks, and earned his second straight victory at Phoenix. William Byron had possibly the most dominant win possible at Las Vegas. He won both stages and led over 150 laps en route to his most dominant win of his career. It will be interesting to see if he can keep this up after last season, where he won 2 of the first 8 races and fell off completely rest of the season. It was Byron's first top-10 of the season, but he deserves this ranking after such a strong showcase.
2. Alex Bowman
- Previous 2, High 2
Out of all the blazing fast Hendrick Cars, Alex Bowman is now the points leader. After winning the pole for the Daytona 500, he rallied to a top 5 finish. He backed that up at Fontana, qualifying on the second row at Auto Club and leading 17 laps. He had a blazing fast car at Vegas and held onto a top 3 finish. He is the only driver to score a top 10 in all 4 races so far. After Bowman's contract extension, he may finally have the confidence within himself needed to muster out a championship push.
3. Ross Chastain
- Previous 3, High 2
Ross Chastain was points leader until Bowman took that away from him this past week. He had a last lap incident with Denny Hamlin at Phoenix that ruined a great run, but has been consistently one of the fastest cars this season. He swept the stages at Fontana, and won another at Daytona.The Melon Man is on a mission this year-end has already proved last season's break-out year was not a fluke.
4. Kyle Busch
- Previous 1, High 1
Kyle Busch's red hot start has stalled a little over the las couple weeks, but remains one of the fastest drivers of the season. Busch was fast at beginning of the season, from the the LA Clash where Busch secured third to winning Fontana a couple weekends ago. Randall Burnett has proven himself to be top crew chief in the NASCAR Cup Series over the last year or so, and now paired with Kyle Busch, a championship may not be far-fetched for the #8 crew.
5. Kevin Harvick
- Previous 7, High 5
Kevin Harvick should have won at Phoenix, and was the only driver that had the speed to contend with the Hendrick cars. Harvick has been the only SHR driver worth something this year. Ever since Ryan Preece's Clash performance, SHR has been outright dreadful. As always, Happy Harvick is holding down the fort all by himself.
6. Christopher Bell
- Previous Unranked, High 6
Christopher Bell has had a quite great start to the season. So quite in fact, that I have for some reason left him off this list despite being possibly the quickest Toyota all season. He hasn't had race winning speed at any point this year, but sits pretty at 6th in the regular season standings. He's tied with four others as the most top-5s this year with two. He also finished 6th at Phoenix.
7. Joey Logano
- Previous 5, High 5
Joey Logano falls back a bit in the rankings after his 11th place run at Phoenix, but has been one of the fastest Fords all season. Joey narrowly missed out on the Daytona 500 win, and settled for a 10th place finish at Auto Club. The reigning Cup champion has led double-digit laps in two races this season, and currently sits just outside the top 10 in the standings. He didn't have a great Vegas, but all the Fords were slow. For now, Joey is #7.
8. Denny Hamlin
- Previous 8, High 8
Denny Hamlin has shown great speed, but after his incident with Ross on the last lap of Phoenix I can't more him up.
Denny was the best Toyota at Fontana and ended up 6th. He ended up being the only Toyota in the top 10. Denny hasn't showed any signs of slowing down, and will probably be a threat to win it all come Phoenix Hamlin was consistently the best Toyota at Vegas until a late race caution and restart caused him to fall way back and miss out on the top 10. Still, Hamlin has been the fastest Toyota so far this year.
9. Brad Keselowski
-Previous Unranked, High 9
Brad Keselowski has shown more speed this year than he did in all of 2022. He hasn't gotten the finishes he deserves, like at Phoenix where he ran top-10 all day and then was shuffled back to 18th late in the race.
He's also led 50 laps this year in only 4 races after leading just 224 in all of last season.
10. Martin Truex Jr.
-Previous 10, High 10
Truex has had a sneaky goos start to the season. Along with winning the LA clash the former NASCAR Champion showed flashes at Las Vegas. He only has 1 top-10 on the season, but he's had consistent speed.
Chase Elliott - Previous 9, High 5
Daniel Suarez - Previous 7, High 6
Ricky Stenhouse - Previous 9, High 9
Austin Dillon - Previous 10, High 10