NASCAR team rankings: New powerhouse at the top?

Sonoma Raceway, NASCAR (Photo by Sean Gardner/Getty Images)
Sonoma Raceway, NASCAR (Photo by Sean Gardner/Getty Images) /
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The NASCAR Cup Series is set for its lone 2022 bye week, but before the move from Fox to NBC, let’s take a look at where the top teams stand.

The lone 2022 NASCAR Cup Series bye week is officially here, and it has been an eventful season thus far to say the least. It started out with the Busch Light Clash preseason exhibition race, when the Cup Series drivers headed out to the City of Angels to compete on a 0.25-mile track in the historic Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum.

Team Penske rookie Austin Cindric officially kicked off the season by winning the Daytona 500 to secure his first ever Cup Series win in just his first race as a full-time driver. First-time winners quickly became a trend, with Ross Chastain, Chase Briscoe, and Daniel Suarez also earning victories.

But not all teams have been able to flourish in the Gen 7 era. While some such as Petty GMS Motorsports have found stability and made improvements, others such as Wood Brothers Racing have taken a hit.

Certain drivers tend to continue their success no matter where they go, but that doesn’t necessarily equal an overall team improvement. Kurt Busch has continued his winning ways, but 23XI Racing teammate Bubba Wallace has struggled, and mechanical failures and pit crew miscues have regularly hindered his shot at decent results.

And while Briscoe has a win, Stewart-Haas Racing teammates Kevin Harvick and Aric Almirola are fighting for the last playoff spot, and Cole Custer leads the series with the most DNFs. With a week off from the Cup Series, let’s take a look at the top five teams as things stand right now.

NASCAR team power rankings: No. 5 – Richard Childress Racing

Richard Childress Racing may not have either of their drivers currently in the playoff picture, but they’re both right on the edge. Tyler Reddick has shown flashes of greatness, most notably in his dominant performance at Auto Club Speedway, only to be hindered by a blown tire that took him out of contention.

He came close to winning the dirt race at Bristol Motor Speedway, but a slide job gone wrong by Chase Briscoe took him out on the last lap. While luck may not have been on his side just yet, that first Cup Series win seems to be in grasp for the two-time Xfinity Series champion.

Austin Dillon came close to winning his second Coca Cola 600 this year, but when he went for it all, he got too loose, resulting in a big wreck. Dillon is known to run mid-pack, but he can pull out surprise runs like he did when he won at Texas Motor Speedway in 2020.

Both Dillon and Reddick have six top 10 finishes, with the latter having the edge with four top five finishes compared to three. They may not be championship contenders, but both are flirting with the playoffs.