NASCAR: Nashville
Getty Images

Few things in racing are quite as fun and enjoyable as a day when a whole bunch of rookie drivers all shine. NASCAR fans experienced that joyous feeling again on Sunday. 

In the 1994 Miller Genuine Draft 500 at Pocono, crossing the finish line just after race winner Geoff Bodine were three different Rookie of the Year contenders: Ward Burton in second, Joe Nemechek in third and eventual Rookie of the Year winner Jeff Burton in fourth. All three drivers would go on to have successful Cup careers, with Ward Burton winning a Daytona 500 and Southern 500, Nemechek earning three career wins and Jeff Burton adding 21 career wins to go with his Rookie title.

The Rookie of the Year Class of 2022 might end up being just as successful, as Austin Cindric already has a Daytona 500 trophy on his mantlepiece. And on Sunday at Indianapolis, three rookies finished in the top five for just the second time in Cup Series history, with Cindric finishing second; Jeff's son, Harrison Burton, third; and Todd Gilliland fourth.

The Verizon 200 results earned all three rookie drivers major props in this week's CBS Sports NASCAR Power Rankings. Cindric moved up four spots in the power rankings and Burton five, but Gilliland leaped ahead sevens spots by virtue of his weekend in its entirety. Not only did Gilliland score his best career finish, but he also had a career-best qualifying effort in ninth and led four laps during a cycle of pit stops, leading a Cup race for the first time in his career.

Also gaining chunks of spots this week were race winner Tyler Reddick (+4) as well as Cole Custer (+5). Among the drivers who lost spots included Alex Bowman (-5), Martin Truex Jr. (-4), Kevin Harvick (-4) and Austin Dillon (-4). After missing a second straight race due to injury, Kurt Busch was dropped from the power rankings for the first time this season.

Here's a look at our updated rankings in their entirety:

1Chase Elliott--Even though he got spun out of a chance to win, Chase Elliott emerged from Indy with a 125-point lead. Barring a catastrophic collapse, he can now put one hand on the regular season title.
2Ross Chastain--You have to respect Ross Chastain always finding a way to make races interesting. It was obvious the second he took the lead that he cut the course and it wasn't going to count, but he sure made life difficult for Tyler Reddick on the last restart.
3Denny Hamlin
With a 14th-place finish, Denny Hamlin scored his best finish all season on a road course. He's got two more chances to improve on that result: at Watkins Glen and the Charlotte Roval.
4Christopher Bell
Before a blown tire took him out of contention to win, Christopher Bell led 17 laps at Indy, tied for second most in the entire race. And even with extensive right front damage, he still salvaged a 12th-place finish.
5Kyle Larson
It was a long day for Kyle Larson at Indianapolis, as he lost multiple laps on pit road after getting hit by Aric Almirola early in the race. And that's before his brakes went out entering Turn 1.
6Kyle Busch
Kyle Busch just missed out on a top 10 at Indy, with an 11th-place run marking his best finish (that counted) since all the way back at Gateway in June. Who knows whether Busch has turned the corner amid the turmoil over his contract.
7Ryan Blaney
Until things all went wrong on the final restart, Ryan Blaney was proof all Sunday that track position trumped tires. Despite being on old rubber, Blaney ran as high as second late in the race and was in contention for his first win of the year.
8Tyler Reddick
With his win at Indianapolis, Tyler Reddick became the first Richard Childress Racing driver to score multiple wins in a season since Kevin Harvick won four times in 2013. It'll be tough for RCR to lose a driver of Reddick's caliber.
9Daniel Suarez
As much attention as is paid to Ross Chastain, Daniel Suarez is perfectly willing to get aggressive, too. He made a daring move on the final restart for a spot in the top five, and it ended up turning Ryan Blaney in front of traffic.
10Martin Truex Jr.
Martin Truex Jr. is lucky that Kevin Harvick crashed because Sunday was a dreadful day for the last driver in the playoffs on points. Truex was a non-factor and finished 21st, his worst result since a 22nd at Nashville.
11William Byron--William Byron was so, so close to earning his first top-five finish since his win at Martinsville. Unfortunately, he suffered major suspension damage in a crash on one of the final restarts that left him with his second DNF in the last four weeks.
12Austin Cindric
Okay, okay, I'm bumping Austin Cindric back up the power rankings. Cindric finished second at Indy and was just one spot away from a reprise of his stunning vocal rendition of "Back Home Again in Indiana."
13Joey Logano--There are times when you really want to mic up a driver to hear what he's saying under his helmet. On the next-to-last restart, Joey Logano probably said something along the lines of, "I'm just gonna send it," and boy did he.
14Kevin Harvick
For the second week in a row, Kevin Harvick was taken out in a crash not of his own making and lost a major amount of ground toward the cutoff line. He'll have to hope that he and son Keelan's annual father-son trip to Michigan has the same magic it did a few years ago.
15Michael McDowell
By finishing eighth at Indianapolis, Michael McDowell scored his ninth top 10 of 2022. With his next top 10, he'll have double-digit top 10s for the first time in his career and double the previous career-high he set in 2021.
16Bubba Wallace
In the last three weeks, Bubba Wallace has scored top fives on a flat one-mile oval and a road course, as well as a top 10 at a two-mile triangular track. I wonder what all those people who said he could only drive on superspeedways have to say now?
17Erik Jones
Despite spinning out on the next to last restart, Erik Jones was able to recover and score a top-15 finish. He'll get to carry that and a new contract from Petty GMS into his home track race next weekend.
18Chase Briscoe
Chase Briscoe won a stage at Indy and led five laps, but a chance to win at his home track wasn't to be. The native Hoosier was relegated to a 23rd-place finish in the late-race carnage.
19Chris Buescher
The next time an old race fan complains that drivers aren't as tough as they used to be, just bring up how Chris Buescher got a top-10 finish in a car that was on fire. Even Cale Yarborough would respect that one.
20Justin Haley
Justin Haley cracked the top 20 once again this weekend, scoring a 19th-place finish to continue a solid first full campaign for Kaulig Racing. He now has an average finish of 18.5, which is perfectly acceptable for a first-year race team.
21Cole Custer
Despite spinning out late on the final long green flag run, Cole Custer rallied back to score his second top-10 finish in the last four races. That's as many as he scored in all of 2021.
22Harrison Burton
In finishing third, Harrison Burton became part of just the second time three rookies finished in the top five in a Cup race. The only other time was in 1994 at Pocono, when his uncle Ward and father Jeff finished second and fourth at Pocono.
23Todd Gilliland
It took Todd Gilliland 22 tries to get his first top-five finish in a Cup Series race. He beat his dad by two races, as it took David Gilliland 24 races before scoring his first top five at Talladega in 2007.
24Brad Keselowski
Even on a day where he had multiple self-spins, there was no quit in Brad Keselowski. He managed to persevere to finish 20th, scoring a top 20 for the fourth week in a row.
25Alex Bowman
Alex Bowman must be waiting so anxiously for the temperature to drop. Another crash at Indy left him with his fourth DNF over the last six races in what's been an awful summer for him.
26Aric Almirola
Even a terrible day at Indianapolis managed to be a testament to Aric Almirola. After running over a curb and suffering terminal suspension damage, Almirola suffered his first DNF of the entire 2022 season to date.
27Ricky Stenhouse Jr.
The Ricky Stenhouse Jr. who went on a hot streak in May is apparently still in there somewhere. A 13th-place run marked Stenhouse's first finish inside the top 15 since the Coca-Cola 600.
28Austin Dillon
After spinning to bring out the final caution and missing Turn 1 on the final restart, Austin Dillon finished 30th at Indianapolis. It can't help Dillon that he's in this rut while Tyler Reddick won two races in July to put himself in the playoffs.
29Corey LaJoie--Corey LaJoie did himself one better than last week, finishing 18th to score his second straight top-20 finish. It's the first time he's done that since three straight between Bristol and Dover earlier this year.
30AJ Allmendinger
With Kurt Busch missing another race due to injury, AJ Allmendinger gets another chance to join the power rankings after finishing eighth at Indy. That capped off a weekend in which The Dinger also scored a dominant win in the Xfinity Series race.