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In the playoff era of NASCAR racing, every win -- and every bunch of playoff points you earn by winning -- can mean the difference between racing for a championship and having your playoffs come a few rounds short of a Championship 4 berth. If Tyler Reddick doesn't end up in the Championship 4 this season, this current stretch of races in particular may come back to haunt him.

For three weeks in a row, Reddick has seen seemingly certain victories slip right through his fingers. He had New Hampshire all but won by banking on strategy and rain ending the race, but things didn't work out as the rain stopped and set up a wet weather conclusion to the race. He was on a tear on the final restart at Nashville and had the race all but won, but a well-timed air block by Joey Logano prevented him from doing so. And if that wasn't frustrating enough, there was the self-inflicted error of the Chicago Street Course.

Possessing a prohibitive advantage with slick tires on a dry racetrack vs. leader Alex Bowman's wet weather tires on the final lap, Reddick was making up extreme amounts of time and likely would have caught and passed Bowman for the victory -- until an unforced error saw him clip the inside wall between Turns 4 and 5, breaking his momentum and causing him to lose ground and be forced to settle for second.

Despite yet another missed opportunity to win, Reddick's recent performances combined with a DNF for Kyle Larson has given him the top spot in this week's CBS Sports NASCAR Power Rankings. Reddick jumps up ahead of Christopher Bell, who may very well have retaken the Power Rankings lead this week had it not been for a late-race crash while he was trying to make his way through traffic that cost him a chance to win Chicago himself.

Here's a look at CBS Sports' latest NASCAR Power Rankings:

1Tyler Reddick
Perhaps Pocono will be the track where Tyler Reddick can get over the hump and get his second win of the 2024 season. He's finished second there two years in a row, including a year ago when he finished runner-up to Denny Hamlin after leading 15 laps.
2Christopher Bell--Alex Bowman was arguably even more fortunate to have misfortune befall Christopher Bell than to have Tyler Reddick make his mistake on the last lap. Bell was ahead of Reddick on slicks and had far more time to catch Bowman, but he got spun and crashed while trying to work through traffic to get to third.
3Kyle Larson
The tire barriers in Turn 6 did their job, as the impact Kyle Larson had could have been much worse had the tire barriers not blunted his impact. Larson went into the barrier at full speed after missing the corner and almost cleaning out Ty Gibbs in the process.
4Ryan Blaney--Pocono will always be a special place for Ryan Blaney, as he picked up his very first Cup win there back in 2017. He's one of just four drivers ever to get his first win at Pocono, a group that includes Jeremy Mayfield (1998), Denny Hamlin (2016) and Chris Buescher (2016).
5Chase Elliott
Despite Kyle Larson's crash, Chase Elliott was unable to capitalize and take the regular-season points lead back over at Chicago thanks in part to getting spun by Daniel Suarez on the final lap. The two were seen after the race having a frank discussion about the contact after Elliott finished 21st.
6Chris Buescher
Chris Buescher got his first Cup win at Pocono in 2016 thanks to him being out front when heavy fog ended the race early, but he's had to pay The Tricky Triangle back for that -- with interest -- ever since. His only top 10 at Pocono since his win there was in 2020 when he finished 10th.
7Ross Chastain
Trackhouse Racing did a funny sketch where Ross Chastain tried to placate a watermelon that was upset Chastain was racing a peach car at Chicago, but I was left with some dark thoughts after Chastain said they would celebrate just like they always do if he won. Does that mean that Ross has been smashing the same melon every time he wins and the melon just regenerates after being splattered and eaten?
8Joey Logano--Joey Logano only has one career win at Pocono, but it was an important one. After a rocky start to his Cup career, Logano earned a breakthrough Pocono win in 2012, where he outdueled none other than Mark Martin for the victory in the closing laps.
9Todd Gilliland
Maybe I'm getting ahead of myself here, but if Todd Gilliland keeps running the way he is right now, I wouldn't completely discount the possibility of him making noise in the last few races before the playoffs start. Gilliland ran 15th at Pocono a year ago.
10Alex Bowman
Interestingly, Alex Bowman can now say that he's the only driver to have won a NASCAR race on both sides of town in Chicago. Bowman got his very first Cup win at Chicagoland Speedway in Joliet back in 2019, the last race to date on that circuit.
11Justin Haley--Justin Haley just missed out on yet another top-15 finish in Chicago, running a solid and steady race on his way to finishing 16th. He's still looking for his first top-20 finish at Pocono, where he has a best result of 21st in 2022.
12William Byron
Thanks to Alex Bowman's win at Chicago, all four Hendrick Motorsports drivers have now been to Victory Lane in 2024, marking the third time that's happened in the last four seasons that's occurred. Prior to 2021, all four Hendrick drivers had won in a single year just five times (2003, 2006, 2007, 2012, 2014) since the team expanded to four cars beginning in 2002.
13Brad Keselowski
Pocono has been the site of some very impressive drives over the years, with one of the most impressive being Brad Keselowski's win there in August 2011. Keselowski won that day despite having broken his ankle in a testing crash at Road Atlanta just days before.
14Ty Gibbs
A third-place finish at Chicago gave Ty Gibbs his fifth top-five finish of the season, exceeding his season total from 2023 and giving him a new career-high in that category. With one more top 10, he'll match his 2023 output in that category.
15Ricky Stenhouse Jr.
With a sixth-place finish at Chicago, Ricky Stenhouse Jr. has now earned three top-10 finishes in his last four starts this season. He has only one top 10 in his career at Pocono, but it just so happened to come last season when he finished seventh.
16Noah Gragson
Remember the Chicago Street Race in 2023, when Noah Gragson kept hitting the Turn 6 barrier to the point that it almost felt like the sort of bit you'd see at Second City? Well, a lot of drivers ended up in the barrier in Turn 6 this year -- but not Gragson. He finished 14th.
17Michael McDowell
Palette cleanser indeed: Michael McDowell had a strong run at Chicago, finishing fifth in his Chicago White Sox Ford. That's about as good as anything to do with the White Sox has looked all season, as they boast the worst record in baseball at 26-67.
18Daniel Suarez
This isn't to say that he's completely at fault for everything that's occurred, but that's now two out of the last four races in which Daniel Suarez has run into someone he's going to have to deal with in the playoffs. First it was Kyle Larson at Iowa, and now it's Chase Elliott.
19Martin Truex Jr.
Another week, another late race development that sees Martin Truex Jr. plummet through the finishing order. He was running in the top five late at Chicago before spinning and finishing 33rd.
20Bubba Wallace
If you follow me on Twitter (@STaranto92, please and thanks) you've seen that I take Anime acrylic keychains with me to the racetrack and make sure to take some sort of photo with them. In light of Bubba Wallace's Jujutsu Kaisen paint scheme at Chicago, some are saying I started a revolution.
21Austin Cindric
Austin Cindric earned a 15th-place finish for the second week in a row at Chicago, improving his stat line just a tad as he looks for more consistent good finishes to go with his win at Gateway. He's won at Pocono before in the Xfinity Series, but he's never been better than 23rd in two Cup starts there.
22Daniel Hemric
When Daniel Hemric has run well and had good finishes this season, they've habitually come in clusters for him. A 12th at Chicago marked Hemric's second-straight finish inside the top 12.
23Josh Berry
As he looks ahead to a continued career in Cup in 2025, road courses present an easy area for Josh Berry to try and improve on. In three road races this year, Berry has finished 32nd or worse in all of them.
24Zane Smith--Thanks to some wet weather tire strategy, Zane Smith wound up leading three laps at Chicago to lead a Cup race for only the second time in his career. He went on to finish 17th, marking the second week in a row that he's been the top finishing rookie.
25Denny Hamlin
A return to Pocono couldn't come at a better time for Denny Hamlin, the track's all-time winningest driver with seven victories. After a mess of a day at Chicago, Hamlin has now finished better than 24th just once in the last five races.
26Kyle Busch
The meteor finally didn't hit! No one needed an uneventful day at Chicago more than Kyle Busch, and he got it with a ninth-place finish and his first top 10 in two full months.
27Chase Briscoe
His slide into the Turn 6 barrier that took out Shane van Gisbergen as collateral damage overshadowed the fact that Chase Briscoe was having yet another strong run. He had driven up into the top five from 22nd starting spot early before conditions deteriorated at the start of Stage 2.
28Carson Hocevar
Carson Hocevar was in the wrong place at the right time in the closing laps at Chicago. He was on his way to a top-10 finish and potentially even a top five before Christopher Bell got turned right in front of him, putting him in the wall and relegating him to 24th.
29Ryan Preece
After a deflating performance at Chicago coming off a fourth-place run at Nashville, Ryan Preece had quite the quote to sum up his day (per Frontstretch's Bryan Nolen): "We got wrecked and then the race was over."
30Corey LaJoie
From a production and storytelling standpoint, I'm of the opinion that more mic'd up drivers/teams (beyond just the team communications) would add a lot to NASCAR. You didn't need a mic to hear the amount of F bombs that Corey LaJoie dropped after he wrecked his car in Chicago qualifying.