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As vicious and pernicious the impact of the narrative can be on an athlete, the converse of any negative storyline that follows them and their performance is they have the power to change it. And change it Chase Elliott has.

Entering the 2024 season coming off of a disastrous 2023 ruined by an off-track injury, the narrative was how, when and if the 2020 Cup Series champion would bounce back and return to his winning ways. He settled that at Texas, putting a winless streak dating back to the end of 2022 behind him and putting himself back in the playoffs. And for the first time since 2022, Elliott is now once again at the top of the Cup standings. Thanks to a crash by Kyle Larson and his own third-place finish, Elliott is now the new leader in the regular-season championship standings by eight points over his Hendrick Motorsports teammate and fellow Cup title holder.

Coinciding with his move to the top of the regular-season standings, Elliott is now also the new leader in the CBS Sports NASCAR Power Rankings entering New Hampshire, a track where he is still looking to break through and win for the first time at. Two years ago, Elliott earned his best Loudon finish to date when he ran second to Christopher Bell, who has likewise moved up to second in this week's Power Rankings.

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

1Chase Elliott
In retrospect, it feels strange now to think that we ever discussed Chase Elliott as being in any sort of slump. He's back to where he was pre-injury, and that's being a championship contender.
2Christopher Bell
Christopher Bell has four Cup starts at New Hampshire, which include a close second in 2021 and a win in 2022. That's bookended by a 28th in his rookie year of 2020 and a 29th after crashing late in last year's race.
3Brad Keselowski--The resurgence of the Ford teams over the past month and a half has been to Brad Keselowski's great benefit, as he's on a run of six-straight top 15s that includes his Darlington win, three top fives and four top 10s. He has two career wins at New Hampshire in 2014 and 2020.
4Kyle Larson
New Hampshire is one of those tracks where Kyle Larson probably should have won by now, but is still looking to break through. He has three career runner-up finishes at Loudon, all of which came while he was driving for Chip Ganassi.
5Ryan Blaney
Ryan Blaney has only won back-to-back races once in his Cup career, doing so at Michigan and Daytona in 2021. That could change at New Hampshire, as he was the lone challenger to Martin Truex Jr. for much of last year's race before late-race issues on pit road.
6Tyler Reddick
You may have appreciated Tyler Reddick cosplaying as and posing with The Hamburglar in pre-race at Iowa, but I'm telling you that's nothing. In 1994, Jimmy Spencer strapped a Hamburglar doll to the passenger's side of his car and won with it at Talladega. That, my burger-fed friends, is really something.
7Ross Chastain--Ross Chastain has never finished better than eighth at New Hampshire, in part because he's always had to come from midpack and further back. Chastain's best career starting position for any race at Loudon is 18th in 2022.
8Joey Logano
It's starting to feel like Joey Logano is finally hitting his stride and getting ready to put himself in the playoffs after a fairly slow start to the season. A sixth at Iowa puts Logano now just six points behind Bubba Wallace for the final playoff spot entering Loudon.
9Denny Hamlin
After struggling badly through the first two stages at Iowa, Denny Hamlin took out a massive withdrawal from the luck bank when a caution came out during a green flag pit cycle, gaining him tons of track position and getting him stage points. But he had to pay it back immediately when Kyle Larson slid up into him and put him in the wall, ending his chances of completing what would have been quite the mid-race turnaround.
10Chris Buescher
With tire failures being a theme of the weekend at Iowa, the outcome for drivers was very much dependent on exactly where on the track they had right front (or other) tires fail. Chris Buescher was one of the lucky ones, as his right front tire failure entering Turn 1 created a less severe angle into the wall, allowing him to glance off and come back to finish 18th.
11William Byron
Now that's more like it. After two-straight finishes outside the top 10 including a miserable slog of a race in Sonoma, William Byron got back on track in Iowa with a runner-up finish, marking his best overall run since his win at Martinsville.
12Todd Gilliland
Todd Gilliland is becoming one of the most consistent drivers in Cup, as a 12th at Iowa continued a streak of six-straight races where he's finished 17th or better. Part of that consistency is that he's finishing period. He hasn't had a DNF since he got collected in The Big One in the Daytona 500.
13Martin Truex Jr.
Martin Truex Jr. doesn't give off the impression of being especially sentimental, but you have to wonder what his trip to New Hampshire will be liking knowing it's (likely) the last time he ever races a Cup car there. New Hampshire was central to Truex's development, as he grew up watching his father race and win there in the old Busch North Series.
14Alex Bowman
There are four drivers this season who have earned 10 top 10 finishes: Christopher Bell, William Byron, Tyler Reddick and Alex Bowman. Don't sleep on Bowman down the stretch, especially not if he secures his playoff spot with a win before the regular season ends.
15Michael McDowell
Back in 2013, New Hampshire marked an opportunity for Michael McDowell to emerge from the purgatory of running start-and-park cars with a one-off appearance in the No. 51 for car owner Harry Scott. McDowell finished 30th before closing out the season driving for Phil Parsons on his way to Leavine Family Racing in 2014.
16Daniel Suarez
A ninth-place finish at Iowa, his first top 10 since Texas, set up a terrific week for Suarez in his personal life: On Tuesday, Suarez took his oath of American citizenship and officially became a dual citizen of the United States and Mexico.
17Bubba Wallace
Whatever boost that Grimace has given the New York Mets didn't seem to rub off on Bubba Wallace at Iowa. He ran 17th in the Grimacemobile and is once again looking at a summer where he's likely going to have to scratch and claw for a playoff spot.
18Carson Hocevar--Unless I missed something somewhere along the way, this weekend is going to be the first time Carson Hocevar has ever seen New Hampshire Motor Speedway. He's never raced there in any NASCAR series, national or otherwise.
19Justin Haley
Based on a Door Bumper Clear rumor that Justin Haley could be a candidate for the Wood Brothers car in 2025, he may be pressed into a decision between being viewed as overperforming in one of Rick Ware's cars or "underperforming" in a car that has a long legacy in NASCAR but hasn't been competitive since the Next Gen car came along. For what it's worth, Haley maintained he is committed to RWR during a call with reporters Tuesday.
20Ricky Stenhouse Jr.
Ricky Stenhouse's return to Iowa was a very fitting one, as a two-tire strategy call worked to perfection and allowed Stenhouse to finish fifth at a track where he won three races in a row in the Xfinity Series. Now, he'll look to get his first top-10 finish at Loudon since back in 2016.
21Ty Gibbs
As big a leap as Ty Gibbs has made in his second season in Cup, he's also had some weeks where he's either late to the party or misses it entirely. He's in the middle of a rough two-race stretch, as Gibbs followed up his DNF at Sonoma with a poor run at Iowa where he finished two laps down in 25th.
22Josh Berry
Josh Berry bounced back from two DNFs in a row in style at Iowa, and for awhile it looked like it could very well be his night to earn his first Cup win. It wasn't to be after the final restart didn't go Berry's way, but he and his Rodney Childers-led crew have served notice that they're going to run up front for as long as they remain together.
23Corey LaJoie--You have to think that a number of hearts in the crowd sank when Corey LaJoie's Iowa Hawkeyes Chevrolet went for a spin in the opening laps of Sunday's race. He would recover to earn a top-10 finish in Stage 1 and went on to finish 21st.
24Noah Gragson
One of the funniest radio transmissions I've heard all year happened on Noah Gragson's radio after he got spun by John Hunter Nemechek. Gragson's team was grumbling to each other about Nemechek's driving on another channel, then told Gragson they weren't talking about anything when he chimed in saying he couldn't hear them.
25Austin Cindric
Despite his win at Gateway, it seems there's still quite a ways to go for Austin Cindric to get on the same level competitively as his Penske teammates. Cindric finished 30th at Iowa, though he did do so in a backup car after blowing a tire and crashing in practice.
26Kyle Busch
The way things are going for Kyle Busch right now, I wouldn't just worry about his spot in the playoffs. I'd worry about his streak of seasons with at least one win, a NASCAR record which is in danger of ending at 19.
27Chase Briscoe
The other driver tied to a potential open seat at Joe Gibbs Racing is Chase Briscoe, whose future landing spot after Stewart-Haas Racing closes is a major question mark. It'll be fascinating to see whether Ford is able to keep Briscoe in their ranks, or if Chevrolet or Toyota can snag him for their teams.
28Zane Smith
Tire issues at Iowa zapped Zane Smith's recent stretch of better runs, and he'll have to try and resume that stretch in foreign territorry. Like his teammate, Carson Hocevar, Zane Smith has also never raced at New Hampshire.
29Austin Dillon
Austin Dillon did yeoman's work at Iowa, recovering from 36th starting spot to finish 19th and record a top-20 finish. More of those will help at least take the sting out of what's been a difficult season for Dillon and the No. 3 team thus far.
30Harrison Burton
Harrison Burton very quietly had one of his best runs of the season at Iowa, finishing 20th. With the Wood Brothers car rumored to be available for 2025, the best thing Burton can do for himself right now is have such runs on a regular basis to prove to people that he's still just as capable as he was when he was tabbed for a Cup seat in 2022.