Wednesday, April 10, 2013
NASCAR Top 10 Power Rankings: Week 6
Note: The quotes in this article are fictional.
1. Jimmie Johnson — Johnson won from the pole at Martinsville, leading 347 of 500 laps to win the STP Gas Booster 500, his eighth win at the Virginia half-mile track. Johnson claimed the points lead, and now leads Brad Keselowski by 6.
"Eight wins at Martinsville is amazing," Johnson said. "So is the number of grandfather clocks I've amassed. Those clocks really come in handy at Martinsville, mostly to measure my margin of victory."
2. Brad Keselowski — Keselowski finished sixth at Martinsville, posting his fourth top-10 result of the year. He is second in the point standings, six behind Jimmie Johnson.
"I support the actions of my Penske teammate Joey Logano," Keselowski said. "Despite his age, diminutive frame, and general goofiness, he is one tough customer, and not afraid to assert himself. With the NRA 500 coming up, I think it's a good time to say that Joey is a lot like NASCAR — he's not gun-shy."
3. Dale Earnhardt, Jr. — Earnhardt's day ended on a sour note as a late spin left him two laps down and in 24th place in the STP Gas Booster 500. He tumbled from the top of the Sprint Cup point standings, and is now third, 12 behind Jimmie Johnson.
"It was a good, albeit short, week on top," Earnhardt said. "For all the problems my car experienced Sunday at Martinsville, gear box trouble was not one of them, because I was definitely not stuck in 'first.'"
4. Kasey Kahne — Kahne finished fourth at Martinsville as Hendrick Motorsports claimed three of the top four spots in the STP Gas Booster 500. He is fifth in the point standings, 32 out of first.
"I won at Texas in 2006," Kahne said, "and I proudly hoisted the ceremonial six-shooters in Victory Lane. On Sunday, I don't plan on letting anyone infringe on my right to again bear arms."
5. Clint Bowyer — Bowyer recovered from early damage to take the runner-up spot at Martinsville, holding off Jeff Gordon on a late restart. Bowyer is now eighth in the point standings, 52 out of first.
"It was quite a turnabout from last year at Phoenix," Bowyer said "This time, Gordon was chasing me. And, just like last year, nothing would have happened had he caught me.
"As you may have heard, I landed sponsorship from Gander Mountain for next week's NRA 500 at Texas. So our team we'll be well-heeled, while the race itself will be well-armed."
6. Kyle Busch — Busch led 56 laps and finished fifth at Martinsville, posting his fourth top-five of the season. He is fourth in the point standings, 28 out of first.
"That's four consecutive top-fives," Busch said. "So, when you say 'Busch is on fire,' you'll have to be more specific. It's certainly not the first time Kurt's been fired. But let's hand it to Kurt — he's usually starting fires; this time, he put one out."
7. Greg Biffle — Biffle was the top finisher for Roush Fenway Racing, registering a ninth in the STP Gas Booster 500. He is now fifth in the point standings, 32 out of first.
"Luckily," Biffle said, "there was no controversy involving Joey Logano at Martinsville. He may be the most-watched driver right now. All eyes, particularly Denny Hamlin's evil one, were on Logano.
8. Carl Edwards — Edwards finished a disappointing 15th at Martinsville after electing to pit for fresh tires on a late pit stop. He dropped three places in the point standings to seventh, and now trails Jimmie Johnson by 38.
"It would be a dream come true to win the NRA 500 next week in Texas," Edwards said. "Then I could perform my signature backflip and land in open 'arms.'"
9. Jeff Gordon — Gordon joined Hendrick teammates Jimmie Johnson and Kasey Kahne in the top five with a third at Martinsville. Gordon chased Clint Bowyer after the final restart with eight laps to go, but could never overtake him.
"I tried my hardest to put Bowyer 'behind' me," Gordon said. "But try as I might, someone always ends up asking me about the incident in Phoenix."
10. Mark Martin — Martin, driving for the injured Denny Hamlin, took the No. 11 FedEx Toyota to a 10th-place finish at Martinsville, joining Joe Gibbs Racing teammate Kyle Busch, who finished fifth, in the top 10.
"I was two laps down at one point, " Martin said. "In the No. 11 car, that's called 'back' trouble."