Tuesday, April 16, 2013
NASCAR Top 10 Power Rankings: Week 7
Note: The quotes in this article are fictional.
1. Jimmie Johnson — Johnson took sixth in the NRA 500 at Texas Motor Speedway on Saturday night and held on to the lead in the Sprint Cup point standings. He leads Brad Keselowski by 9 points.
"I think leaving Texas with the points lead is important," Johnson said, "and a good sign that I'll win my sixth Sprint Cup championship. Just call me 'number 1 with a bullet.'"
2. Kyle Busch — Busch completed the sweep at Texas, following his Friday Nationwide win with a Saturday triumph in the NRA 500. Busch beat Martin Truex, Jr. out of the pits on the race's final caution and led the final 16 laps.
"I led 171 laps on Saturday night," Busch said, "or as they're called at Texas Motor Speedway, 'rounds.'
"With Denny Hamlin out with a back injury, and Matt Kenseth his typical hum-drum self, Joe Gibbs Racing is truly in a Lone Star 'state.'"
3. Brad Keselowski — Keselowski finished ninth in the NRA 500 after scrambling to change the No. 2 Miller Lite Dodge's rear-end housing, which NASCAR had deemed illegal. After the race, Keselowski lashed out at NASCAR, claiming his team had been unfairly targeted in the garage area.
"NASCAR can kiss my rear-end housing," Keselowski said. "I apologize for my rant, but what better place than the NRA 500 to go ballistic on NASCAR. And what better place for NASCAR to wield its itchy trigger finger when it comes to accessing inspections?"
4. Kasey Kahne — Kahne just missed his fifth top-10 finish of the year with an 11th in the NRA 500. He is seventh in the point standings, 37 out of first.
"I'm not sure the NRA will be back as a sponsor for a race," Kahne said. "But Mark Martin's got a plan. Since he's real tight with the rap community, he thinks there should be the 'NWA 500.' Of course, that's pending NASCAR approval, as well as the construction of a track in Compton, California."
5. Joey Logano — Logano nearly missed the start of Saturday's race, arriving late to the grid after a NASCAR inspection forced the No. 22 team to change the car's rear-end housing. After starting at the back of the field, Logano worked his way to a fifth-place finish, and moved up two places to ninth in the point standings.
"Starting at the back of the field?" Logano said. "That's the real 'rear-end housing.'
"Luckily, though, the lengthy inspection process afforded me ample time to catch up on some reading, particularly some dated copies of Denny Hamlin Magazine. They're called 'back issues.'"
6. Clint Bowyer — Bowyer finished 15th in the NRA 500, as Michael Waltrip Racing teammate Martin Truex, Jr. took the runner-up spot. Bowyer remained eighth in the point standings, and trails Jimmie Johnson by 61.
"I support the 2nd Amendment," Bowyer said. "And I also support the '5th' Amendment — 5-Hour Energy shots for everyone!"
7. Greg Biffle — A strong run at Texas for Roush Fenway Racing saw Biffle finish fourth, one spot behind teammate Carl Edwards. Biffle is now fourth in the Sprint Cup point standings, 30 out of first.
"Did someone at Hendrick Motorsports rat out Penske Racing?" Biffle said. "Conspiracy theories abound, with many saying someone at Hendrick pointed NASCAR in the direction of the Penske car's rear housings. And when Rick Hendrick says 'jump,' NASCAR asks the same thing as they do of the height of Penske rear housings — 'how high?'"
8. Dale Earnhardt, Jr. — Earnhardt lost battery power while running third on Saturday night, but didn't realize it was a battery issue until later. Instead of switching to backup power, Earnhardt pitted, and after an unfortunate series of events, Earnhardt was penalized twice. He finished 29th, four laps down.
"Luckily," Earnhardt said, "I only shot myself in the foot. Unfortunately, I thought the problem was something else, and not the battery. That's called 'getting jumped' to a conclusion."
9. Carl Edwards — Edwards posted his fourth top-five result of the season with a third in the NRA 500. He improved two places to fifth in the point standings, and now trails Jimmie Johnson by 35.
"I felt right at home at TMS," Edwards said. "As NASCAR's resident fitness freak, I feel quite comfortable showing my 'guns.' And what about these super fans here in Texas, all decked out in their sleeveless shirts. Obviously, they support the right to bare arms."
10. Matt Kenseth — Kenseth finished 12th at Texas as Joe Gibbs Racing teammate Kyle Busch won from the pole. Kenseth is now 11th in the point standings, 65 out of first.
"We had a mishap in the pits in which a crew member's foot caught fire," Kenseth said. "God bless his sole, we extinguished it before any damage was done."