Wednesday, May 8, 2013
NASCAR Top 10 Power Rankings: Week 10
Note: the quotes in this article are fictional.
1. Jimmie Johnson — Johnson finished fifth at Talladega in the rain-delayed Aaron's 499 at Talladega. His lead in the Sprint Cup point standings is now 41 over Carl Edwards.
"What an ending!" Johnson said. "It reminded me a lot of former NASCAR driver Kimi Raikkonen's NASCAR skills — it was a 'wild Finnish.'"
2. Carl Edwards — Edwards finished third in the Aaron's 499 at Talladega, losing the lead on the final lap as David Ragan grabbed an unlikely win. Edwards is second in the point standings, 41 out of first.
"Ragan came out of nowhere," Edwards said. "And that's probably where he'll return.
"As one of NASCAR's manliest of men, I'd like to comment on the NBA's Jason Collins announcing that he's gay. I think NASCAR is ready for a homosexual driver. She better be really hot, though."
3. Dale Earnhardt, Jr. — Earnhardt slipped through the chaos of a wreck six laps from the finish to salvage 17th at Talladega. He moved up two places to third in the point standings to third, and trails Jimmie Johnson by 46.
"I was just happy to see the finish line," Earnhardt said. "It was a war of attrition. That's not to be confused with the "War of Attrition," which, according to many of my fans, was won by the South."
4. Kasey Kahne — Kahne was taken out at Talladega when Kyle Busch sent him spinning on lap 44, triggering the 'Big One' that eliminated 13 cars from contention. Kahne finished 42nd and fell one place in the point standings to fourth, 46 out of first.
"Busch used to drive the No. 5 car," Kahne said. "And, as of lap 44 at Talladega, so did I."
5. Clint Bowyer — Bowyer suffered significant damage in a big crash six laps from the end at Talladega, but managed to wheel the No. 15 Toyota to an 18-place finish. He is fourth in the point standings, 67 behind Jimmie Johnson.
"Brad Keselowski wasn't too happy with the way the cars lined up on the final restart," Bowyer said. "So he took to Twitter to whine. I hear he changed his Twitter handle to "sshole." Sunday's result must have left a sour taste in his mouth. That gives him the 'tart' of a champion?"
6. Brad Keselowski — Keselowski finished fifth in the rain-interrupted Aaron's 499 at Talladega, posting his fourth top 5 of the year. The defending Sprint Cup champion is fifth in the point standings, 69 out of first.
"For a while," Keselowski said, "it appeared the race would be much like our rear housing at Texas — 'shortened.'
"NASCAR denied our appeal for penalties incurred for illegal parts at Texas. And they surely didn't Tweet their response. Oh no. It came on paper, and it was called a 'cheat sheet.'"
7. Kyle Busch — Busch triggered a huge lap 44 wreck in the Aaron's 499 when he tried to move around the No. 5 Chevy of Kasey Kahne. The pileup wiped out 13 cars, including Tony Stewart, Greg Biffle, Kevin Harvick, and Tony Stewart. Busch eventually finished 37th and is now ninth in the point standings, 98 out of first.
"Kurt may be the older brother," Busch said, "but now, several drivers are calling me the 'Big One."
8. Matt Kenseth — Kenseth led 142 of 192 laps on the day, and led at the green-white-checkered finish, but finished eighth after the Front Row Motorsports duo of David Ragan and David Gilliland zoomed to the front.
"I've been a lame duck," Kenseth said, "and I've been intimidated by the Aflac duck. On Sunday, I was a sitting duck there at the end.
"Former Alabama quarterback A.J. McCarron drove the pace car for Sunday's race. There was talk that his girlfriend, Katherine Webb, would drive the pace car. That fell through, because David Gilliland refuses to follow a woman."
9. Aric Almirola — Almirola finished 10th at Talladega in the No. 43 Richard Petty Motorsports Ford. He is now seventh in the Sprint Cup standings, 90 out of first.
"You just never know what's going to happen at Talladega," Almirola said. "There were a lot of 'unknowns,' like the parts used by Penske and Joe Gibbs."
10. David Ragan — Ragan, pushed by Front Row Motorsports teammate David Gilliland, won the Aaron's 499 in improbable fashion, outgunning Jimmie Johnson, Carl Edwards, and Matt Kenseth in an exciting green-white-checkered finish.
"Just call Gilliand and I the 'Aero-Dynamic Duo,'" Ragan said. "I haven't got that big of a 'push' since Jack Roush showed me the door.
"FRM is a small-time operation with nothing near the budget of the large teams. Not only did we accomplish the Talladega sweep with inferior equipment, we did it with legal equipment."