Wednesday, June 19, 2013
NASCAR Top 10 Power Rankings: Week 15
Note: the quotes in this article are fictional.
1. Jimmie Johnson — While in pursuit of Greg Biffle in the lead, Johnson's No. 48 Chevy cut a tire and slammed hard into the wall at turn two. Biffle went on to win, while Johnson finished 28th, one lap down. He remained the points leader, and holds a 31-point cushion over Carl Edwards.
"I'll let Biffle enjoy the moment," Johnson said. "He tastes victory. I drink it."
2. Kevin Harvick — Harvick finished second in the Quicken Loans 400 at Michigan, posting his fourth consecutive top-10 result. He is fourth in the Sprint Cup point standings, 62 out of first.
"Sunday was my first Father's Day as a father," Harvick said, "and I finished runner-up to Greg Biffle. I always like to say, 'I'm a daddy first, and a driver second.'"
3. Carl Edwards — Edwards finished eighth at Michigan, falling victim to an untimely caution, while Roush Fenway teammate Greg Biffle took the win. Edwards remained second in the point standings and trails Jimmie Johnson by 31.
"Biffle refused to help me get some debris off my grill," Edwards said. "But I've got no problem 'trashing' him. I guess my current teammate is a lot like my former teammate, Matt Kenseth, in that neither 'favors' me."
4. Matt Kenseth — Kenseth came home sixth at Michigan, collecting his eighth top-10 of the year. He improved one spot in the point standings to fifth and is now 82 out of first.
"Toyota Racing Development is boosting the power of their engines," Kenseth said. "That likely means Toyota cars will be going faster ... when their engines blow."
5. Dale Earnhardt, Jr. — A promising day for Earnhardt at Michigan turned sour when his engine blew on lap 131 after he had led 34 laps on the day. He finished 38th and tumbled three places in the point standings to seventh, 91 out of first.
"We're close to signing a sponsor that will be new to NASCAR," Earnhardt said, "and it will be a big deal for both parties. In other words, it's a 'win-win' situation, which doubles my number of victories over the last year."
6. Clint Bowyer — Bowyer posted his eight top-10 finish of the year with a seventh in the Quicken Loans 400. He remained third in the point standings and trails Jimmie Johnson by 49.
"The No. 15 5-Hour Energy car took a beating," Bowyer said. "Of course, it's taken a 'beating' all year, because I haven't won a single race. That may change. I won last year at Sonoma's road course, so I'm confident things will make a 'turn' for the better."
7. Kyle Busch — Busch led the way for Joe Gibbs Racing with a fourth in the Quicken Loans 400. He is fourth in the Sprint Cup point standings, 86 out of first.
"Michigan is a fast track," Busch said. "It carries more speed than the Mayfield's. That speed is probably why I was penalized for passing on pit road. And that reminds of the title of my upcoming autobiography, 'Black Flags and Blue Lights.'"
8. Greg Biffle — Biffle held off Jimmie Johnson at Michigan to give Ford its 1,000th victory in NASCAR. Biffle inherited the lead on a fortunate pit stop on lap 167, and kept Johnson at bay before the No. 48 blew a tire with two laps to go.
"I stared down Johnson," Biffle said, "and he blinked. Or maybe he just winked. In any case, he saw me. For once, I can say I had the 'look' of a champion."
9. Kasey Kahne — Kahne blew a tire while leading on lap 104 at Michigan on a tough day for Hendrick Motorsports. Kahne finished 38th, while Jimmie Johnson was the highest Hendrick finisher in 28th.
"Tire isuues meant it wasn't a good day for Hendrick," Kahne said. "You want to know why? Because it was a Goodyear."
10. Brad Keselowski — Keselowski finished 12th in the Quicken Loans 400 at Michigan on a historic day for Ford, as Greg Biffle gave the auto maker it's 1,000th win.
"If you don't think this is a big deal for Ford," Keselowski said, "then you've been misinformed. Biffle celebrated in Victory Lane with Miss Sprint Cup. Me? I got stuck with 'Miss Informed.'"