NASCAR Top 10 Power Rankings: Week 26
September 11, 2013 by Jeffrey Boswell • Print Story •
Note: the quotes in this article are fictional.
1. Matt Kenseth — Kenseth finished sixth at Richmond, his 13th top-10 result of the year, and will start the Chase For the Cup as the top seed.
"Ten weeks from now," Kenseth said, "I could be holding the Sprint Cup championship trophy. Hopefully, I won't have to hand it to the champion.
2. Jimmie Johnson — Johnson finished 40th in the Federated Auto Parts 400 and has now finished 28th or worse in the last four races. He will start the Chase seeded second, three points behind Matt Kenseth.
"You'll have to forgive me if I seem a little distracted," Johnson said. "My wife and I just welcomed our second daughter. Finally, I have a good excuse for a crappy finish.
"Now that makes two girls who know who their daddy is. Now I need to convince 11 drivers of the same thing."
3. Kyle Busch — Busch finished 19th at Richmond, and will start the Chase seeded second, 3 points behind Matt Kenseth. Kyle's brother Kurt also qualified for the Chase, and will start 15 points out of the lead.
"I've got a brother in the Chase," Busch said. "Clint Bowyer's got a 'homey' in the Chase.
"NASCAR is investigating Bowyer's 'spin.' Was it an accident, or was it 'Clin-tentional?'"
4. Carl Edwards — Edwards nabbed his second win of the year, leading 46 laps on his way to the win in the Federated Auto Parts 400. His second win of the year gave him the fourth seed in the Chase, 9 points behind Matt Kenseth.
"I guess I have to thank Clint Bowyer for spinning," Edwards said. "It probably cost Ryan Newman the race. Apparently, Tony Stewart isn't the only driver who's screwed Newman this year.
"I 'flipped off' my car after the race. Newman and Jeff Gordon 'flipped off' Bowyer."
5. Joey Logano &mdash Logano finished 22nd at Richmond, one lap down, as Penske Racing teammate Brad Keselowski failed to qualify for the Chase. Logano will start the Chase seeded sixth, 12 points out of the lead.
"It's too bad about Brad," Logano said. "I relayed my sentiments on Twitter to @sucks. But Brad is a great teammate. I'm not sure he'd spin for my sake, but he did pick me to win the Sprint Cup. Hopefully, it won't be the Kes' of death.
6. Kevin Harvick — Harvick came home 11th at Richmond as Richard Childress teammate Paul Menard finished fifth. Harvick will start the Chase seeded fourth, 9 points out of first.
"I'm the only RCR driver in the Chase," Harvick said. "And no Clint Bowyer spin, intentional or otherwise, could have changed that."
7. Dale Earnhardt, Jr. — Earnhardt finished 13th at Richmond, failing in his last chance to win before the Chase For the Cup. Earnhardt will head to Chicagoland tied for the bottom seed in the Chase.
"On the bright side," Earnhardt said, "Time Warner Cable will sponsor my car for five races. Of course, a lot of satellite users may have a point when they say, 'You can't win with cable.' My fans have been waiting a long time to say, 'It's about 'Time.'' Unfortunately, it's got nothing to do with my first win in a long time."
8. Clint Bowyer — With Ryan Newman leading with six laps to go, Bowyer mysteriously spun, and the ensuing chain of events enabled Bowyer's Michael Waltrip Racing teammate Martin Truex, Jr. to make the Chase field.
"Many want to know if my arm is hurting," Bowyer said. "The answer is 'yes.' My arm is hurting, because Truex won't stop shaking my hand."
9. Greg Biffle — Biffle finished 12th at Richmond as Roush Fenway teammate Carl Edwards took the win. Biffle will start the Chase sixth, 12 points behind top seed Matt Kenseth.
"I may be the least-talked about Chaser," Biffle said, "but I think I can it all. My gas man seems to agree, because even he calls me 'silent but deadly.'"
10. (tie): Kurt Busch — Busch led 73 laps and finished second at Richmond to sew up a spot in the Chase For the Cup. He will start eighth in the Chase, 12 points out of first.
"NASCAR is investigating Clint Bowyer's fishy spin," Busch said. "Was it a case of team orders? I know all about team orders — that seems to be how I got my job with Stewart-Haas Racing because Stewart wasn't too fond of it."
10. (tie): Kasey Kahne — Kahne finished 14th in the Federated Auto Parts 400 at Richmond. He will start eighth in the Chase, 12 points behind top seed Matt Kenseth.
"I had a pretty good view of Bowyer's spin," Kahne said. "He just lost it — his self-respect, that is."