Wednesday, September 25, 2013

NASCAR Top 10 Power Rankings: Week 28

By Jeffrey Boswell

Note: the quotes in this article are fictional.

1. Matt Kenseth — Kenseth took the lead for good with 93 laps left and held of Kyle Busch to win the Sylvania 300, his second consecutive win. He leads Busch by 14 in the Sprint Cup point standings.

"The No. 20 Toyota was awesome," Kenseth said. "If anyone needs to size me for a champion's pair of slacks, I wear a 'Husky.'"

2. Kyle Busch — Busch finished second to Joe Gibbs Racing teammate Matt Kenseth for the second straight race, this time at New Hampshire. It was Busch's series-best 13th top-five of the year, and he trails Kenseth by 14 in the points standings.

"In the JGR '1-2 Punch,'" Busch said, "I must be the '2.' Joe Gibbs brings the 'punch' to the Chase. Michael Waltrip brings the 'punchline.'"

3. Jimmie Johnson — Johnson took fourth at Loudon, and remained within striking distance of Matt Kenseth in the points standings. Johnson is third, 18 behind Kenseth.

"Matt won the traditional lobster claws trophy for the victory," Johnson said. "His two victories to start the Chase, however, have everyone else in a 'pinch.'"

4. Carl Edwards — Edwards finished ninth in the Sylvania 300, his 14th top-10 of the year. He is fourth in the points standings, 36 behind Matt Kenseth.

"It looks like Matt Kenseth is the man to beat," Edwards said. "And I used to be the man to do it."

5. Kevin Harvick — Harvick finished a disappointing 20th at New Hampshire on a day dominated by Joe Gibbs Racing. He is now sixth in the points standings, a distant 39 out of first.

"Did you hear?" Harvick said. "Danica Patrick will be hosting the American Country Awards in Las Vegas on December 10th. One thing is for sure — she won't be winning anything."

6. Greg Biffle — Biffle finished third in the Sylvania 300, posting his best finish since a win at Michigan in June. He is fifth in the points standings, 38 out of first.

"The Richmond scandal is still casting a dark shadow over NASCAR," Biffle said. "I know there's one on the front of my car, but the real 'splitters' are Michael Waltrip Racing sponsors."

7. Clint Bowyer — Bowyer took 17th in the Sylvania 300. He fell to tenth in the points standings and trails Matt Kenseth by 48.

"NAPA dropped sponsorship of Michael Waltrip Racing," Bowyer said. "It's no longer 'NAPA Know-How;' it's 'NAPA No More.'

"Now 5-Hour Energy may be ending their sponsorship. If MWR loses any more sponsors, out cars will be drawing 'blank' stares next year."

8. Kurt Busch — Busch finished 13th as bother Kyle took the runner-up spot, while Matt Kenseth won his second Chase race. Kurt is seventh in the points standings, 40 out of first.

"We're the only single-car team in the Chase," Busch said. "But really, who needs teammates? That's not me talking; that's a quote from Tony Stewart, right after I decided to join Stewart-Haas."

9. Ryan Newman — Newman started on the pole at New Hampshire and led two laps before handling issues led to a 16th-place finish. He is ninth in the points standings, 47 out of first.

"I set a record for speed in qualifying," Newman said, "with a lap of 136.497 miles per hour. That's one of the reasons they call me 'Rocketman.' The other reason: because with me, there will be a re-entry."

10. Dale Earnhardt, Jr. — Earnhardt posted his 16th top-10 result of the year with a sixth at New Hampshire. He trails Matt Kenseth by 62 in the points standings.

"You could say I'm a long shot to win the Sprint Cup title," Earnhardt said. "And that's okay with the people of Junior Nation, because they like any shot."

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