Wednesday, October 9, 2013

NASCAR Top 10 Power Rankings: Week 30

By Jeffrey Boswell

Note: the quotes in this article are fictional.

1. Matt Kenseth — Kenseth finished 11th at Kansas and maintained the lead in the Sprint Cup points standings. He leads Jimmie Johnson by 3.

"Believe it or not," Kenseth said, "having my points lead sliced wasn't my biggest 'slide' of the day. That Kansas track is slick! My teammate Kyle Busch had so many spins, even Clint Bowyer was impressed."

2. Jimmie Johnson — Johnson finished sixth at Kansas, five places ahead of Matt Kenseth. He trimmed Kenseth's lead in the Sprint Cup points standings from eight to three.

"Kenseth certainly feels the pressure," Johnson said. "He's hanging on to the points lead by a thread. And we all know you can't have a noose without first a thread.

"It's very fitting that we're leaving the Hollywood Casino 400 in a very tight race for the Cup, because for those who thought Kenseth was running away with the championship, all bets are off."

3. Kevin Harvick — Harvick dominated the early stages of the Hollywood Casino 400 and led 138 of 267 laps on his way to the win, his third of the year. He is now third in the points standings, 25 out of first.

"After months of talking about going to Stewart-Haas Racing," Harvick said, "I finally 'made a move.'"

4. Kyle Busch — Busch had all kinds of trouble at Kansas, spinning several times until ultimately ending his day after slamming the wall with 68 laps to go. He is now fourth in the points standings, 35 out of first.

"I couldn't keep the tires on the track," Busch said. "There was nothing 'Hollywood' about my performance, mainly because I was lacking 'key grip.' As they say, 'M&Ms don't melt in my hands, but my steering wheel does.'"

5. Jeff Gordon — Gordon took third in the Hollywood Casino 400 as Kevin Harvick took the win. Gordon is fourth in the Sprint Cup points standings, 32 out of first.

"I had a cordial discussion with Kurt Busch after the race," Gordon said. "I gave him an earful, which was quite difficult, because cosmetic surgery left Kurt with less than a full ear."

6. Kurt Busch — Busch posted his best finish of the Chase, taking second behind Kevin Harvick at Kansas. He is seventh in the point standings, 47 out of first.

"Kyle entered Sunday's race only 14 points out of the lead," Kurt Busch said. "He left 35 out of the lead. I guess he gives new meaning to the term 'backup' car."

7. Joey Logano — Logano finished fourth at Kansas, the top Ford finisher in the Hollywood Casino 400. He is 10th in the points standings, 59 out of first.

"Brad Keselowski signed an extension through 2017 to remain with Penske Racing," Logano said. "In related news, Keselowski said he 'deal with' Kyle Busch later."

8. Dale Earnhardt, Jr. — Earnhardt finished eighth in the Hollywood Casino 400, nabbing his 17th top 10 of the year. He is eighth in the points standings, 54 out of first.

"Danica Patrick was out of the race in a hurry," Earnhardt said. "Apparently, 'Go' time came early on Sunday.

"As you've probably heard, Danica and Ricky Stenhouse, Jr. star in a Colt Ford country music video for his song, 'Drivin' Around Song.' Rumor has it that the tune samples Pink Floyd's 'The Wall.'"

9. Greg Biffle — Biffle finished 13th at Kansas and is sixth in the points standings, 44 behind Matt Kenseth.

"I've fallen so far behind in the points," Biffle said, "Tony Stewart will probably 'recover' before I do."

10. Clint Bowyer — Kansas native Bowyer came home 14th in the Hollywood Casino 400, and is now ninth in the points standings, 55 out of first.

"I'm not sure where this Hollywood Casino is," Bowyer said, "but I'd sure like to find the roulette wheel and take it for a 'spin.'"

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