Wednesday, October 30, 2013
NASCAR Top 10 Power Rankings: Week 33
Note: the quotes in this article are fictional.
1. Matt Kenseth — Kenseth led 202 laps at Martinsville and finished second, unable to keep eventual winner Jeff Gordon at bay over the closing laps. Kenseth's runner-up finish forged a tie in the points standings with Jimmie Johnson.
"While I'm thrilled to be knotted atop the points standings with Johnson," Kenseth said, "Johnson isn't. In other words, Jimmie's fit to be tied."
2. Jimmie Johnson — Johnson finished fifth at Martinsville, three spots behind Matt Kenseth, as Hendrick teammate Jeff Gordon took the win. Kenseth and Johnson sit tied atop the points standings, 27 ahead of Gordon.
"While Greg Biffle confronted me," Johnson said, "Kenseth in-fronted me. If only Kenseth were as easy to handle as Greg Biffle, you could hand me the Cup right now."
3. Jeff Gordon — Gordon won for the first time this season, capturing the Goody's Headache Relief Shot 500 at Martinsville and vaulting from fifth to third in the Sprint Cup points standings. He trails Jimmie Johnson and Matt Kenseth by 27.
"I put myself back in the Cup picture," Gordon said. "Unfortunately, when I try to imagine myself as 2013 Sprint Cup champion, I just can't 'picture' it."
4. Kevin Harvick — Harvick finished sixth in the Goody's Headache Relief Shot 500 at Martisnville. He is fourth in the points standings. Twenty-eight out of first.
"If you saw the Trucks race," Harvick said, "you know I have a problem with drivers who have been 'grandfathered in.' Now you know why I'm leaving Richard Childress Racing. Those kids don't know what they're 'Dillon' with."
5. Clint Bowyer — Bowyer took third at Martinsville, posting his ninth top-five result of the year. He is sixth in the Sprint Cup points standings, 55 out of the lead.
"The 5-Hour Energy car finished third in the Goody's Headache Relief Shot 500," Bowyer said. "It seems that Goody's has taken 5-Hour Energy's concept and used it to their advantage. You could say they've put a 'new spin' on shots."
6. Dale Earnhardt, Jr. — Earnhardt came home eighth at Martinsville as Hendrick Motorsports placed three drivers in the top 10, led by Jeff Gordon's first win of the year. Earnhardt is seventh in the points standings, 56 out of first.
"Army National Guard renewed their sponsorship of the No. 88 car," Earnhardt said. "As you know, the fans of Junior Nation love the 'armed services,' especially if that arm is handing them a beverage."
7. Kyle Busch — After two fifth-place finishes in his last two races, Busch finished a disappointing 15th at Martinsville. He is fifth in the points standings, 36 out of first.
"How about Darrell Wallace becoming only the second black driver to win a NASCAR-sanctioned race?" said Busch. "Now, NASCAR's Drive For Diversity has a new slogan celebrating black heritage in NASCAR. It's called 'What A Race!'"
8. Greg Biffle — Biffle started 33rd and finished ninth at Martinsville. He is eighth in the points standings, 58 out of first.
"I made like my rear bumper," Biffle said, "and got all up in Jimmie Johnson's grill."
9. Brad Keselowski — After struggling at Talladega, Keselowski finished fourth at Martinsville, one of only two Fords in the top 10.
"All this controversy at Martinsville," Keselowski said, "and none of it involves me. Once again, I've been 'left out.'"
10. Carl Edwards — Edwards finished 12th at Martinsville and is now tenth in the Sprint Cup points standings, 76 out of first.
"Greg Biffle obviously needs a course in confrontation etiquette," Edwards said. "And I'm the man to do it. Of all people, I'm the one that knows how to teach a teammate a lesson."