Wednesday, June 18, 2014
NASCAR Top 10 Power Rankings: Week 15
Note: the quotes in this article are fictional.
1. Jimmie Johnson — Johnson took the win at Michigan, snatching his third win in the last four races. It was his first win at Michigan, and is now second in the points standings.
"That's right," Johnson said. "My first win at Michigan. And that just goes to show that you can't underestimate my greatness — in one race, I scored two 'firsts.'
"It was a Happy Father's Day, at least for me. And what a great way to celebrate, with a win. The congratulations have been overwhelming. It's been 'mad props' for the 'glad pops.'"
2. Dale Earnhardt, Jr. — Earnhardt finished seventh in the Quicken Loans 400, posting his tenth top-10 result of the year. He is third in the Sprint Cup points standings, 23 behind Jeff Gordon.
"You probably heard I left Ryan Newman at the airport," Earnhardt said. "I call that 'left behind,' and so did Newman, when he told me to kiss a certain butt cheek.
"By the way, Ryan's phone has a new ring tone — Simple Minds' 'Don't You Forget About Me.'"
3. Jeff Gordon — Gordon started second at Michigan and led 36 laps on his way to a sixth at Michigan.
"That's five wins in a row for Hendrick Motorsports," Gordon said, "and sixth on the year. NASCAR hasn't seen a run of dominance like this since Tim Richmond's S&M phase. Here are some interesting ratios: three of four Hendrick drivers have won six of 15 races. And one of four Hendrick drivers is Kasey Kahne."
4. Brad Keselowski — Keselowski finished third at Michigan following two straight runner-up finishes, at Dover and Pocono. He is fifth in the points standings, 47 out of first.
"I won in Las Vegas," Keselowski said, "and haven't won since. I guess it's true what they say: 'What happens in Vegas stays in Vegas.'"
5. Matt Kenseth — Still seeking his first win of the season, Kenseth finished 14th in the Quicken Loans 400.
"I had seven wins last year," Kenseth said, "and didn't win the championship. By that rationale, I'm well on pace to win the Cup this year. At least that's what I keep telling myself. As for now, my 'Victory Circle' is a zero."
6. Joey Logano — Logano started ninth and finished ninth at Michigan, recording his eighth top-10 finish of the year. He moved up two spots in the points standings to seventh, 83 out of first.
"I'd like to wish my dad a Happy Fathers' Day," Logano said. "I'm sure most people at the track feel the same about him as they do about Fathers' Day — they wish he appeared only once a year."
7. Kevin Harvick — Harvick started on the pole at Michigan and finished second to Jimmie Johnson. It was Harvick's fourth runner-up this season, and left him quite irritable.
"Some people say my frustration from four runner-up finishes this year is boiling over," Harvick said. "Well, I would 'second' their opinion."
8. Carl Edwards — Edwards struggled at Michigan, finishing 23rd, one lap down, as Roush Fenway cars failed to crack the top 15. Edwards is now sixth in the points standings, 75 out of first.
"We Roush Fenway drivers consider Michigan our home track," Edwards said. "Ironically, our performance there leaves us home sick."
9. Kyle Larson — Larson finished eight at Michigan, posting his seventh top 10 of the year. He is eighth in the Sprint Cup points standings, 83 out of first.
"My girlfriend and I are expecting a child in December," Larson said. "I'll likely be NASCAR's Rookie of the Year and a father soon. So, as you'd expect for young, up-and-coming superstar driver, things are happening 'fast.'"
10. Ryan Newman — Newman finished 15th in the Quicken Loans 400 at Michigan, as Richard Childress Racing teammate Paul Menard took fourth.
"I missed a flight to Michigan because Dale Earnhardt, Jr. just forgot about me," Newman said. "I called Junior and told him I was standing on the runway, waiting for my ride. That joker replied, 'What are you doing? 'Taxi-ing?'"