NASCAR Top 10 Power Rankings: Week 17
July 2, 2014 by Jeffrey Boswell • Print Story •
Note: the quotes in this article are fictional.
1. Jimmie Johnson — Johnson finished 10th in the Quaker State 400, posting his 12th top-10 of the year. He is second in the points standings, 24 behind Jeff Gordon.
"Brad Keselowski cut his hand on a champagne bottle in Victory Lane," Johnson said. "If Joey Logano is 'Sliced Bread,' then Keselowski has to be 'Sliced Brad.'"
2. Dale Earnhardt, Jr. — Earnhardt finished fifth at Kentucky, as Hendrick Motorsports placed three drivers in the top 10. He is second in the Sprint Cup points standings, 24 behind Jeff Gordon.
"I'm impressed with Brad Keselowski's performance," Earnhardt said. "But there's no way he could be a member of Junior Nation. If Brad can't hold his champagne, he certainly can't hold his liquor."
3. Jeff Gordon — Gordon posted his series-best 13th top-10 finish of the year with a sixth at Kentucky. He remained atop the points standings, and leads Hendrick teammates Jimmie Johnson and Dale Earnhardt, Jr. by 24.
"Jimmie Johnson visited the White House last Wednesday," Gordon said, "where he was honored by President Obama as 2013 Sprint Cup champion. Jimmie asked Obama about the 'secret service.' Obama replied: 'Has Chad Knaus been illegally working on your car again?'"
4. Brad Keselowski — Keselowski dominated at Kentucky, starting on the pole and leading 199 of 267 laps on the way to his second win of the season.
"Kentucky is the home of horse racing," Keselowski said. "On Saturday, though, it became the home of a 'thorough-Brad.' The No. 2 Miller Lite Chevrolet had plenty of speed for Kentucky Speedway. My car had the horsepower; I have the horse teeth."
5. Carl Edwards — One week after winning at Sonoma, Edwards finished a disappointing 17th in the Quaker State 400. He is sixth in the Sprint Cup points standings, 82 out of first.
"Greg Biffle is still working on a contract extension," Edwards said. "Greg has to ask himself: 'should I stay or should I go?' On that note, as far as teammates go, I always seem to 'Clash' with them."
6. Matt Kenseth — Kenseth overcame a slow start to finish fourth in the Quaker State 400. It was his sixth top-five result of the year and he is now fifth in the points standings, 63 out of first.
"I just signed a contract extension with Joe Gibbs Racing," Kenseth said. "It was on Saturday, to be exact, but I'm not at liberty to reveal the financial details. So, as is the case with my season, it's a matter of 'Just when, baby.'"
7. Joey Logano — Logano finished ninth despite rising water temperatures that nearly compromised his engine. He is seventh in the Sprint Cup points standings, 99 out of first.
"Usually," Logano said, "when I'm in hot water, it's because of my father.
"It was a great day for Penske Racing. Brad Keselowski won the pole and the race, then sliced his hand open on a champagne bottle celebrating the win. So, both he and Roger Penske were 'gushing' after the race."
8. Kevin Harvick — Harvick won the Nationwide race in Sparta on Friday, then finished seventh in the Quaker State 400 on Saturday night. He is ninth in the points standings, 109 out of first.
"How about TNT's coverage of the race," Harvick said. "Much like TNT, it 'blows.' And Kyle Petty's analysis is lacking. Just like the sport of NASCAR itself, it needs more 'color.' In Petty's book, 'insight' is saying 'he's just got to keep plugging along' over and over."
9. Kyle Busch — Busch led 31 laps at Kentucky and lost the lead to Brad Keselowski with 20 laps to go. Busch finished second, and is now 10th in the points standings.
"Keselowski was so much better than everyone else," Busch said. "That was also the case in 2012 when he won here. At least at Kentucky Speedway, that Penske technology, much like a broken champagne bottle, was 'cutting edge.'"
10. Ryan Newman — Newman scored his best finish of the year, speeding to a third in the Quaker State 400. He is now eighth in the points standings, 104 behind Jeff Gordon.
"Richard Childress Racing is still looking for our first win," Newman said. "I'm sure Richard would love for Austin Dillon to be the first RCR victor this year. Then Richard can proudly say, 'That's grand, son.'"