NASCAR Top 10 Power Rankings: Week 25
September 3, 2014 by Jeffrey Boswell • Print Story •
Note: the quotes in this article are fictional.
1. Jeff Gordon — Gordon was running second early at Atlanta when he blew a tire, sending him into the wall. He fell two laps down, but battled back to regain the lead lap and finished 17th.
"It was 'The Night the Air Went Out in Georgia,'" Gordon said. "I didn't see a squirrel on the track, but I do believe I heard a snake. It went, 'Sssssssssss.'"
2. Joey Logano — A week after winning at Bristol, Logano finished 14th in the Oral-B USA 500. He is now fourth in the points standings, 81 out of first.
"Our performance was a far cry from that at Bristol," Logano said. "If I'm 'Sliced Bread' in winning at Bristol, then I must be 'Loaf Bread' finishing 14th at Atlanta."
3. Dale Earnhardt, Jr. — Earnhardt just missed a top-10 finish at Atlanta with an 11th. He is second in the Sprint Cup points standings, 21 behind Jeff Gordon.
"Sunday night's race was called the 'Oral-B USA 500.' I think a better name would have been the 'Mouth of the South.'
"But is it a good idea for dental health awareness in NASCAR? I see a conflict of interest with NASCAR's 'Drive For Diversity' program, because good dental hygiene encourages 'whiteness.'"
4. Jimmie Johnson — Johnson finished third at Atlanta, as Hendrick Motorsports teammate Kasey Kahne won for the first time this season, locking up a spot in the Chase For the Cup. Johnson is sixth in the points standings.
"What a great run by Kahne," Johnson said. "Now, all four Hendrick drivers are in the Chase. Kasey went from 'Chase bubble' to 'Chase bubbly,' because we celebrated with champagne."
5. Brad Keselowski — Keselowski night in Atlanta ended with 28 laps remaining after a collision with Josh Wise. Keselowski finished 39th, and is fifth in the points standings, 90 out of first.
"I ran right into the back of Wise's No. 98 Chevrolet," Keselowski said. "It's certainly not the first time I've been called a 'Wise-ass.'"
6. Matt Kenseth — Kenseth gained the lead with a two-tire pit stop on the final caution, but couldn't hold off Kasey Kahne, who took four tires. Kenseth finished second, falling short of his first win, but still clinched a spot in the Chase.
"Squirrels sightings aside," Kenseth said, "Kahne 'skunked' me on that restart.
"My wife and I released an anti-bullying children's book called 'Race Against Bullying.' Some drivers I know have a track record of bullying. In fact, if bullying were a race, Carl Edwards would have the track record."
7. Kevin Harvick — Harvick was squeezed behind Paul Menard in a late restart at Atlanta, and found the wall after contact with Menard and Joey Logano. Harvick finished 19th.
"I nearly hit a squirrel crossing the track early in the race," Harvick said. "That wasn't my last encounter with an animal nuisance. It looked like Menard was playing possum on the late restart."
8. Carl Edwards — Edwards scored his sixth top-five of the season with a fifth at Atlanta. He is seventh in the points standings, 117 out of first.
"Luckily," Edwards said, "I've already locked up a spot in the postseason. I can tell you, it's one thing to be 'Chased,' it's another to be 'pursued.' Joe Gibbs Racing really wanted me, and ironically, they did back flips to get me."
9. Ryan Newman — Newman posted his ninth top-10 result of the year with a seventh in the Oral-B USA 500. He can clinch a spot in the Chase with a finish of 41st or better next week at Richmond (assuming there is a repeat winner).
"I could go to Richmond," Newman said, "not win, and still make the Chase For The Cup. And that's fine with me. It may not be official, but my slogan at Richmond will be, 'Virginia is for losers.'"
10. Kasey Kahne — Kahne passed Matt Kenseth on the final restart and held on for the win in the Oral-B USA 500 in Atlanta. Kahne was previously leading, and seemingly on his way to the win, when a tangle between Kyle Busch and Ryan Truex brought out a caution.
"I'm not sure what those clowns were doing," Kahne said. "But once again, we've seen the worst of Kyle Busch. There's only one thing that gets the best of Kyle, and that's his frustrations."