NASCAR Top 10 Power Rankings: Week 23

Note: the quotes in this article are fictional.

1. Kyle Busch — Busch qualified sixth at Michigan, but a wreck in Saturday's practice relegated to the back of the field for the start of Sunday's race. Despite starting in a backup car, he finished with a strong 11th-place finish that helped solidify his Chase chances.

"I got the job done with a backup car," Busch said. "That's unusual. In years past, I don't start backing up until the Chase starts."

2. Kevin Harvick — Harvick started seventh and finished second in the Pure Michigan 400, recording his 10th runner-up finish of the year.

"I, like many drivers, wasn't happy with the high-drag aero package NASCAR mandated," Harvick said. "That drag made it impossible for me to get close enough to even attempt a pass on Matt Kenseth. But I tried my darnedest. No one has 'chased the dragin' like that in NASCAR since Tim Richmond."

3. Matt Kenseth — Kenseth started on the pole at Michigan and was the strongest car throughout, leading 146 of 200 laps on his way to his third win of the season.

"When Matt Kenseth controls a race from start to finish," Kenseth said, "it's called 'boredom-ination.'"

4. Joey Logano — Logano finished seventh in the Pure Michigan 400, posting his 17th top-10 of the year.

"Here are a few words to describe Sunday's race," Logano said. "Brutal. Grueling. Uncomfortable. But enough about the fan's perspective.

"Seriously though, NASCAR thinks rule changes are the guidepost to racing in which the aerodynamics lead to passing while still maintaining the high speeds that attract fans. Sadly though, the only real 'fantasy draft' only happens for football season."

5. Jimmie Johnson — Johnson spun on lap 183 at Michigan and limped home to a 39th-place finish, his second-worst of the year.

"I finished right between J.J. Yeley and Travis Kvapil," Johnson said. "They're not exactly household names. They're barely 'racetrack' names. However, Sunday was one time when Yeley and Kvapil can say they were among the hottest drivers in NASCAR."

6. Dale Earnhardt, Jr. — Earnhardt finished 10th at Michigan, posting his 14th top-10 result of the year. He is third in the Sprint Cup points standings, behind Kevin Harvick.

"The aerodynamic package for Michigan made for some extreme temperature in the cockpit," Earnhardt said. "It reached 150 degrees in some cars. They say you can fry an egg at that temperature. Matt Kenseth chose to 'make toast.'"

7. Martin Truex, Jr. — Truex took third at Michigan, earning his seventh top-five result of the season. He sits fourth in the points standings, 111 out of first.

"This aerodynamic package made for some boring laps," Truex said, "and the fans were clearly bored. If NASCAR fans want to see real 'drag racing,' I suggest they attend NHRA events. There, the women are actually a 'Force.'"

8. Brad Keselowski — Keselowski finished ninth at Michigan, recording his 15th top-10 of the year. He is fifth in the points standings, 112 out of first.

"Penske cars had to replace their splitters prior to the race," Keselowski said. "That was at the behest of NASCAR, who thought the splitters were non-compliant. I guess it's true that it was, in fact, brutally hot inside the cars, because we got caught red-handed."

9. Kurt Busch — Busch finished 20th at Michigan, only his third finish outside the top 15 this season.

"It was hot in Michigan on Sunday," Busch said. "Honestly, I could barely take it. But I'm not complaining. You know what they say: 'If you can't stand the heat, get out of the bitchin'."

10. Carl Edwards — Edwards came home sixth in the Pure Michigan 400 as Joe Gibbs Racing put three cars in the top six.

"Joe Gibbs Racing cars went 1-2-3 in qualifying," Edwards said. "Now that's what I call putting the 'success' in 'succession.'"

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