Wednesday, September 23, 2015

NASCAR Top 10 Power Rankings: Week 27

By Jeffrey Boswell

Note: the quotes in this article are fictional.

1. Denny Hamlin — Hamlin roared back from last place to win the Chase opener at Chicagoland. Hamlin automatically advances to the second round of the Chase, which begins at Dover on October 4th.

"I'm going to happily limp into the second round of the Chase," Hamlin said.

"What does his punch/shove tell us about Kevin Harvick? Well, for one thing, it tells us he's a right-handed cry baby."

2. Matt Kenseth — Kenseth posted a fifth at Chicagoland, recording his 11th top-five of the year.

"I'm amazed by what went on between Kevin Harvick and Jimmie Johnson," Kenseth said. "Amazed only because of the following reason: between Kevin and DeLana Harvick, it's Kevin that got his panties in a wad."

3. Carl Edwards — Edwards finished second in the MyAfibRisk.com 400 at Chicagoland.

"Denny Hamlin has punched his ticket to the next round," Edwards said, "and he didn't even need a fist. Kevin Harvick seems to have an anger problem. He, as well as his fist, is a 'ball' of fury."

4. Kevin Harvick — Harvick and Jimmie Johnson made contact on a restart, leading to tire rub on Harvick's No. 4 Jimmy Johns Chevy. The rub led to a blown tire, which left Harvick with a 42nd-place finish.

"Jimmie and I had words," Harvick said. "Actually, Jimmie had words; I had a fist."

5. Kurt Busch — Busch was leading with ten laps to go when a caution flew for debris. On the restart, Busch lost the lead and finished third.

"This all seems very fishy to me," Busch said. "In the last two years, Harvick has been the one to instigate much of the Chase controversy. In he on NBC's payroll? If so, he'd be the only one earning his money."

6. Joey Logano: Logano finished sixth at Chicagoland, and played a role in the first feud of the Chase. Jimmie Johnson and Kevin Harvick made contact on a restart. Harvick blamed Johnson, while Johnson said Logano pushed him into Harvick.

"Don't ask me to choose sides," Logano said. "If you do, I'll just cite gearbox issues and remain 'neutral.'"

7. Kyle Busch — Busch finished ninth at Chicagoland, a solid start for the No. 18 car as the Chase heads to New Hampshire, where Busch won in July.

"I won Saturday's Xfinity Series race," Busch said, "and was presented the winner's trophy by the rapper Ludacris. Why is there a rapper at a NASCAR race? Well, there's no rhyme or reason."

8. Jimmie Johnson — Johnson finished 11th at Chicagoland after controversially tangling with Kevin Harvick midway through the race.

"I went to Harvick to ask what the deal was," Johnson said. "I went 'knock, knock, knockin' on Kevin's door.' He was pretty ornery. Much like during the race, I must have rubbed him the wrong way.

"Harvick shoved me once. And I can only guess that he shoved me one time for each Cup championship he's won."

9. Brad Keselowski — Keselowski took eight in the MyAfibRisk.com 400 at Chicagoland.

"The Chase For the Cup is only one race old," Keselowski said, "and already there's drama. That's surprising. What's even more surprising is I'm not in the middle of it."

10. Dale Earnhardt, Jr. — Earnhardt finished fifth at Chicagoland, posting his 12th top-five result of the year.

"Who does Kevin Harvick think he is?" Earnhardt said. "If he thinks he's NASCAR's big shot, shouldn't he beat his own chest, and not Jimmie Johnson's?"

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