Wednesday, October 28, 2015

NASCAR Top 10 Power Rankings: Week 32

By Jeffrey Boswell

Note: the quotes in this article are fictional.

1. Joey Logano — Logano won the CampingWorld.com 500 at Talladega, taking the checkered flag under caution for his third straight win.

"Having already clinched my spot in the next round," Logano said, "I knew it didn't really matter what happened behind me. Of course, no one was saying 'What happened?' because everybody knew what happened."

2. Kevin Harvick — Running with an engine on the verge of blowing, Harvick's slow No. 4 initiated a crash that forced the race to end under caution, and secured his advance to the next round.

"I think the appropriate thing to do is quote Steve Urkel," Harvick said, "and say, 'Did I do that?

"Don't ask me if I meant to do it. For all intents and purposes, I'm still alive to win the Cup."

3. Kurt Busch — Busch finished tenth in the Campingworld.com 500, posting his 18th top 10 of the year. He advances to the Eliminator Round of the Chase.

"That had to be the most unsatisfactory ending to a Talladega race ever," Busch said. "And take it from me and any of my girlfriends — we know unsatisfactory endings.

"I think, eventually, Kevin Harvick will admit he was wrong and do what's right. As it is now, the only thing 'right' was his turn into Trevor Bayne."

4. Jeff Gordon — Gordon started on the pole at Talladega and finished third, easily advancing to the next round of the Chase.

"Kevin Harvick's actions were fishy," Gordon said. "So fishy, in fact, they're complaining about the smell in Denmark."

5. Carl Edwards — Edwards finished fifth at Talladega and joins Joe Gibbs Racing teammate Kyle Busch in the Eliminator Round of the Chase.

"Things could get very interesting at Martinsville," Edwards said. "The race is called the 'Goody's Headache Relief Shot 500.' There are some drivers that want revenge, which will bring them relief, and will cause headaches for their victims. Will there be punches thrown? As they say in the South, 'I reckon.' And Sunday will be a day of reckoning, and wreck-oning."

6. Martin Truex, Jr. — Truex finished seventh at Talladega and secured his place in the Eliminator Round of the Chase.

"For all the talk of speed at Talladega," Truex said, "it took forever to run the final two laps."

7. Brad Keselowski — Keselowski finished fourth to safely advance to the next round of the Chase.

"Kevin Harvick will have a blinking eye on the front of his car next week at Martinsville," Keselowski said. "He should have had it last week, because he 'hoodwinked' everybody."

8. Kyle Busch — Busch finished 11th and slipped into the Chase, taking the eighth and final spot in the Eliminator Round.

"I did what I had to do," Busch said. "That's a statement, not an excuse."

9. Denny Hamlin — A malfunction with the roof flap on the No. 11 FedEx Toyota forced Hamlin to pit four times. He was caught up in the final restart crash, the result of which set his car ablaze. He finished 37th, four laps down, and tumbled out of the top eight in points.

"That roof flap is there for me to exit the car quickly in case of emergency," Hamlin said. "Ironically, I couldn't get out of the car fast enough after the race.

"Harvick wrecked his own car at Dover to stay in the Chase. He wrecked the field at Talladega to stay in the Chase. He'll have to answer to all the accusations saying he did it intentionally. I guess that's why he's 'defending' champion."

10. Dale Earnhardt, Jr. — Earnhardt finished second at Talladega, after the final restart carnage caused when Kevin Harvick clipped Trevor Bayne. The caution came out just seconds before Earnhardt overtook Joey Logano for the lead. Earnhardt needed a win to advance to the next round of the Chase For the Cup.

"Joey Logano took the checkered flag from race command and did some victory burnouts," Earnhardt said. "I'm surprised Kevin Harvick didn't do the same, with the yellow flag."

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