Wednesday, November 4, 2015

NASCAR Top 10 Power Rankings: Week 33

By Jeffrey Boswell

Note: the quotes in this article are fictional.

1. Jeff Gordon — Gordon seized his opportunity at Martinsville, taking the lead late and holding on for his ninth win at the Virginia half-mile track. With the win, Gordon will be one of four drivers vying for the Sprint Cup at Homestead.

"I can certainly identify with Joey Logano," Gordon said. "Because we both 'owe' Matt Kenseth."

2. Joey Logano — Logano was dominating at Martinsville and seemed headed for his fourth straight victory, but Matt Kenseth intentionally wrecked Logano with 47 laps left. Logano finished 37th, 42 laps down.

"It was a total coward move by Kenseth," Logano said. "And I should know — I'm all yellow.

"I'm furious, and so is my father Tom. He was redder than a Martinsville hot dog. He was so irate, he had to be restrained. And speaking of 'restraint,' that reminds me of my first memory of my father, when he duct-taped to the seat of a go-cart and said 'Drive.'"

3. Kevin Harvick — Harvick led 38 laps and finished eighth in the Goody's Headache Relief Shot 500.

"Once again," Harvick said, "I made a move that kept my championship hopes alive. This time, however, instead of driving into the fray, I steered clear of controversy."

4. Kyle Busch — Busch finished fifth at Martinsville, and is second in the points standings with two races to go before the finale at Homestead.

"I can't wait to hear NASCAR's response to the Matt Kenseth/Joey Logano incident," Busch said. "In the 'boys, have at it' age, and just weeks after Brian France used the term 'quintessential NASCAR,' it seems that NASCAR, just like Logano, was 'asking for it.'"

5. Denny Hamlin — Hamlin finished third at Martinsville, posting his 14th top-five finish of the year.

"I think we may need to look into updating the definition of the word 'accident,' in this sport," Hamlin said.

6. Carl Edwards — Despite front-end damage suffered in an early accident, Edwards finished a solid 14th at Martinsville.

"The crew did a good job of repairing the No. 19 Toyota," Edwards said. "So good, in fact, that NASCAR wants some pointers on 'damage control.'"

7. Martin Truex, Jr. — Truex led 27 laps at Martinsville and finished sixth at Martinsville.

"NASCAR won't stand for this type of vigilante justice," Truex said. "NASCAR fans, on the other hand, well, they'll not only stand, they'll give it an ovation, as well."

8. Brad Keselowski — Keselowski was collected in an accident that sent him crashing into Matt Kenseth's No. 20 Toyota. Keselowski's No. 22 suffered major damage to the suspension, and he limped home with a 32nd-place finish.

"I did not wreck Kenseth on purpose," Keselowski said. "No, that's not me quoting Joey Logano from Kansas. That's me being honest, and, let's face it, apparently NASCAR drivers can only be honest when they haven't wrecked someone on purpose."

9. Kurt Busch — Busch was collected in a wreck after Brad Keselowski made contact with Matt Kenseth, sending Kenseth's No. 20 into Busch's No. 41. Busch finished 34th, 14 laps off the pace.

"This means I'll probably have to win one of the next two races," Busch said. "That puts me in the same boat with three or four other drivers. And speaking of boats, if Matt Kenseth would have done what he did in a boat, he would be 'docked.'"

10. Dale Earnhardt, Jr — Earnhardt finished fourth at Martinsville as all four Hendrick Motorsports drivers finished in the top 12, with Jeff Gordon taking the win.

"Am I surprised that Matt Kenseth took out Joey Logano?" Earnhardt said. "Of course not. This is NASCAR, in which most of the races take place on oval tracks. Just take a look at the cars turning laps on those tracks, and you'll realize it's easy to see 'what goes around comes around.'"

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