NASCAR Top 10 Power Rankings: Week 12

Note: the quotes in this article are fictional.

1. Kyle Busch — Busch was one of many cars damaged on a lap 352 restart when Jimmie Johnson's car got locked in second gear, causing a major incident that took out a number of contenders.

"There was a time," Busch said, "that when you mentioned '18-car crash,' people thought you were talking about just me."

2. Kevin Harvick — Harvick led a race-high 117 laps at Dover but was a victim of a huge pileup with 47 laps to go triggered by Jimmie Johnson's slow car. Harvick finished 15th, one lap down.

"Once again," Harvick said, "I had the strongest car in the field, but didn't win the race. Carl Edwards would call that 'choking.'"

3. Kurt Busch — Busch finished fifth at Dover, one of only fourteen cars on the lead lap at race's end. He is third in the points standings, 32 out of first.

"There are rumors that my Stewart-Haas Racing teammate Kevin Harvick has an offer to join Hendrick Motorsports," Busch said. "He would presumably replace Kasey Kahne, who's under contract through the 2018 season. That's means Kahne's contract would have to be bought out in order for Harvick to join HMS. So, once again, I'm reporting that an acquaintance of mine is a 'contract killer.'"

4. Carl Edwards — Edwards led 27 laps at Dover before late contact with Kyle Larson's No. 42 car sent Edwards' No. 19 Toyota into the wall. Edwards finished 28th, 41 laps off the pace.

"I think most drivers were impressed by the way Larson raced Matt Kenseth in the closing laps," Edwards said. "But there's no way anyone was more impressed by Larson's patience than Kenseth."

5. Brad Keselowski — Keselowski led 49 laps and survived contact with Austin Dillon's No. 3 car to post a sixth in the AAA 400, his seventh top-10 result of the year.

"I advocated making some slight adjustments to the Chase format," Keselowski said. "NASCAR officials didn't want to hear it though. I guess they had enough talk of 'tweaking' when Jeremy Mayfield was driving."

6. Jimmie Johnson — On a restart with 47 laps to go, Johnson's No. 48 Chevrolet locked gears, leading to a chain reaction crash behind him that affected 18 cars. Johnson limped home with a 25th at Dover.

"I'm not sure what went wrong," Johnson said, "but something must have broken. All I know is instead of 'sx-time,' guys in the garage were calling me 'fix-time.'"

7. Joey Logano — Like many, Logano's No. 22 Penske Ford was caught in the restart accident with 47 laps to go, resulting in a 22nd-place finish.

"As was the case last fall at Martinsville," Logano said, "I got wrecked and Matt Kenseth came out the winner."

8. Chase Elliott — Elliott finished third at Dover, scoring his third consecutive top 10 and again leading the charge for Hendrick Motorsports. He is seventh in the Sprint Cup points standings, 77 out of first.

"I'm not surprised at all I'm doing so well," Elliott said. "I would say, 'It's no accident,' but that may be considered a poor choice of words considering what happened to the rest of the HMS crew."

9. Martin Truex, Jr. — Truex's misfortune continued at Dover, as his No. 78 Furniture Row Toyota was damaged in the big wreck with 47 laps to go. Despite the damage, Truex scrambled to salvage a ninth-place finish, and is now ninth in the points standings, 82 out of first.

"This team is cursed," Truex said. "This team is also cursing, because we are sick and tired of our bad luck. It's too bad NASCAR outlawed cigarette manufacturers from sponsorships, because we would definitely want Lucky Strike on our car."

10. Matt Kenseth — Kenseth won the AAA 400 at Dover, avoiding a huge crash that wiped out much of the field and holding off Kyle Larson for the win.

"I knew Larson was coming for me," Kenseth said. "You could say 'I had a Target on my back.'

"But I admire Kyle's integrity in racing me clean for the win. Just ask Kyle Busch — there's a fine line between racing a JGR driver like a gentlemen and racing a JGR driver like a teammate."

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