Wednesday, July 27, 2016

NASCAR Top 10 Power Rankings: Week 20

By Jeffrey Boswell

Note: the quotes in this article are fictional.

1. Brad Keselowski — Keselowski was collected in a lap 154 crash started when Carl Edwards got loose on a restart. Keselowski was able to stay on the lead lap, however, and finished 17th.

"That accident was about the only excitement on Sunday," Keselowski said. "I doubt the presence of 'Mr. Excitement' himself, Jimmy Spencer, could have improved things, unless Kurt Busch's face could also have been present.

"It was brutally hot during the race. I heard there were several fans overcome by heat, and even more overcome by sheer boredom."

2. Kyle Busch — Busch started on the pole at Indianapolis and led 149 of 170 laps in winning the Combat Wounded Coalition 400. It was Busch's third win of the season.

"The No. 18 Skittles Toyota was fast," Busch said. "My opponents couldn't see the rainbow, much less taste it."

3. Kevin Harvick — Harvick finished sixth at Indianapolis, recording his 15th top-10 of the year. He leads the Sprint Cup points standings by 14 over Brad Keselowski.

"It was a bittersweet day for me," Harvick said. "I had a great result, but Tony Stewart took his final lap around Indianapolis Motor Speedway. Fittingly, Tony puts the 'round' in 'last go-round.'"

4. Joey Logano — Logano finished seventh at Indianapolis, posting his 12th top-10 of the year.

"It was a hot day at the Brickyard," Logano said. "It was sweltering. Temperatures were approaching the hundreds, as was attendance."

5. Kurt Busch — Busch finished 16th at Indianapolis as younger brother Kyle won for the second straight year.

"Kyle has won the last two Sprint Cup races at Indianapolis," Busch said, "and he also won Saturday's Xfinity race at the Brickyard. He's made it a habit of kissing the bricks. I don't know what it's like to kiss a brick, but my girlfriends do."

6. Carl Edwards — Edwards got loose and slammed the wall on lap 154, taking out several cars in the process, and damaging his No. 19 Stanley Tools Toyota beyond repair. He finished 35th.

"That accident was my fault," Edwards said. "Of course, this isn't the first time a prominent driver of the No. 19 has pleaded guilty. In my defense, though, I'm not doing meth."

7. Martin Truex, Jr.: Truex finished eighth in the Combat Wounded Coalition 400, scoring his ninth top-10 of the year.

"I recently visited Furniture Row warehouse facilities," Truex said, "and it reminded me of the grandstands at Indianapolis, because there was nothing but empty seats."

8. Jimmie Johnson — Johnson overcame a pit road speeding penalty and finished third at Indianapolis, posting his first top-five finish in the last eight races.

"I got caught going faster than the law allows," Johnson said. "That sounds like a quote from Kyle Busch.

"Jeff Gordon filled in for Dale Earnhardt, Jr. and did a mighty fine job. It was strange seeing Jeff in the No. 88 car. That's because it's strange seeing a Sprint Cup champion in the No. 88 car."

9. Matt Kenseth — Kenseth finished second in the Combat Wounded Coalition 400, as Joe Gibbs Racing drivers captured three of the top 4 positions.

"It was a great day for JGR," Kenseth said, "and Japanese engine-makers. I think the Fords and Chevys knew they couldn't compete, and they weren't sure why. That left them 'dis-Oriented.'"

10. Denny Hamlin — Denny Hamlin finished third at Indianapolis, joining Joe Gibbs Racing teammates Kyle Busch and Matt Kenseth in the top four.

"My good friend Tony Stewart said it was special taking one last lap around Indy with Jeff Gordon after the checkered flew," Hamlin said. "And their embrace afterwards was equally as special. I think everyone who hugs Tony would agree on two things: 1) it is special, and 2) there's no way I can wrap my arms all the way around Tony."

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