Wednesday, August 3, 2016

NASCAR Top 10 Power Rankings: Week 21

By Jeffrey Boswell

Note: the quotes in this article are fictional.

1. Brad Keselowski — Keselowski finished second in the rain-delayed and rain-shortened Pennsylvania 400 at Pocono as Chris Buescher took the unlikely win.

"It was an unlikely win by Buescher," Keselowski said. "And I was the 'unlikeliest,' because no one 'unliked' it more than me, since I finished second."

2. Kyle Busch — Busch led one lap and finished ninth at Pocono, posting his 14th top-10 of the year.

"This day was all about Chris Buescher," Busch said. "I'm not sure he realizes the magnitude of his victory. Despite the rain, it's still going to take a while to soak in."

3. Kevin Harvick — Harvick came home fourth in the rain-shortened Pennsylvania 400, recording his ninth top-five result of the year.

"I was without my crew chief Rodney Childers," Harvick said. "He was suspended for the race for a lug nut violation. The lug nut issue wasn't a big deal until Tony Stewart made it one. So, that's just one more thing that Tony will get blamed for, and I hold him responsible for damages. Whether or not he accepts blame is another question entirely."

4. Joey Logano — Logano was wrecked by Chase Elliott when Elliott got loose in the Tunnel Turn and collected Logano's No. 22 Penske Racing Ford. Logano finished 37th, 23 laps off the pace.

"I never thought I'd be wrecked by Chase Elliott," Logano said. "But, if you get dangerously close to a certain rookie, driver, I suppose you become 'Chase eligible.'"

5. Kurt Busch — Busch finished 10th at Pocono, one spot behind younger brother Kyle, in Monday's Pennsylvania 400.

"I'm not exactly sure if anyone knows how to pronounce 'Buescher,'" Busch said. "Luckily, we'll only have to say it once, because this is probably the last you'll hear of him."

6. Carl Edwards — Edwards finished eighth at Pocono, as Joe Gibbs Racing placed three cars in the top 10.

"This may be the greatest upset in NASCAR history," Edwards said. "Buescher is a 22-year-old rookie who just outsmarted a field comprised mostly of veterans to pull off an unlikely win. Often, the outcome at Pocono is decided by fuel mileage. This year, it was all about suspension, because Buescher's win was a 'shock.'"

7. Martin Truex, Jr. — Truex started from the pole at Pocono and saw his day sour early when he blew a tire and hit the wall on lap 20.

"Chris Buescher has the weather to thank for the win," Truex said. "Ironically, it still rained on his parade."

8. Jimmie Johnson — Johnson finished 16th at Pocono and has now gone 16 races since his last win.

"That means Chris Buescher has more wins this year than me," Johnson said, "as well as the same number of championships as me in the last five years. But luckily, I have six Sprint Cup championships to fall back on. Ironically, no one's talked about the 'Fall Of Jimmie Johnson' since my last championship in autumn of 2010."

9. Denny Hamlin — Hamlin finished seventh at Pocono as rookie Chris Buescher won his first career Sprint Cup win.

"Buescher may have just driven himself into the Chase," Hamlin said. "More than likely, though, this may be his one moment of glory. But let's face it. He had lots of help, like rain and the onset of darkness. So, if he wants to thank his 'family,' he should thank Mother Nature and Father Time."

10. Chris Buescher — Buescher won the Pennsylvania 400 by holding off on a pit stop as weather approached. NASCAR called the race with 22 laps remaining, giving Buescher his first Sprint Cup victory.

"I have to thank the rain," Buescher said, "as well as each and every cloud in the Pennsylvania sky, particularly Cloud 9, which is the one I'm on."

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