Wednesday, March 15, 2017

NASCAR Top 10 Power Rankings: Week 3

By Jeffrey Boswell

Note: the quotes in this article are fictional.

1. Martin Truex, Jr. — Truex dominated at Las Vegas, capturing the first two stages and passing Brad Keselowski's slowing Ford with two laps to go. Truex scored the maximum 60 points, and is fourth in the points standings, five out of first.

"What does a car engine that sweeps all three stages of a Cup race sound like?" Truex said. "'Broom! Broom!'"

2. Brad Keselowski — Keselowski started on the pole at Las Vegas and appeared to be headed to victory before he slowed dramatically due to mechanical issues. He faded to fifth, but leads the Monster Energy Cup points standings.

"I'm not sure what happened," Keselowski said. "All is know is my engine was like a Kyle Busch/Joey Logano fight — it lacked 'punch.'"

3. Kyle Larson — Larson took the runner-up spot in the Kobalt Tools 400, posting his second top-five of the year. He is second in the Monster Energy Cup points standings, one behind Brad Keselowski.

"I came close to winning again," Larson said. "I'm really envious of Martin Truex, Jr. and that giant wrench he was awarded as the winner. And that giant wrench is jealous of Kyle Busch and Joey Logano, because they are bigger tools."

4. Joey Logano — Logano finished fourth after contact with Kyle Busch sent Busch's No. 18 Toyota spinning into the infield. A furious Busch confronted Logano on pit road, but crew members separated them, although Busch was bloodied in the skirmish.

"Hopefully," Logano said, "Kyle didn't get any blood on his driving suit. I'm not sure laundry detergent will get that out, because what happens in Vegas stains in Vegas."

5. Kevin Harvick — Harvick blew his right front tire and slammed the wall on lap 68, ending his day at Las Vegas. He finished 38th.

"My day ended way too early," Harvick said. "I'm surprised NASCAR officials didn't penalize me for exiting the race too quickly.

"I was upset because it took medical personnel way too long to arrive on the scene of my accident. That's unacceptable. So, one week after they 'took my time,' it appears they're 'taking their time.'"

6. Kurt Busch — Busch finished 30th after a rough day at his home track at Las Vegas.

"I had to make an extended pit stop to replace my battery on lap 66," Busch said. "And I was powerless to do anything about it.

"And speaking of dead batteries, how about my brother Kyle's 'charge' at Joey Logano? Kyle just lost his mind there. But take it from me, when anger gets the best of a Busch brother, everyone else gets the worst of a Busch brother."

7. Kasey Kahne — Kahne finished 12th at Las Vegas, and has finished 12th or better in all three races this season. He is ninth in the points standings.

"Jimmie Johnson hasn't posted a top-10 finish this season," Kahne said. "Jimmie's not one to whine about misfortune, but if he chooses to, he should do it in his trophy room.

"In any case, Jimmie's quest for another championship is on, and he's calling it '48 For Eight.'"

8. Chase Elliott — Elliott took third at Las Vegas, scoring his second top-five of the year.

"Kyle Busch went after Joey Logano and came away with bleeding," Elliott said. 'Sliced Bread,' meet 'Sliced Head.'

"As NASCAR fights go, that was one of the worst in history. Of course, Cale Yarborough and Donnie Allison's brawl at Daytona in 1979 is at the top of the list. In fact, it occupies the top two spots, because that fight featured a good number of 'one-two's.'"

9. Matt Kenseth — Kenseth finished ninth in the Kobalt Tools 400, registering his second top-10 finish of the season.

"After the race," Kenseth said, "someone said 'I didn't hit anything.' That could have been either Joey Logano or Kyle Busch.

"I have to support my Joe Gibbs Racing teammate in this Logano/Busch situation. I've wanted to punch Logano for a long time. His face is punchable, and when your nickname is 'Sliced Bread,' a knuckle sandwich is often on the menu."

10. Ryan Blaney — Blaney finished seventh at Las Vegas and is seventh in the points standings, 26 out of first.

"As you know," Blaney said, "my father is Dave Blaney. I really have to thank my father for encouraging me to follow in his footsteps. Every Father's Day, I'm grateful that Dave Blaney is my father, and even more grateful that Tom Logano is not."

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