Wednesday, May 17, 2017

NASCAR Top 10 Power Rankings: Week 11

By Jeffrey Boswell

Note: the quotes in this article are fictional.

1. Kyle Larson — Larson finished sixth in the GoBowling.com 400, posting his seventh top-10 of the season. He leads the Monster Energy Cup points standings by 44 over Martin Truex, Jr.

"That was quite a fiery crash involving Joey Logano, Danica Patrick, and Aric Almirola," Larson said. "My prayers are with Aric, but mostly with Danica, because according to her interview, she's the real victim."

2. Martin Truex, Jr. — Truex led 104 laps and pull away on the final restart to win the GoBowling.com 400 at Kansas.

"My car was super on restarts," Truex said. "In a race that took place in the heart of the Great Plains, you would expect a lot of people to get 'dusted.'

"We were untouchable. No one behind us had a chance. Anytime there was a restart, the No. 78 Toyota told everyone else to say 'hello' to 'goodbye.'"

3. Brad Keselowski — Keselowski recovered from falling two laps down to take the runner-up spot at Kansas.

"I probably did more passing on the track than anyone else," Keselowski said. "In fact, it was easy. As a driver for Penske Racing, it's 'passing' off the track that isn't so easy. Just look at our inspection record."

4. Jimmie Johnson — Johnson was headed for a likely top-10 finish before a spin with four laps remaining relegated him to a 24th at Kansas.

"I had a number of problems," Johnson said. "One was a penalty for driving through too many pit stalls. Another was making contact with Kurt Busch. That's never a good thing. I should have remembered the advice once given to me about Kurt long ago: 'It's best to steer clear of Kurt Busch, on the track and in life.' That's sage advice, and I'm not sure who it came from, a fellow driver, or one of Kurt's former girlfriends."

5. Chase Elliott — Elliott found trouble early at Kansas when he rammed into Michael McDowell's No. 95 as Elliott was leaving pit road. Elliott's No. 24 car suffered significant damage and he limped home to a 29th-place finish.

"It was totally my fault," Elliott said. "Had I used my rear-view mirror, I'm sure I could have avoided the accident. Me not using my mirror? Well, that reflects badly on me."

6. Joey Logano — A brake failure with 67 laps to go caused Logano to veer into the path of Danica Patrick, and both slammed the wall, and both were then smacked by Aric Almirola's sliding No. 43. Logano finished 37th.

"There was nothing I could do," Logano said. "Thus, we were all unlucky. But I was the unluckiest, because I had to ride in the back of an ambulance with Danica. That's the last place I want to be. Can you blame me, though? Apparently, Danica can. If blame were wins, she'd be undefeated."

7. Kevin Harvick — Harvick started eighth and finished third at Kansas, posting his fourth top-five of the season.

"I really hard to work hard for that third place finish," Harvick said. "You could say I gave it my all. That's not quite how it is when I film commercials. You certainly don't get all of Kevin Harvick; heck, you're lucky if you get three inches of Kevin Harvick. Some people say that three inches of Kevin Harvick is still a good day."

8. Jamie McMurray — McMurray finished eighth at Kansas, recording his seventh top-10 of the year. He is fifth in the Monster Energy Cup points standings.

"That was a scary crash involving Joey Logano, Danica Patrick, and Aric Almirola," McMurray said. "It sounded and looked like Patrick thought Logano was at fault. In fact, she threw a 'guilty party' in his honor."

9. Ricky Stenhouse, Jr. — One week after winning at Talladega, Stenhouse finished 11th at Kansas.

"My girlfriend Danica Patrick took a big hit in her wreck," Stenhouse said. "She's okay, because she's one tough cookie. Luckily, she doesn't have a concussion. That due in part to NASCAR's stringent safety procedures, but due mostly to the fact that she has the hardest head in this sport."

10. Clint Bowyer — Bowyer took ninth in the GoBowling.com 400 at Kansas.

"NASCAR told Carl Long he couldn't have a marijuana vape shop sponsor on his car," Bowyer said. "That sponsorship went up in smoke. I can't believe NASCAR could be so uptight. I've always said, you can't spell 'NASCAR' without 'NARC.'"

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