Wednesday, June 7, 2017
NASCAR Top 10 Power Rankings: Week 13
Note: the quotes in this article are fictional.
1. Jimmie Johnson — Johnson started at the rear of the field due to a gear change and charged to the front to win the AAA 400, his 11th career win at Dover and 83rd career Cup victory, tying Cale Yarborough.
"It's great to be mentioned in the same sentence with Cale," Johnson said. "Especially since I was wearing a helmet honoring him. Cale hasn't gone upside someone's head like that since he battled the Allison brothers at Daytona back in 1979."
2. Martin Truex, Jr. — Truex won Stages 1 and 2 at Dover and finished third as the race ended under caution after a crash shortly after the final restart. Truex leads the Monster Energy Cup points standings by nine points over Kyle Larson.
"I won two stages," Truex said, "and Kyle Karson led 241 laps. Yet Jimmie Johnson won the race. As the saying goes, 'legend has it.'"
3. Kyle Larson — Larson led a race-high 241 laps, and saw a late caution wreck his hopes for the win at Dover. Larson was enjoying over a two-second lead over Jimmie Johnson when David Ragan hit the wall, bringing out a caution.
"If David Ragan doesn't wreck," Larson said, "Johnson doesn't win. Jimmie got lucky, very lucky. I said Johnson had a golden horseshoe somewhere. I won't say where it actually is, but I will say Johnson can afford the best proctologist money can buy."
4. Kevin Harvick — Harvick finished ninth at Dover, positing his eighth top-10 of the season. He is third in the points standings, 116 out of first.
"My Stewart-Haas Racing teammate Danica Patrick posted her first top-10 finish since April 2015," Harvick said. "That's certainly good news for her future with SHR. As you know, Danica is under contract through next season, but she just lost Nature's Bakery sponsorship. SHR has a decision to make, and the question is, 'is Danica worth the bread?'"
5. Brad Keselowski — For the second week in a row, Keselowski's was collected in a wreck that ended his day. At Dover, Kurt Busch got loose on lap 66 and hit the wall, leaving Keselowski no where to go. Keselowski slammed into Busch and finished 38th.
"If it's not one Busch brother dropping the mic," Keselowski said, "it's another dropping the ball.
"I've been critical of Kyle Busch after his abbreviated press conference at Charlotte. Maybe I should be more sympathetic, because if anyone knows how to play the victim, it's me."
6. Chase Elliott — Elliott overcame an early pit road speeding penalty to bring home a fifth-place finish in the AAA 400 at Dover. He is eighth in the points standings, 147 out of first.
"I heard Kyle Busch's crewman was unscrewing lug-nuts when he thought he was tightening them," Elliott said. "In NASCAR terms, you can say he got a little loose."
7. Joey Logano — Logano blew his right front tire with 46 laps to go in Stage 2, and limped home to a 25th-place finish at Dover.
"They don't call Dover the 'Monster Mile' for nothing," Logano said. "It is truly a monster. And trust me, I know a monster when I see one. And that reminds me, Father's Day is June 18th."
8. Jamie McMurray — McMurray finished seventh in the AAA 400 and is now fifth in the Monster Energy Cup points standings, 130 out of first.
"Some idiot fan climbed the catchfence during the race," McMurray said. "And some idiot NASCAR official didn't even throw a caution flag. And that, in itself, should rise a red flag."
9. Denny Hamlin — Hamlin finished eighth at Dover, scoring his sixth top-10 of the year.
"Joe Gibbs Racing has yet to win a race this year," Hamlin said. "And the pressure is on us to win, especially Kyle Busch. So don't put a mic in his hands until you put a trophy in his hands."
10. Kyle Busch — Busch started on the pole at Dover, but disaster struck early, when after his first pit stop, his left rear wheel fell off. Miraculously, Busch recovered from that incident, but fell two laps down late before scrambling to finish 16th.
"Our pit crewman was actually unscrewing the lug nuts," Busch said. "That's shocking. But the biggest surprise was even with the unscrewing, I didn't come 'unhinged.'
"Obviously, I need to work on my attitude. Still others think my sponsors and bosses should not be so easy to brush off my behavior. So I guess they need to work on their latitude."