Wednesday, September 20, 2017

NASCAR Top 10 Power Rankings: Week 27

By Jeffrey Boswell

Note: the quotes in this article are fictional.

1. Martin Truex, Jr. — Truex started third at Chicagoland as Toyota's took the top three qualifying spot. Despite an early pit road speeding penalty, Truex recovered and took the win, securing his spot in the second round of the Chase For the Cup.

"As per usual in a race sponsored by Nickelodeon," Truex said, "the winner gets 'slimed' with the network's signature green go. So I got slimed. If you've ever taken a dip in the infield pond at Daytona after the Daytona 500, you get the same result."

2. Kyle Larson — Larson finished fifth in the Tales of the Turtles 400.

"It's too bad Sunoco is the official fuel of NASCAR," Larson said, "because Shell's missing a heck of an opportunity for a tie-in with the new Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles movies."

3. Denny Hamlin — Hamlin started second and came home fourth, posting the top finish among Joe Gibbs Racing drivers.

"Brad Keselowski had a lot of words to say about Toyota's," Hamlin said. "Brad's Ford may lack speed, but he certainly doesn't, because he's always quick to complain."

4. Kevin Harvick — Harvick led 59 laps and finished third at Chicagoland.

"Let me just dispel a rumor right now," Harvick said. "Jimmy John's deliveries are 'freaky fast,' but despite what Brad Keselowski says, our delivery fleet is not comprised exclusively of Toyota's."

5. Kyle Busch — Busch started on the pole at Chicagoland and finished a disappointing 15th, due to a number of issues in the pits. He is still fifth in the points standings, 41 out of first.

"We made some costly mistakes," Busch said. "First a loose wheel, then a penalty in the pits for over the wall too soon. Maybe it was because I had a new pit crew. I think it was a case of nerves. Others think it may have the Skittles paint scheme, because we were 'skitt-ish.'"

6. Matt Kenseth — Kenseth took ninth in the Tales of the Turtles 400, posting his 13th top-10 of the year.

"You saw NASCAR officials taking tires into the 'blue tent' for testing," Kenseth said. "As I understand it, they submerge the tires in water to check for leaks. It's the NASCAR equivalent of waterboarding."

7. Jimmie Johnson — Johnson, seeking his eighth Cup championship, posted an eighth in the Tales of the Turtles 400.

"If I win number eight," Johnson said, "I'll be alone at the top of the list of NASCAR champions. So I really want one more, because that will give me one more than anyone else."

8. Brad Keselowski — Keselowski finished sixth at Chicagoland, recording his 15th top-10 of the year.

"Maybe my comments about Toyota domination were premature," Keselowski said. "Although a Toyota won the race, they didn't dominate altogether. So, maybe in hindsight, I shouldn't have made those statements. But, I drive a Ford, probably the slowest of the cars, so any observations I make will be in 'hindsight,' because I'm behind.

9. Jamie McMurray — McMurray finished 10th in the Tales of the Turtles 400.

"I think it's great to have the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles associated with a NASCAR race," McMurray said. "NASCAR's fan-base is dwindling, so it's brilliant market to target not only teenagers, but mutants, ninjas, and turtles, as well."

10. Chase Elliott — Elliott led 42 laps and took the runner-up spot at Chicagoland.

"Martin Truex, Jr. won handily," Elliott said. "There wasn't a close finish at all, and there wasn't a whole lot of action during the race. Nowadays, everybody knows the best battles in NASCAR happen on Twitter."

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