Wednesday, October 11, 2017

NASCAR Top 10 Power Rankings: Week 30

By Jeffrey Boswell

Note: the quotes in this article are fictional.

1. Martin Truex, Jr. — Truex started 17th and Charlotte, but the handling on his No. 78 Toyota finally came around at the right time, and he pulled away to win the Bank of America 500.

"That's my sixth win in 30 races this season," Truex said. "That's one of every five. Stated as a fraction, that's a fifth. Stated in terms a NASCAR fan can understand, that's 750 milliliters."

2. Kyle Busch — Busch fell a lap down after slapping the wall on lap 137 and finished a disappointing 29th at Charlotte.

"I needed immediate medical attention right after the race," Busch said. "I was overheated and dehydrated. Doctors in the infield care center said I looked white as a sheet. That's when they knew it was okay to release me."

3. Kyle Larson — Larson was leading with 55 laps remaining, but his tire carrier slipped and fell on a pit stop, costing Larson the lead and track position. He eventually finished tenth.

"It was an unavoidable mistake," Larson said, "and I feel bad for my tire carrier. But he feels even worse. He's beaten himself up about it so much that he's in traction."

4. Denny Hamlin — Hamlin won the pole at Charlotte and led the first 35 laps on his way to a fourth, his 13th top-five of the year.

"I said NASCAR drivers should make as much as athletes in the NBA and NFL," Hamlin said. "I guess what I'm saying is driver should be more overpaid than we already are."

5. Chase Elliott — Elliott took second at Charlotte, posting his second consecutive runner-up finish.

"I feel like those two runner-up finishes have prepared me for a win," Elliott said. "It's just a matter of time. How much time? I'd say about 'two seconds.'"

6. Kevin Harvick — Harvick dominated early at Charlotte, winning the first two stages and raced to a third-place finish.

"I think we had the fastest car," Harvick said. "I think we've found the speed we've been missing. I think you'll see the No. 4 Jimmy John's/Busch Ford really showing that at Talladega. To put it in perspective for fans in the Talladega infield, my car will moving around 'Dega's 2.66 mile track as fast, if not faster, than Jimmy John's and Busch beer moving through your digestive tract. I think we can challenge those Toyotas, so expect a race as competitive as your race to the port-a-potty."

7. Jimmie Johnson — Johnson finished 7th at Charlotte, recording his 11th top-10 of the year.

"We got away with an apparent rules violation in the pits," Johnson said. "One a my pit crew members tightened a lug nut when I was clearly out of the pit box. I can't explain it. I guess the only thing we can do is open up the NASCAR rule book. To which page, you ask? The one labeled 'interpretation.'"

8. Brad Keselowski — Keselowski finished 15th at Charlotte and is now 10th in the points standings, 64 out of first.

"It was an exhausting day at Charlotte," Keselowski said. "But I'll tell you what's really exhausting: saying 'Toyota' when someone asks who's won the last four races."

9. Matt Kenseth — Kenseth posted a solid 11th at Charlotte.

"Five hundred miles in those conditions is brutal," Kenseth said. "You saw what happened to Kyle Busch. He was overcome with carbon monoxide poisoning. Luckily, he recovered. It's mentioned a lot in our sport, but never has racing in 'clean air' been more important."

10. Jamie McMurray — McMurray finished fifth at Charlotte and is now eighth in the Monster Energy Cup points standings, 62 behind Martin Truex, Jr.

"It was incredibly humid out there," McMurray. "Kyle Busch visited the infield care center due to overheating. He didn't seem to upset. It was the first time in his life he's been called 'smoking hot.'"

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