Wednesday, November 8, 2017
NASCAR Top 10 Power Rankings: Week 34
Note: the quotes in this article are fictional.
1. Martin Truex, Jr. — Truex finished second in the AAA 500 and clinched a spot in the Chase final four at Homestead.
"The pressure is on for five drivers looking for that final spot," Truex said. "I'm just glad I can sit back and relax, and watch frustration boil over for other drivers. So, while they're going 'postal,' I'll be going 'coast-al.'"
2. Kyle Busch — Busch finished 19th in the AAA 500 and is already good to go for Homestead by virtue of his win at Martinsville.
"There are three drivers with clinched spots," Busch said, "and five others with clinched sphincters."
3. Kevin Harvick — Harvick passed Martin Truex, Jr. late to win at Texas and qualify for the Chase finale at Homestead.
"The No. 4 Jimmy John's car was not only 'freaky fast,'" Harvick said, "it was 'freakin' fast.'"
4. Brad Keselowski — Keselowski finished fourth at Texas and is fourth in the points standing, 19 ahead of Denny Hamlin in fifth.
"I'm going to Phoenix like a NASCAR fan in the infield going to the port-a-potty," Keselowski said. "I'm headed there strictly to 'take care of business.'
"And speaking of business, I'll have Discount Tire sponsorship for the No. 2 car for several races next year. I think Discount Tire sponsorship will be very noticeable to the NASCAR fan base, because what NASCAR fan is not intrigued by cheap rubbers?"
5. Denny Hamlin — Hamlin started second at Texas and finished third at Texas, and will vie for the last of the four available playoff spots at Phoenix.
"I spent much of the day looking to see if Chase Elliott was behind me," Hamlin said. "He was, but fortunately for me, there were 15-20 cars between us."
6. Chase Elliott — Elliott failed prequalifying technical inspection and started 34th at Texas on his way to a 8th-place finish.
"I'll likely need a win at Phoenix to make a run for the Cup at Phoenix," Elliott said. "Here's a prediction: if you don't see me in Victory Lane, you can probably find me in the NASCAR hauler with Denny Hamlin."
7. Ryan Blaney — Blaney took sixth in the AAA 500 and is sixth in the Monster Energy Cup points standings, 22 behind Brad Keselowski in fourth.
"Dale Earnhardt, Jr. tweeted a pic of Tony Stewart in spandex," Blaney said. "Unfortunately, it was so tight, you could see the outline of Tony's 'mo jo.'"
8. Matt Kenseth — Kenseth finished fourth at Texas and will likely need a win at Phoenix to advance as a Cup contender at Homestead.
"I won't be a full-time Cup driver in 2018," Kenseth said. "So, the next two races for me will be 'win and I'm in' and 'over and out.'"
9. Jimmie Johnson — Johnson, who won at Texas in April, finished 27th at Texas, his day marred by an unscheduled pit stop due to a vibration.
"I'll tell you what else is vibrating," Johnson said. "My head, because I'm shaking it, because I really have no explanation for our struggles."
10. Kurt Busch — Busch starting on the pole at Texas after turning a record lap in qualifying. He finished ninth on Sunday.
"That's the Busch brother way," Kurt said. "Whether we're going super fast, or being super whiny, it sounds like a broken record."