Wednesday, November 22, 2017

NASCAR Top 10 Power Rankings: Week 36

By Jeffrey Boswell

Note: the quotes in this article are fictional.

1. Martin Truex, Jr. — Truex led the final 51 laps at Homestead and held off Kyle Busch to capture the win at Homestead and his first Monster Energy Cup championship.

"No offense to Joey Gase," Truex said, "but nice guys don't finish last, they finish first. I am a nice guy, and as champion, I reserve the right to be called 'Mister Nice Guy.'"

2. Kyle Busch — Busch finished second at Homestead to Martin Truex, Jr., who got the jump on a lap 34 restart and kept Busch at bay for the remainder of the race.

"That race was for all the marbles," Busch said. "First of all, I wanted to win this race for myself, but I also wanted to win in for my brother Kurt, so I could give him some marbles, because he lacks 'all his marbles.'"

3. Kevin Harvick — Harvick finished fourth at Homestead as Martin Truex, Jr. won the race to capture the Monster Energy Cup championship.

"Lost in the shuffle of Dale Earnhardt, Jr's retirement was Danica Patrick's retirement," Harvick said. "The only way Danica will be 'Miss-ed' is if Ricky Stenhouse, Jr. doesn't marry her."

4. Brad Keselowski — Keselowski finished seventh at Homestead, falling short in his bid to win his second Cup championship.

"I guess I predicted a Toyota championship," Keselowski said. "I guess at the time I was trying to give 'constructive criticism,' but it turned into 'constructors criticism.'"

5. Chase Elliott — Elliott finished fifth at Homestead, posting his 21st top-10 of the season.

"I'm looking forward to a long offseason," Elliott said. "I didn't take long to erase Denny Hamlin from championship contention; it will take much longer to erase him from my memory."

6. Denny Hamlin — Hamlin started on the pole at Homestead and finished ninth.

"Martin Truex, Jr. has a rare quality among NASCAR champions," Hamlin said. "He has absolutely no enemies. So, I can say for sure he's friends with Chase Elliott."

7. Ryan Blaney — Blaney finished a disappointing 29th at Homestead and ended the year ninth in the Monster Energy points standings.

"Homestead was my final race with Wood Brothers Racing," Blaney said. "I'm moving on to Penske Racing in 2018. This bodes well for my bank account, but not for my love life, because my days with Wood are over."

8. Matt Kenseth — Kenseth finished eighth in the Ford EcoBoost 400.

"I'm not sure what I'll be doing in retirement," Kenseth said. "I am sure it won't be anything with Carl Edwards."

9. Jimmie Johnson — Johnson finished 27th at Homestead and completes the season 10th in the points standings.

"With no chance to win the Cup," Johnson said, "my mind was elsewhere for the duration of the entire race. I guess I was thinking of my seven Cup championships. When you're Jimmie Johnson, reminiscing is an all-day job."

10. Jamie McMurray — McMurray finished 13th in the Ford EcoBoost 400.

"Dale Earnhardt, Jr. celebrated his final race by sharing beers with his pit crew," McMurray said. "As if NASCAR's Most Popular Driver needed another reason for people to 'say cheers.'"

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