Wednesday, July 17, 2019

NASCAR Top 10 Power Rankings: Week 19

By Jeffrey Boswell

Note: the quotes in this article are fictional.

1. Kyle Busch — Busch finished 2nd at Kentucky to older brother Kurt after a dramatic and spirited two-lap battle for the win.

"What a finish!" Busch said. "I think all the fans were on their feet, which is surprising, because in most cases, when you mention the Busch brothers, the words 'can't stand' are used."

2. Joey Logano — Logano led with two laps remaining, but was shuffled back on the final restart and finished 7th.

"If not for that final caution," Logano said, "I would have won easily. So thanks Bubba Wallace for ruining my night. It may be the first time the No. 43 STP car has actually impacted a race since Richard Petty retired."

3. Martin Truex, Jr. — Truex finished 19th in the Quaker State 400, his night hindered by a late pit road speeding penalty.

"Sure, I'm disappointed," Truex said, "but I got to witness one of the greatest finishes in NASCAR history. As duels go, I don't thing Kurt and Kyle Busch can top this, unless they used real guns. If Kurt lost, he would finally be right about one thing — he knew an assassin."

4. Kurt Busch — Busch made a move from 3rd on the final restart at Kentucky, and held off younger brother Kyle to win his first race of the season.

"I don't feel bad for my brother," Kurt Busch said. "He's already got four wins this year; he can spare a loss to his brother. I hope it humbles him to see me in Victory Lane. As they say, 'Little brother is watching.'"

5. Brad Keselowski — Keselowski finished 20th at Kentucky, one lap down.

"I'm disappointed," Keselowski said, "but I was thrilled to see such an exciting race. The race had nearly everything, although it lacked a driver taking another driver's hat off and tossing it to the ground. I hope Clint Bowyer's paying attention, because if you're going to do something to another driver, you should remember to take their hat off first."

6. Chase Elliott — Elliott suffered an early flat tire and fell a lap down, but worked his way back through the field to salvage a 15th-place finish.

"One week ago," Elliott said, "the No. 77 car won at Daytona with Justin Haley behind the wheel. At Kentucky, some person named 'Quin Houff' drove the 77 and finished 34th, 8 laps down. What's my point? The closest Quin Houff will ever get to being Justin Haley is only by listening to Metallica's 'Ride the Lightning' album."

7. Kevin Harvick — Harvick came home 22nd in the Quaker State 400.

"The No. 4 Ford sported the Hunt Brothers Pizza paint scheme," Harvick said. "But my car just wasn't up to par. If my car's performance was pizza, it would be the kind of pizza served in convenience stores."

8. Denny Hamlin — Hamlin stormed back from an uncontrolled tire penalty to post a 5th at Kentucky, as Joe Gibbs Racing placed three cars in the top five.

"Erik Jones could have easily won that race," Hamlin said. "He had a front row seat for the Kurt Busch-Kyle Busch battle. If they wreck, Erik wins. So, no one wanted to see the Busch's wreck more than Erik. But let me be clear: everyone wanted to see them wreck; just none more than Erik."

9. Alex Bowman — Alex Bowman finished 17th at Kentucky and is 9th in the Monster Energy Cup points standings, 192 out of first.

"My Hendrick Motorsports teammate William Byron had a good shot at the win," Bowman said, "but he jumped a restart and had to serve a stop-and-go penalty. Apparently, he got duped by Clint Bowyer. But really, does Bowyer actually know when or when not to 'punch it?'"

10. Kyle Larson — Larson finished 4th in the Quaker State 400.

"Chris Buescher's JTG Daugherty Chevrolet was sponsored my Planters Peanuts," Larson said. "So you may have seen their mascot, Mr. Peanut, at Kentucky Speedway in the pits. That's unusual, because at most NASCAR races, those without pants are usually in the infield."

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