NASCAR Top 10 Power Rankings: Week 25

Note: the quotes in this article are fictional.

1. Kyle Busch — An engine change sent Busch to the rear at the start, but he steadily climbed forward, ultimately falling short of catching Joe Gibbs Racing teammate Erik Jones, who secured his first win of the year.

"I nearly pulled off the 'last to first' run," Busch said. "I've done it many times, the first being when I was born after my older brother Kurt, only to finish first in my parents' favorite child vote."

2. Denny Hamlin — Hamlin was collected in a final stage wreck and finished 29th, his worst finish of the year.

"It was a tough weekend," Hamlin said. "I won the Xfinity Series race on Saturday, but I was disqualified for what's known as a 'ride-height violation.' There's a fine line between 'high enough' and 'too high,' and it's just one of the many things that's straddled in track infields every week."

3. Martin Truex, Jr. — Truex finished 15th at Darlington, one lap down.

"The race started four hours late," Truex said. "That's a long time. Drivers even had time for naps. Believe it or not, not racing makes you sleepy. Ask most fans, and they'll tell you racing makes them sleepy."

4. Kevin Harvick — Harvick finished 4th at Darlington, and is now 4th in the points standings.

"It was 'throwback' week at Darlington," Harvick said. "That doesn't mean Bubba Wallace was tossing the football with fans during a rain delay. It does mean that throwback stock cars had crappy paint schemes."

5. Brad Keselowski — Keselowski took fifth in the Bojangles' Southern 500.

"My No. 2 Mustang honored Rusty Wallace's 1996 paint scheme," Keselowski said. "It looked so much like Rusty's version, Ryan Newman tried to wreck me."

6. Joey Logano — A cut tire forced an unscheduled pit stop midway through the race, and Logano limped home to a 14th-place finish at Darlington.

"We appreciate all the fans who outlasted the rain delay and stayed until the end," Logano said. "To those who didn't, well, we're not going to lose any sleep over it."

7. Chase Elliott — Elliott finished 19th at Darlington, two laps down, his night hindered by damaged suffered in a lap 260 multiple-car accident.

"My Hendrick teammate William Byron's paint scheme was inspired by Cole Trickle's car in the 'Days of Thunder' movie," Elliott said. "Personally, I would have much rather seen a paint scheme honoring the legendary Dick Trickle. That's a paint scheme that would have been difficult to keep secret. In other words, it would have 'leaked.'"

8. Kurt Busch — Busch started 4th at Darlington and finished 7th at Darlington.

"We're headed to Indianapolis next," Busch said. "There are some playoff spots on the line, so I'm guessing you might see some drivers who don't even win the race 'kissing the bricks.' If the actual win puts a driver in the playoffs, you might see a 'bricklayer.'"

9. Kyle Larson — Larson took the runner-up spot in the Bojangles' Southern 500, earning his fifth-straight top-10 finish.

"Ryan Newman's No. 6 car had the Oscar Mayer paint scheme," Larson said. "The 'Wienermobile' even made an appearance. 'Weinermobile' is also what Ryan calls anything Kurt Busch is driving."

10. Ryan Blaney — Blaney finished 13th at Darlington. He is now 10th in the Monster Energy Cup points standings, and clinched a spot in the playoffs.

"Ty Dillon's crew chief Matt Borland failed a recent drug test," Blaney said. "He claimed it was the result of his consumption of diet coffee. Borland defended himself by saying, 'Say it ain't so, Joe.'"

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