Wednesday, September 25, 2019

NASCAR Top 10 Power Rankings: Week 28

By Jeffrey Boswell

Note: the quotes in this article are fictional.

1. Martin Truex, Jr. — Truex passed Kyle Busch for the lead on lap 26 and won the Federated Auto Parts 400, his second consecutive win.

"I had to overcome getting spun out by Ricky Stenhouse, Jr. while I was leading," Truex said. "Ricky's made a habit of doing things like this. He's ruined days, night, weekends, marriages, etc."

2. Kyle Busch — Busch won Stage 2, but couldn't hold off Joe Gibbs Racing teammate Martin Truex, Jr., who got by Busch and cruised to the win.

"We both had to deal with a lot of lapped traffic," Busch said. "As you know, lapped traffic can sometimes be your best friend, and sometimes be your worst enemy. Currently, lapped traffic is my worst enemy, on and off the track."

3. Denny Hamlin — Hamlin took third at Richmond as Joe Gibbs Racing cars took the top 4 spots, until Erik Jones was disqualified from the 4th-place finish.

"JGR was so dominant," Hamlin said, "we may have put the rest of the teams down for the count. That count is '1-2-3-4.' Unfortunately, Jones suffered a technical knockout."

4. Kevin Harvick — Harvick finished 7th at Richmond and secured a spot in the next round of the playoffs.

"Having my spot in the next round assured really takes the pressure off," Harvick said. "It always better to have your place 'clinched,' as opposed to your sphincter."

5. Brad Keselowski — Keselowski started on the pole and finished 4th at Richmond.

"I was originally scored in fifth," Keselowski said, "but Erik Jones was disqualified after his car failed post-race inspection. Jones didn't pass inspection, and if Penske's performance was any indication as to whether we have anything for Joe Gibbs Racing, then we didn't 'pass muster.'"

6. Joey Logano — Logano struggled at Richmond and finished 12th.

"I'm certainly not in the championship form I was in last year," Logano said. "It's basically the same car, but for some reason, I'm a 'Shell' of my former self."

7. Chase Elliott — Elliott started 3rd and finished 14th at Richmond.

"We're headed to Charlotte for the first elimination race of the playoffs," Elliott said. "There will be tension, there will be desperation, there will be anxiety. But enough about traffic on Bruton Smith Boulevard. I think everyone can agree that placing Kyle Busch right in the middle of that traffic would make it entertaining for everyone."

8. Kyle Larson — Larson finished 6th in the Federated Auto Parts 400 at Richmond and is 8th in the playoff points standings.

"Erik Jones became the first driver to be disqualified under NASCAR's new crackdown on rules infringements," Larson said. "I think NASCAR should be applauded for doing this. Let me clarify that last statement. NASCAR should be sarcastically applauded for doing that. This must be an aspect of NASCAR's new 'Rules Are Rules' initiative."

9. Ryan Blaney — Blaney came home 17th at Richmond and is 10th in the playoff standings.

"I'm looking forward to the 'Roval' and Charlotte Motor Speedway," Blaney said. "Last year, I won when Martin Truex, Jr. and Jimmie Johnson wreck at the last corner racing for the lead. Here's hoping lightning strikes twice. By that, I mean I hope lightning strikes the two leading cars and allows me to win again."

10. Ryan Newman — Newman finished 5th at Richmond.

"I'm putting Roush Fenway Racing back on the map," Newman said. "And speaking of 'maps,' it's been so long since Roush Fenway visited Victory Lane, they probably need directions to get there."

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