Wednesday, August 12, 2020

NASCAR Top 10 Power Rankings: Michigan

By Jeffrey Boswell

Note: the quotes in this article are fictional.

1. Kevin Harvick — Harvick swept the weekend, holding off Brad Keselowski on Saturday and outpointing Denny Hamlin on Sunday. Harvick now has 6 wins this season and is the points leader.

"How good am I at Michigan?" Harvick said. "So good, I may need to change my nickname to the '(Not Even) Close(r).'"

2. Denny Hamlin — Hamlin stalked Kevin Harvick over the final 10 laps at Michigan, but couldn't make the pass. Hamlin settled for 2nd, while Harvick completed the weekend sweep at Michigan International Speedway.

"Harvick brought the broom," Hamlin said, "but he apparently forgot the dustpan this weekend, because he left us all 'in the dust.'"

3. Brad Keselowski — Keselowski wrecked racing for the lead with Penske Racing teammate Ryan Blaney on lap 96. Keselowski got loose and clipped Blaney's rear, sending both into the wall. Keselowski finished 39th.

"It was totally my fault," Keselowski said. "And since we're in the state of Michigan, I said to Blaney, 'MI bad.'

"I still haven't won at Michigan International Speedway. That's my home track. It's both disappointing and 'MIS-appointing.'"

4. Chase Elliott — Elliott finished 9th in the Consumers Energy 400 at Michigan.

"The championship is shaping up to be a two-man battle," Elliott said. "Kevin Harvick and Denny Hamlin appear to be in a class all by themselves. The rest of us? We're also getting schooled."

5. Joey Logano — Logano finished 5th at Michigan.

"I feel terrible for Brad Keselowski," Logano said. "He wrecked Ryan Blaney and himself. I feel like I should do something for Brad, like take him to dinner. But because of the pandemic, I think 'take out' would be a more fitting gesture."

6. Ryan Blaney — Blaney was KO'd from the race when Penske teammate Brad Keselowski made contact, wrecking both. Blaney finished 38th while Keselowski finished 39th.

"What's this I hear about a 'Keselowski extension?" Blaney said. "Oh yeah, Brad extended me an apology."

7. Aric Almirola — Almirola led 9 laps and finished 6th at Michigan, where Stewart-Haas Racing teammate Kevin Harvick dominated the weekend, winning both races.

"I feel that no one 'dominates a weekend' like Kevin Harvick," Almirola said. "Now, some NASCAR old-schoolers would disagree, because they insist that no one 'dominated a weekend' like Tim Richmond."

8. Martin Truex, Jr. — Truex took 3rd at Michigan as Joe Gibbs Racing cars finished 2-3-4, with Denny Hamlin 2nd and Kyle Busch 4th.

"Where'd that fourth JGR car finish?" Truex said. "Good question. Here's the answer: Erik Jones finished 27th. Now, his car didn't lack speed, because he was 'going, going, gone.'"

9. Kurt Busch — Busch took 10th at Michigan on Sunday, matching his finish from Saturday's race.

"NASCAR is now using a formula to determine starting order," Busch said. "The formula takes into account a driver's most recent finish, his points position, and his rank of the fastest lap in the previous race. So, there's math in qualifying now, which might get Jeremy Mayfield's attention, but only if he hears what he wants to hear."

10. Matt DiBenedetto — DiBenedetto posted a 7th in the Consumers Energy 400 at Michigan.

"I heard Richard Petty offered Bubba Wallace an ownership stake in Richard Petty Motorsports," DiBenedetto said. "That's an awesome opportunity. I'd love to see my name associated with Wood Brothers Racing. I could bring a lot to the team, like letters to their name."

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