NASCAR Top-10 Power Rankings: New HampshireBy Jeffrey Boswell
Note: The quotes in this article are fictional.
1. Jimmie Johnson: Johnson finished sixth at Loudon as Brian Vickers was the surprise winner in the Camping World RV Sales 301. Johnson qualified second, but started last after failing post-qualifying inspection.
“According to NASCAR,” Johnson said, “the front-end of the No. 48 was too low, so I was disqualified. You could say it was a ‘front-end suspension.’
“We dug ourselves a hole with the disqualification. But Chad Knaus is a master of digging out of holes, and even better getting out of those filled with hot water.”
2. Matt Kenseth: Kenseth finished ninth at New Hampshire, posting his tenth top-10 result of the year. He is now sixth in the Sprint Cup point standings, 120 out of first.
“What an amazing run by Brian Vickers,” Kenseth said. “What’s even more amazing? Not only did Vickers’ car pass inspection, he passed inspection.”
3. Clint Bowyer: Bowyer took 13th as Michael Waltrip Racing teammate Brian Vickers won the Camping World RV Sales 301. Bowyer moved up one spot in the point standings to second, and now trails Jimmie Johnson by 56.
“It was a banner day for MWR,” Bowyer said. “Unfortunately, Michael Waltrip couldn’t be here to see it. He was in England at the Goodwood Festival Of Speed. Some might say that for just a few days, Michael was the ‘Queen Of England.’”
4. Kevin Harvick: Harvick registered his ninth consecutive top-10 finish with a seventh at New Hampshire, while Richard Childress Racing teammate Jeff Burton finished a season-best third. Harvick is now fourth in the point standings, 74 out of first.
“Ryan Newman is not returning to Stewart-Haas Racing next year,” Harvick said. “So, according to Kyle Busch, Newman is saying ‘ogre and out’ to Stewart-Haas, and I’ll fill his spot. It’s a good exchange for Stewart; as for an ‘ogre,’ I’ve been called worse. As for Newman, I’ve been called better.”
5. Kyle Busch: Busch led 53 laps at Loudon but was overtaken late by Brian Vickers, who held on to win the Camping World RV Sales 301. Busch’s runner-up finish was his fourth top-5 result in the last seven races.
“The Busch brothers have declared all-out war on Ryan Newman,” Busch said. “I called Newman the ‘biggest, stupid idiot,’ which is almost as bad as calling someone the “stupidest, big idiot.’ But make no mistake. My brother and I don’t back down from fights, we just lose them.
“I’m sure Newman will come looking for me now. But tell him not to bother; I’m not hiring.”
6. Carl Edwards: Edwards finished eighth in the Camping World RV Sales 301 at Loudon. He is third in the point standings, 73 behind Jimmie Johnson.
“Danica Patrick turned down an offer to pose nude in ESPN’s ‘Body’ issue,” Edwards said. “I understand she replied to ESPN’s request by saying ‘No GoDaddy.’
“Once again, we’re getting worked up about Danica for nothing. What has she done in NASCAR? Not much. Maybe she should concentrate on appearing in ESPN’s ‘Somebody’ issue first.”
7. Tony Stewart: Stewart’s fuel mileage gamble fell short, costing him a sure top-10 finish at New Hampshire. He fell all the way to 26th, and tumbled out of the top 10 in the Sprint Cup point standings.
“Danica Patrick won’t get naked,” Stewart said, “but my gas tank sure will, because it petered out.”
“But how about Morgan Shepherd? At 71, he became the oldest driver to start a NASCAR race. In doing so, he’s redefined ‘late model’ racing.”
8. Dale Earnhardt, Jr.: Earnhardt finished 14th in the Camping World RV Sales 301, the lowest finish among Hendrick Motorsports drivers. He remained in fifth in the point standings, 118 out of first.
“I can appreciate a good RV,” Earnhardt said. “Some of my fans travel to races in them; the others live in them.”
9. Brad Keselowski: Keselowski edged Jimmie Johnson for the pole at Loudon and finished fourth, ending a string of five finishes outside the top 10. The defending Sprint Cup champion moved up four spots in the point standings to ninth, 167 out of first.
“It’s good to be up front,” Keselowski said. “It keeps fans and sponsors alike happy. With fans, it’s a matter of ‘What have you done for me lately?’ With sponsors, one in particular, it’s a case of ‘What have you done for me Lite-ly?’”
10. Greg Biffle: Biffle finished 15th in the Camping World RV Sales 301. He is eighth in the Sprint Cup point standings, 151 out of first.
“It was not a great day for us,” Biffle said, “nor was it one for Ricky Stenhouse, Jr. He was wrecked by his girlfriend, Danica Patrick. Word is she was fully-clothed when he rebuffed her.”