NASCAR Top-10 Power Rankings: Darlington

Note: The quotes in this article are fictional.

1. Kevin Harvick: Harvick started on the pole after qualifying was rained out and finished second at Darlington.

“We faltered in the pits once again,” Harvick said. “We are losing so much time during pit stops, I understand the problem, this time, was a faulty air gun. Maybe it had trouble with lug nuts, but that gun had no problem shooting me in the foot.”

2. Brad Keselowski: Keselowski suffered a late loose wheel at Darlington and finished ninth. He is second in the Sprint Cup points standings.

“That was the second of two loose wheel incidents,” Keselowski said. “I haven’t seen this many problems with a wheel since the invention of the wheel.

“On another disappointing note, I was docked 10 points for failing a post-race inspection at Michigan. But I guess I should have seen it coming because NASCAR officials told me it was time for a ‘10-point inspection.’”

3. Joey Logano: Logano finished fifth in the Bojangle’s Southern 500 at Darlington, posting his ninth top-five result of the season.

“Bojangles is famous for its chicken,” Logano said. “Ryan Newman says I am too.”

4. Kyle Busch: Busch started sixth at Darlington and finished 11th.

“How about that fight after the Camping World Truck Series race between Cole Custer and John Hunter Nemechek?” Busch said. “Nemechek’s actions were cold-blooded; Custer’s response was Cole-blooded. I wouldn’t be surprised if NASCAR takes the victory away from Nemechek. If that happens, then the son of the man known as ‘Front Row Joe’ will be known as ‘Front Row No.’”

5. Martin Truex Jr.: Truex led 28 laps and held off the hard-charging Kevin Harvick down the stretch to win the Bojangle’s Southern 500 at Darlington. It was Truex’s second win of the season.

“Having Harvick chasing me only made me go faster,” Truex said. “Everyone knows, especially Brad Keselowski, that Harvick does his best ‘pushing’ when he’s behind you.”

6. Denny Hamlin: Hamlin led 13 laps and came home fourth in the Southern 500, registering his eighth top five of the year.

“The Sprint Cup race lacked the exciting finish of the Camping World Truck Series race,” Hamlin said. “John Hunter Nemechek incited the ire of Cole Custer, and Custer responded with a flying takedown. I see a Bass Pro Shops promotion in the future for those two guys, because that’s textbook ‘bait and tackle.’”

7. Kurt Busch: Busch was wrecked with 40 laps to go at Darlington when Paul Menard’s lost control after his left-rear tire went flat. Menard slid up the track, sending Busch into the wall. Busch finished 34th.

“I don’t blame Menard,” Busch said. “He was totally innocent. For me to blame him for the crash would be like someone accusing a girlfriend of being a hired assassin.”

8. Carl Edwards: Edwards finished a disappointing 19th at Darlington, the only Joe Gibbs Racing driver to finish outside the top 11.

“Trust me,” Edwards said, “I know what it’s like to be an outsider. But that’s okay. When you’re an outsider at a NASCAR race, you have plenty of company, because porta-potties are known as ‘outsiders.’”

9. Matt Kenseth: Kenseth finished sixth at Darlington, joining Joe Gibbs Racing teammate Denny Hamlin in the top 10.

“I can certainly relate to Cole Custer,” Kenseth said. “I can’t tell you how many times I’ve wanted to tackle a rival driver. But racing isn’t football. Sure, there are similarities, like ‘false starts’ and ‘interference’ and ‘helmets.’ But there is considerable diversity in the two sports, such as NASCAR’s lack of diversity.”

10. Kyle Larson: One week after winning at Michigan, Larson was again strong at Darlington, leading 45 laps on his way to a third-place finish.

“I’m brimming with confidence,” Larson said. “And, unlike Kevin Harvick, I have nothing but good things to say about my pit crew. While Harvick is critiquing at the wrong moment, I’m peaking at the right moment.”

The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of


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