Note: The quotes in this article are fictional.
1. Jimmie Johnson: Johnson outdueled Matt Kenseth for the lead on a restart with 18 laps to go and went on to win the Bank Of America 500. Johnson’s No. 48 Chevrolet was the class of the field at Charlotte, leading 155 laps.
“I want so bad to win my seventh Cup championship,” Johnson said. “I can assure everyone, fan and drivers alike, that I’m going to put all of my ability and energy into trying to make that happen. That makes me the greatest ‘try-athlete’ in the world.”
2. Matt Kenseth: Kenseth delivered a strong start to Round 2 of the Chase with a runner-up finish at Charlotte.
“Hurricane Matthew wreaked havoc with the NASCAR schedule at Charlotte,” Kenseth said. “And it was certainly gusty during the race. I haven’t felt that much residual wind since I hung out in A.J. Allmendinger’s No. 47 Bush’s Beans hauler. In any case, ‘Hurricane Jimmie’ ‘blew’ right past me on the final restart.”
3. Brad Keselowski: Keselowski finished seventh at Charlotte, posting his 21st top 10 of the season.
“There was no controversy at Charlotte this time,” Keselowski said. “The only person that got ‘jumped’ at Charlotte was Martin Truex Jr. when he stalled his engine.”
4. Martin Truex Jr.: Truex started seventh and finished 13th at Charlotte.
“Our day could have been better,” Truex said, “but I stalled my engine during a late pit stop and lost track position. Well, so much for the proposed ‘Sitting Pretty’ line of recliners at Furniture Row.”
5. Kyle Busch: Busch finished sixth in the Bank Of America 500, joining Joe Gibbs Racing teammate Matt Kenseth, who finished second, in the top 10.
“Denny Hamlin’s blown engine on lap 309 was a nightmare for him,” Busch said, “but a dream come true for some drivers, like Kevin Harvick, who finished 38th. Could Harvick have had something to do with Hamlin’s engine failure? Who knows? All I know is this: if Harvick needs a wreck to advance and he’s on the track, you should look out for Harvick. Heck, and even if Harvick’s not on the track and he needs a miracle, someone’s ‘looking out’ for Harvick.”
6. Kurt Busch: Busch finished eighth in the Bank Of America 500, posting his 19th top 10 of the year.
“We’re off to Kansas Motor Speedway for the next race in the Chase,” Busch said. “The pressure is on everyone to advance, and that pressure can play with your emotions. So, while we’ll be in the physical ‘state’ of Kansas, I have no idea what my mental ‘state’ will be.”
7. Kevin Harvick: Harvick started on the pole at Charlotte but experienced electrical issues that ended his day early. He finished 38th.
“Frankly,” Harvick said, “I’m shocked that we had electrical issues. But I think it’s way too early to pull the plug on our championship hopes.”
8. Carl Edwards: Edwards finished 12th at Charlotte on a day when several Chasers struggled.
“A lot of drivers dug themselves holes,” Edwards said. “Such as Kevin Harvick, Joey Logano, and Denny Hamlin. There are by no means out of the running to advance to the next round, so I can only advise them to give it their all and continue to grind away. In other words, I hope those guys ‘keep digging.’”
9. Joey Logano: Tire issues ruined Logano’s day at Charlotte after blown tires sent him into the wall on two occasions. He limped to a 36th-place finish.
“We were doing so well in the Chase with three top-10 finishes,” Logano said. “Things were going right, but sometimes, things can go too right, like your steering wheel.”
10. Denny Hamlin: Hamlin lost his engine on lap 309 while running second. Hamlin finished 30th, 26 laps down.
“Something broke,” Hamlin said. “It was most likely my spirit.”