Note: The quotes in this article are fictional.
1. Jimmie Johnson: Johnson finished 23rd in the Hellman’s 500 and will head to Martinsville as the favorite to win the first race of the next round of the Chase.
“Martinsville is one of my favorite tracks,” Johnson said. “I’ve got eight wins there, which means I’ve got eight grandfather clock trophies. Winning there to start the third round of the Chase would certainly be a ‘timely’ victory.”
2. Kevin Harvick: Harvick finished seventh in the Hellman’s 500 at Talladega and is one of seven drivers moving on to the next round of the Chase.
“You may have seen me take a swing inside Kurt Busch’s car after the race,” Harvick said. “That’s three years in a row in which I’ve been involved in some sort of controversy midway through the Chase. I guess it’s just that time of the month.”
3. Denny Hamlin: Hamlin finished third in the Hellman’s 500 at Talladega and just edged out Austin Dillon for the eighth and final spot in the third round of the Chase.
“I beat Kurt Busch for third by a matter of feet,” Hamlin said. “To put it into words that I know Busch can understand, I ‘beat’ him by the length of Kevin Harvick’s arm.”
4. Matt Kenseth: Kenseth came home 28th at Talladega and will join his three Joe Gibbs Racing teammates in Round 3 of the Chase.
“I’ve got to hand it to Joey Logano,” Kenseth said. “He really came through with the pressure on. I guess everything in his car was working to perfection, especially the ‘clutch.’”
5. Kyle Busch: Busch finished 30th at Talladega and safely advanced to the next round of the Chase.
“Our goal was simply to avoid disaster,” Busch said. “Going forward, ‘avoiding disaster’ may entail steering clear of any Stewart-Haas Racing driver. Tony Stewart, Kevin Harvick, and Kurt Busch all have anger issues. Their teammate Danica Patrick stays mentally grounded by doing yoga. That might help her teammates. But can you see Stewart, Harvick, and Busch doing yoga? That would be a stretch.”
6. Joey Logano: Logano survived a couple of late restarts to win the Hellman’s 500 at Talladega and clinch his spot in the Round of 8 in the Chase.
“With the race being the Hellman’s 500,” Logano said, “there was no champagne in victory circle, just mayonnaise. So, to celebrate, ‘Sliced Bread’ was covered by mayonnaise.”
7. Kurt Busch: Busch finished fourth in the Hellman’s 500, then had a controversial run-in with Stewart-Haas teammate Kevin Harvick, who took a swing at Busch while he sat in his No. 41 car after the race.
“Much like a female government assassin,” Busch said, “Harvick ‘hits’ like a girl.”
8. Carl Edwards: Edwards finished 29th at Talladega and qualified for the next round of the Chase on the virtue of points.
“While we were racing at Talladega,” Edwards said, “the United States Grand Prix was taking place in Austin, Texas. There’s was a joke making the rounds in the Talladega infield. It goes like this: What do you call a thousand snooty Formula 1 fans? A ‘grand pricks.’”
9. Brad Keselowski: Keselowski blew an engine on lap 144 at Talladega and failed to advance to the next round of the Chase. He finished 38th, 48 laps off the pace.
“The grill of the No. 2 Miller Lite Ford was covered in trash,” Keselowski said. “I’m not sure if it was a hot dog wrapper, a paper towel, a napkin, or a tissue. But with this being Talladega, I can only tell you for sure that it was ‘white trash.’”
10. Martin Truex Jr.: Truex started on the pole at Talladega but blew his engine on lap 41, ruining his chance of advancing in the Chase For The Cup. He finished dead last in 40th.
“We had a storybook season,” Truex said. “We just need to work on the ‘ending.’”