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NASCAR Top-10 Power Rankings: Talladega

Note: The quotes in this article are fictional.

1. Kyle Larson: Larson found trouble early at Talladega when he made contact with Jamie McMurray, which cut a tire on the No. 42 Target Chevrolet. Larson recovered and worked his way up to a 12th-place finish as Ricky Stenhouse Jr. took the win.

“Great race by Ricky,” Larson said. “His father, Ricky Stenhouse Sr. was briefly taken into police custody when he tried to reach Victory Circle via a route that allowed no pedestrians. Police eventually realized he was related, and he was released, only to arrive in Victory Circle to find someone else, Danica Patrick to be exact, ‘having relations’ with his son. Okay, so maybe they were just kissing.”

2. Martin Truex Jr.: Like many top drivers, Truex was caught in the “Big One,” a lap 171 melee triggered by contact from A.J. Allmendinger on Chase Elliott.

“I was asked to describe Talladega in three words,” Truex said. “I responded ‘Good, bad, and ugly.’ That was a Clint Eastwood movie. I think a more fitting title would have been ‘Sudden Impact.’ Or better yet, ‘Any Which Way You Can,’ or ‘Every Which Way But Loose.'”

3. Jimmie Johnson: Johnson finished eighth in the Geico 500, posting his fourth top 10 of the year.

“Everybody knew the ‘Big One’ was coming,” Johnson said. “NASCAR chairman Brian France likes to refer to himself as the ‘Big One.’ NASCAR drivers, on the other hand, like to say the ‘Big One’ when referring to France’s second chin.”

4. Brad Keselowski: Keselowski won Stage 1 at Talladega and survived the “Big One” with 20 laps to go on his way to a seventh in the Geico 500.

“Ricky Stenhouse Jr. gave Roush Fenway Racing its first win since June of 2014,” Keselowski said. “It appears Jack Roush is relevant again. He even congratulated Stenhouse. In other words, Jack finally took his hat off.”

5. Chase Elliott: Elliott was running second on lap 171 when he was bumped by A.J. Allmendinger, sending Elliott’s No. 24 Hooter’s car into oncoming traffic.

“I nearly went airborne,” Elliott said. “And speaking of instances where gravity seems to briefly be suspended, how about the Hooter’s sponsorship on my car? Come to Hooter’s and you’ll see not one, but several ‘Big Ones.'”

6. Joey Logano: Logano’s day ended in a huge crash with 20 laps to go at Talladega, leaving him with a disappointing 32nd-place finish.

“We had a car that was capable of winning,” Logano said, “but circumstances beyond my control prevented that. Honestly, I felt like I was cheated.”

7. Kevin Harvick: Harvick was a victim of Talladega’s lap 171 crash that involved 18 cars. Harvick eventually finished 23rd.

“It was pure car-nage,” Harvick said. “There’s only one thing worse than being involved in the ‘Big One,’ and that’s knowing it’s coming and not being able to do anything about it. So, in addition to cars, nerves are wrecked as well.”

8. Kyle Busch: Busch led a race-high 48 laps, and seemed headed to the win until Ricky Stenhouse Jr. passed him for the win on the final lap. Busch finished third and is 10th in the Monster Energy Cup points standings.

“We clearly had the best car in the field,” Busch said. “Unfortunately, the No. 18 Skittles Toyota doesn’t have a win to show for it. If there’s a slogan for our performance, it would be ‘Skittles: Waste the rainbow.'”

9. Jamie McMurray: McMurray finished second at Talladega as Ricky Stenhouse Jr. won his first Monster Energy Cup race. McMurray is fifth in the points standings, 110 behind Kyle Larson,

“Ricky Stenhouse Jr.’s win will be a life-changer,” McMurray said. “This could be the first of many wins to come for him. On the other hand, it could the only win of his career. In that case, he will always remember the ‘Big One’ at Talladega.”

10.(tie) Ricky Stenhouse Jr.: Stenhouse passed Kyle Busch with a lap remaining in an overtime finish at Talladega. It was Stenhouse’s first Monster Energy Cup series victory.

“I was met in Victory Lane with a kiss from Danica Patrick,” Stenhouse said. “I guess you could say I made out like a winner. And, as an added benefit to everyone, our lips were locked, so Danica couldn’t talk.”

10.(tie) Clint Bowyer: Bowyer finished 14th in the Geico 500 and is ninth in the points standings, 85 out of first.

“I’m just glad I made it through the race with my car in one piece,” Bowyer said. “There are a lot of drivers who can’t say that. The one thing that broke loose on their cars was ‘all hell.'”

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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