Note: The quotes in this article are fictional.
1. Martin Truex Jr.: Truex finished seventh at Charlotte and heads to Round 2 in second, five points behind Kyle Busch.
“Last year,” Truex said, “Jimmie Johnson cost me the win here. He made an insane attempt to pass for the lead on the final corner. It didn’t end well for either of us. Things haven’t ended well for Jimmie in years.”
2. Kyle Busch: Busch finished 37th in the Bank Of America Roval 400, 10 laps down.
“I decided to call it a day when the race was red-flagged to allow clean up after a multi-car crash,” Busch said. “It was too hot to sit in the car any longer, and I was already three laps down. That was me saying ‘Bu-bye.’ That’s called ‘quitting while you’re behind.'”
3. Denny Hamlin: Hamlin finished 19th at Charlotte.
“Charlotte’s ‘roval’ is one of the trickiest tracks in NASCAR,” Hamlin said. “It requires a great deal of concentration. One lapse and you will find yourself driving straight into a barrier. Then winning.”
4. Kevin Harvick: Harvick finished third at Charlotte and heads to the next round of the playoffs fifth in the points.
“I think NASCAR needs more road courses,” Harvick said. “Just so we can use the word ‘chicane’ more often. If you asked NASCAR fans if they know what a ‘chicane’ is, they would tell you ‘No.’ But chances are they would know they don’t like it.”
5. Chase Elliott: Elliott recovered from crashing head-on into a tire barrier while leading to win at Charlotte’s roval.
“That’s called ‘driving the brakes off’ the car,” Elliott said. “Luckily, my airbag didn’t deploy.”
6. Brad Keselowski: Keselowski finished fifth in the Bank Of America Roval 400.
“You really have to work to navigate Charlotte’s roval,” Keselowski said. “There are 17 turns; couple that with in-car temperatures in the 120s and the only way to describe it is ‘turn and burn.'”
7. Joey Logano: Logano finished 10th at Charlotte and starts Round 2 of the playoffs fourth in the points, 17 behind Kyle Busch in first.
“I only needed to finish 29th or better to advance to the next round,” Logano said. “So, ‘Admission Accomplished.'”
8. Kyle Larson: Larson won Stage 1 at Charlotte and finished 13th.
“I had a pit lane penalty,” Larson said. “I left my pit box while a crew member was trying to remove tape from the front of the car. That’s a violation and I was penalized a lap. I guess a ‘drive through’ penalty would have made more sense.”
9. Ryan Blaney: Blaney finished eighth at Charlotte.
“Not many people think I can win the championship,” Blaney said. “But before I can wrap my arms around the Monster Energy Cup championship trophy, I have to embrace the role of underdog. It almost sounds like a romance novel. Hey, whatever gets your engine revving.”
10. Alex Bowman: Bowman claimed a spot in Round 2 of the playoffs with a gutsy runner-up finish at Charlotte. On an oppressively hot day, Bowman required medical treatment for heat exhaustion after the race.
“I was dizzy,” Bowman said. “So, like Bubba Wallace, I was ‘spinning.’
“I’m currently feuding with Austin Dillon and Bubba Wallace. If they want to come after me, I welcome it. If they feel froggy, they should jump, or as it’s known on the roval, ‘wheel hop.’ It would be the only way they can impact the playoffs.”