Note: The quotes in this article are fictional.
1. Chase Elliott: Elliott raced his way into the playoff finale with a commanding win at Martinsville.
“This is the biggest win of my career,” Elliott said. “If I can still say that after the race at Phoenix, then you’ll know I’m not the 2020 Cup champion.”
2. Joey Logano: Logano finished third at Martinsville and will be joined by Chase Elliott, Denny Hamlin and Penske Racing teammate Brad Keselowski in battle for the Cup at Phoenix.
“2020 has been one of the most trying years in racing,” Logano said. “But if I take the championship in Phoenix, I’m gonna party like it’s 2019.”
3. Kevin Harvick: Harvick’s championship hopes were dashed with a 17-place finish at Martinsville,
“I turned Kyle Busch on the last lap in a last-ditch effort to gain a position,” Harvick said. “Or maybe I just wrecked Kyle because it makes me feel so darn good.”
4. Denny Hamlin: Hamlin finished 12th at Martinsville and squeaked his way into the playoffs.
“Luckily,” Hamlin said, “my Joe Gibbs Racing teammate Erik Jones didn’t pass me there at the end. If he would have, it would have been the first time a driver was fired twice from a race team.”
5. Brad Keselowski: Keselowski overcame a late speeding penalty to finish fourth and qualify for the championship finale at Phoenix.
“The tension was noticeable at Martinsville,” Keselowski said. “You could feel it. You could taste it. You could smell it. Interestingly enough, you could say the same thing about a Martinsville hot dog, often two days after you’ve eaten one.”
6. Alex Bowman: Bowman finished sixth at Martinsville.
“Bubba Wallace will be driving the No. 23 for Michael Jordan’s race team next season,” Bowman said. “It’s currently unknown who will sponsor the No. 23 car in 2021. I’m sure Jordan will have some big-name sponsors for that car. By the way, when a sponsor places its paint scheme on that No. 23 car, Jordan calls it ‘putting money on.
7. Aric Almirola: Almirola finished seventh in the Xfinity 500 at Martinsville.
“It was a disastrous day for Stewart-Haas Racing,” Almirola said. “Kevin Harvick missed a shot at the Cup championship and Clint Bowyer and myself spun each other. And it all means Tony Stewart won’t be bringing donuts to the drivers’ meeting, or at least to share with others.”
8. Kyle Busch: Busch finished ninth at Martinsville.
“Kevin Harvick spun me just before the finish line,” Busch said. “It’s okay. I know he was trying to make a kamikaze move to miraculously make the championship final. But I guess God wasn’t looking out for Kevin. While he wasn’t touched by an angel, I was ‘touched by an a-hole.'”
9. Kurt Busch: Busch finished fifth at Martinsville.
“Kyle Larson has been reinstated,” Busch said. “He’ll be driving the No. 5 car for Hendrick Motorsports next season. I’m not sure what the paint scheme will look like, but I’m guessing the colors will be ‘muted.'”
10. Martin Truex Jr.: Truex led as late as lap 457 at Martinsville but a loose wheel forced a pit stop under green, and Truex finished 22nd.
“Congratulations to the four drivers with a chance to win the Cup,” Truex said. “I guess I’m pulling for my JGR teammate Denny Hamlin. I’m not Denny’s biggest fan, but team orders dictate that I have to say that. And I wasn’t supposed to say that out loud, like you would, say, on a radio.”