NASCAR Top-10 Power Rankings: Daytona Road Course

Note: The quotes in this article are fictional.

1. Denny Hamlin: Hamlin led five laps and finished third at Daytona’s road course.

“What a weekend for Joe Gibbs,” Hamlin said. “In addition to Christopher Bell’s win in the Cup race, Joe’s 18-year-old grandson Ty won the Xfinity race on Saturday. Now, Joe’s got it all. In Kyle Busch, he’s got the ‘baby.’ In Ty Gibbs, he’s got the ‘baby face.'”

2. Christopher Bell: Bell muscled past Joey Logano with two laps to go to seize the win at the O’Reilly Auto Parts 253 at Daytona’s Road Course. It was Bell’s first Cup win and the second week in a row a first-time winner reached Victory Lane.

“I knew I needed to get past Logano when I did,” Bell said. “Take it from me and Brad Keselowski; if you want to get to Victory Circle, you don’t want to be behind Joey with one lap to go.

“I’m thankful to be a part of this Joe Gibbs Racing team. I’ve worked hard to get to where I’m at. To win in just my second start with JGR really puts it all into perspective, including the 57 races it took Erik Jones to get his first win.”

3. Kevin Harvick: Harvick finished sixth at Daytona’s road course and is now third in the points standings.

“That may have been the quietest sixth-place finish in history,” Harvick said. “I may not have been involved in any of it, but that race had a lot of action. If you thought that race lacked action, then you must have been comparing it to Jeff Gordon’s and Clint Bowyer’s rental car race. That looked like fun, at least to the drivers. If you asked the cars about it, however, they would have said, ‘This ‘Hertz.””

4. Chase Elliott: Elliott dominated early at Daytona, winning Stage 1 easily, but spun battling for position late and finished a disappointing 21st.

“I made the save of the day,” Elliott said, “after I was forced into the grass on a late restart. That’s when the race really went ‘green.’

“And speaking of ‘green,’ Roush Fenway Racing became the first carbon neutral NASCAR team. That’s no surprise, because Roush Fenway has been stuck in ‘neutral’ for years now.”

5. Brad Keselowski: Keselowski survived an early spin and recovered to place fifth in the O’Reilly Auto Parts 253.

“Joey Logano and I had a healthy discussion about the incident in the Daytona 500,” Keselowski said. “It’s not like either one of us wanted to talk, but Roger Penske demanded we do it. Honestly, I would have rather tried to ‘clear the air’ in a Martinsville bathroom with Jimmy Spencer and Tony Stewart after a hot-dog-eating contest.”

6. Michael McDowell: Daytona 500 winner McDowell finished eighth at Daytona’s road course and is sixth in the points standings.

“Christopher Bell and I are locked into the playoffs,” McDowell said. “Along with Chase Elliott’s championship run last year, this is the breath of fresh air that NASCAR’s needed for years now. And that’s mostly because this sport is overwhelmingly comprised of a bunch of old farts.”

7. Joey Logano: Logano took the lead on Lap 63 when other cars pitted for fresh tires, but couldn’t hold off Christopher Bell down the stretch.

“Brad and I had a brief interaction before the race,” Logano said. “I guess we should speak at greater length. Brad suggested I set aside some time on the calendar to talk. His exact words were, ‘You should ‘block’ some time for us to meet.'”

8. Ryan Preece: Preece followed up his sixth in the Daytona 500 with a ninth in the O’Reilly Auto Parts 253.

“It’s a great start to the season for JTG-Daugherty Racing,” Preece said. “Brad Daugherty is probably one of the proudest owners in the NASCAR garage. You can tell because he’s got his head held higher than usual, which is already pretty high.”

9. Kurt Busch: Busch finished fourth in the O’Reilly Auto Parts 253 and moved to eighth place in the points standings.

“It was a good day for Ganassi Racing,” Busch said. “Not so much for my car owner Chip Ganassi, who was fined $30,000 and suspended for one race for bringing a nonessential individual into the restricted competition area. I myself have been considered a ‘nonessential individual,’ most often by my girlfriends or wives.”

10. Cole Custer: Custer finished 13th at Daytona.

“I’m part of NASCAR’s youth movement,” Custer said. “Now, ‘twenty-something’ is also the answer to the question, ‘How old was the race winner?’, and not just the answer to the question, ‘How many beers did Clint Bowyer drink?'”


The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of SpeedwayMedia.com.

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