Note: The quotes in the article are fictional.
1. Denny Hamlin: Hamlin claimed fourth at Las Vegas and remained atop the points standings.
“Joe Gibbs Racing put all four cars in the top 10,” Hamlin said. “And Kyle Busch had the best finish of us all. We’re all telling Kyle he ‘finished first’ just to make him feel better.
“I think we’re all looking forward to racing on the dirt at Bristol in a few weeks. I guess you could say it’s ‘grounds’ for excitement.”
2. Brad Keselowski: Keselowski won Stage 1 and finished second at Las Vegas.
“I knew we had a car good enough to finish in the top five,” Keselowski said. “If you were a gambler, I’d have told you to bet the house on a top five. If you were a NASCAR fan, I’d have told you to bet the trailer.”
3. Martin Truex Jr.: Truex finished sixth in the Pennzoil 400.
“Jeff Gordon and Clint Bowyer have great chemistry in the announcer’s booth,” Larson said. “Their years of experience plus their witty banter is on-air magic. You could call it ‘mic joy.'”
4. Kevin Harvick: Harvick started on the pole at Las Vegas but struggled from the start, suffering a tire rub and a flat tire early that eventually resulted in extensive handling problems. He finished 20th.
“We had a fast car,” Karvick said. “The only problem was, it went downhill fast.
“Hopefully, our trouble in Vegas will stay here, and won’t follow us to Phoenix. As the saying goes, ‘What Happens In Vegas Stays In Vegas.’ Hopefully, that’s true. The following is also true: if there was a Vegas show reboot of a 1970s sitcom about three working-class African-Americans in Watts that had an unlimited run on the Strip, it would be called, ‘What’s Happening (In Vegas) Stays In Vegas.'”
5. Kyle Larson: Larson led a race-high 103 laps and pulled away on the final green-flag run to win the Pennzoil 400 at Las Vegas.
“Frankly,” Larson said, “I’m ‘shocked,’ mostly because I overcame lengthy ‘suspension’ problems to get the win.
“Honestly, I don’t know what to say, which means I’ve done something right.”
6. Chase Elliott: Elliott spun with 99 laps remaining at Las Vegas, but recovered to salvage a 13th-place finish.
“I’m so happy for Kyle Larson,” Elliott said. “He’s in the playoffs, which is the first step in becoming a NASCAR champion. Kyle will probably be the favorite when we return to LVMS. We’ll be back in Nevada in September, which Kyle calls being ‘reinstated.'”
7. William Byron: Byron came home eighth at Las Vegas as Hendrick Motorsports teammate Kyle Larson took the win.
“Las Vegas Raiders quarterback Derek Carr served as the race’s Grand marshal,” Byron said. “Many Las Vegas citizens were saying if that was his last job as a ‘starter,’ things are looking up for the Raiders.”
8. Joey Logano: Logano finished ninth at Las Vegas.
“Hiring Kyle Larson was a brilliant move for Hendrick Motorsports,” Logano said. “Larson is a team player, unlike that other Kyle that used to drive the No. 5 for Hendrick. With Kyle Busch, the team was all about ‘me, me, me.’ That kind of selfishness is called ‘I Racing,’ and Kyle Larson wants no part of that.”
9. Kyle Busch: Busch finished third in the Pennzoil 400 at his hometown of Las Vegas.
“Did I spin intentionally in the Trucks Series race on Friday?” Busch said. “That’s a question I’m unable to answer under oath, or with my hand on a bible, or honestly. Suffice it to say I’d answer with the sincerity of a Teresa Earnhardt wedding vow.”
10. (tie) Christopher Bell: Bell finished seventh at Las Vegas as Joe Gibbs Racing placed all four cars in the top 10, led by Kyle Busch’s third.
“That race just flew by,” Bell said. “That’s often not the case. Most times, I find myself saying, ‘I didn’t think that race would ever end.’ That’s in contrast to viewers at home watching Fox’s pre-race coverage, who find themselves saying, ‘I didn’t think that race would ever start.'”
10. (tie) Ryan Preece: Preece finished 15th at Las Vegas.
“Four races,” Preece said, “four different winners. And only one of those four winners made the playoff field last year. I think a precedent has been established: ‘anybody can win.’ And that’s the only reason I can find that would keep Quin Hoff, B.J. McLeod, Garrett Smithley, Cody Ware, Joey Gase, Josh Bilicki, and Timmy Hill motivated to continue embarrassing themselves week after week.”