Note: The quotes in this article are fictional.
1. Kyle Larson: Larson finished third at Michigan and heads to Daytona looking to clinch the regular-season title.
“I lead all drivers in wins,” Larson said. “I’m the leader in the points standings. And I’m the favorite to win the Cup championship. Need I say more? No. Which in my case is good.”
2. Chase Elliott: Elliott won Stage 1 and finished eighth in the FireKeepers Casino 400 at Michigan.
“Being out front was the key at Michigan,” Elliott said. “You can’t underestimate the importance of clean air. ‘Dirty air’ is what you get when you’re behind the leader, or when you listen to Kyle Busch on his team radio.”
3. Denny Hamlin: Hamlin came home fifth at Michigan.
“I’m still winless,” Hamlin said, “but I still have a shot at the regular-season championship. Even if I don’t win it, I can still take comfort in knowing that, with zero wins this season after seven last season, it has, indeed, been a regular season.”
4. Martin Truex Jr.: Truex suffered early damage to the left rear of his car, which caused major handling issues.
“That contact was caused by Kyle Busch,” Truex said. “Like most drivers, I try to avoid contact with Kyle under all circumstances. That means on the track, in team functions, and in public. Aside from that, we have a great working relationship.”
5. William Byron: Byron just missed taking his second win this year, losing to Ryan Blaney by just .077.
“It sucks to lose by such a slim margin,” Byron said. “Heck, I’d just as soon finish last than lose by so tiny a margin. So, this may very well be the first time someone actually wished they were Joey Gase.”
6. Kevin Harvick: Harvick struggled with handling issues early and was never a threat to win at Michigan. He finished 14th and remains winless on the year.
“I won nine times last year,” Harvick said. “And I swept both races at MIS last year. So, I was highly optimistic I could win on Sunday. But I didn’t and I’m very disappointed. On the bright side, I wasn’t obligated to take a sip of Busch Light Apple in Victory Circle.”
7. Kyle Busch: Busch overshot his pit stall on the final pit sequence, ruining his chances for victory at Michigan. He finished seventh, one of three Joe Gibbs Racing drivers in the top 10.
“That was totally my fault,” Busch said, “and I can’t tell you how angry I am at myself. I came in a little hot; I came out a little hotter.”
8. Alex Bowman: Bowman finished 16th at Michigan while Hendrick Motorsports teammates William Byron, Kyle Larson, and Chase Elliott finished 2, 3, and 8, respectively.
“Daytona is up next on the schedule,” Bowman said. “It’s the last race before the playoffs, and with one playoff spot left, you can imagine how wild it could be at Daytona. As you would expect in Florida, fans refuse to mask their excitement.”
9. Ryan Blaney: Blaney took the lead on the final restart at Michigan and held on for the win, edging William Byron by .077.
“It’s always a big deal when a Ford wins at Michigan,” Blaney said. “And that happens a lot. It’s a bigger deal when Ford wins something of consequence. That doesn’t happen a lot.”
10. Joey Logano: Logano was caught up in a crash on a late restart, leaving his No. 22 Ford with right-front suspension damage. His day was done, and Logano finished 33rd.
“Congratulations to my Penske Racing teammate Ryan Blaney on his win,” Logano said. “He won by a nose over William Byron. Austin Dillon lost by a nose over Brad Keselowski.”