Note: The quotes in this article are fictional.
1. Kyle Larson: Larson finished 21st at Daytona and clinched the regular-season championship.
“As regular-season champ,” Larson said, “I earned 15 playoff bonus points and a sweet trophy. I’m proud of winning that trophy. I’m going to display that trophy proudly, right inside a box in a storage facility.”
2. Chase Elliott: Elliott was involved in the ‘Big One’ with three laps to go when his attempt to block Matt DiBenedetto triggered a massive crash that forced the race to be red-flagged.
“My bad,” Elliott said. “If you could have read the readings of my fitness tracker, it most certainly would have said ‘Whoops!'”
3. Ryan Blaney: Blaney avoided late carnage at Daytona and took the win in an overtime finish to win the Coke Zero Sugar 400. It was Blaney’s third win of the season and second in a row, and places him second in the playoff reset.
“I feel good about playoff momentum,” Blaney said. “I’m looking forward to battling 15 drivers for the Cup, instead of avoiding 15 maniacs desperate for a win, which was the case at Daytona.”
4. Denny Hamlin: Hamlin ran up front all night but was collected in the ‘Big One’ and limped home in 14th place.
“There were a lot of drivers out there going for broke,” Hamlin said. “If ‘broke’ was what they were going for, they certainly achieved it.
“With no wins this season, I had to qualify for the playoffs on points. As a result, I’ll start the playoffs in seventh, somewhat in a hole. And speaking of ‘a holes,’ Kyle Busch is my teammate.”
5. Martin Truex Jr.: Truex was clipped by the No. 47 car on lap 146, which sent Truex into the outside wall and back into oncoming traffic. Truex finished 30th.
“That’s par for the course at superspeedways,” Truex said. “When you have cars running nose-to-tail at speeds approaching 190 miles per hour, you’re bound to eventually have cars running nose-to-tail with a tow truck at speeds approaching 35 miles per hour.”
6. William Byron: Byron was taken out in a Lap 146 crash triggered when Ricky Stenhouse, Jr. hit Martin Truex Jr.
“Several drivers were wearing Whoop straps,” Byron said, “which is a fitness tracker. So, if you were a viewer and wanted to see drivers’ heart rates, calories burned, and other metrics, well then ‘Whoop, there it is.'”
7. Kevin Harvick: Harvick was clipped after contact between Daniel Suarez and Kurt Busch triggered a multi-car crash.
“With that final playoff spot on the line,” Harvick said, “you could feel the tension in the air. In fact, you could cut it with a knife, which is also what I’d like to do to Suarez and Busch.”
8. Alex Bowman: Bowman scrapped his way back from a spin midway through the race to post an eighth-place finish.
“Olympic medalist and 200-meter world champion Noah Lyles served as grand marshal,” Bowman said. “Here’s an interesting bit of information: when Lyles takes a drug test, he pees into a ‘Sprint Cup.'”
9. Kyle Busch: Busch was taken out in a big Lap 158 crash that involved several cars. Busch finished 35th.
I’m blaming Kurt Busch and Daniel Suarez for that wreck,” Busch said. “They were just racing stupid. They should be ashamed. Heck, they shouldn’t even be allowed to show their face in Daytona again, but by the orders of Florida governor Ron DeSantis, they have to.”
10. Joey Logano: Logano suffered a late cut tire at Daytona, which forced him to pit under green. He eventually finished 24th, one lap down.
“Daytona is known as the ‘World Center Of Speed,” Logano said. “There was once a time back in the late 2000s when the Mayfield clan out of Kentucky made a claim to make that nickname their own.”