Note: The quotes in this article are fictional.
1. Chase Briscoe: Briscoe used a quick late pit stop and nailed two restarts to win the Rouff Mortgage 500 at Phoenix, securing his spot in the NASCAR playoffs.
“I became the 200th winner in NASCAR’s history,” Briscoe said. “And I’m proud to drive for Stewart-Haas Racing. Tony Stewart was my childhood hero. As a kid, I would eat, breathe, and sleep racing. And just like Tony, the eating part was my favorite.”
2. Joey Logano: Logano finished eighth at Las Vegas.
“The restarts at Phoenix were wild,” Logano said. “Turn 1 is wide enough for cars to take several different lines. In essence, NASCAR is encouraging drivers to ‘cut corners,’ much like the lame punishment of starting in the back for unapproved adjustments encourages drivers to ‘cut corners.'”
3. Ryan Blaney: Blaney started on the pole at Phoenix and won Stage 2 on his way to a fourth-place finish in the Rouff Mortgage 500.
“I also was fastest in Saturday’s practice,” Blaney said, “and I led the most laps in Sunday’s race. Combine that with the pole and Stage 2 win, and you could say we checked all the boxes, except one.”
4. Kyle Larson: Larson broke a valve spring with about 74 laps remaining and limped home to a 34th-place finish.
“With a championship last year,” Larson said, “and a win already this year, we were operating under the motto ‘If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it.’ That obviously changed.”
5. Kyle Busch: Busch finished seventh at Phoenix.
“I realize I was wrong to criticize Alex Bowman for his lucky win at Las Vegas,” Busch said. “I should be more complimentary, so here goes: I think every driver at Phoenix performed well. In fact, I would give all of them a passing grade for the race. In other words, my stance on other drivers is this: ‘zero F’s given.'”
6. Aric Almirola: Almirola finished 12th, his first finish outside the top 10 this year.
“You could say I’m ‘flying under the radar,'” Almirola said. “Apparently, the ‘radar’ gauges drivers with an actual chance of winning a Cup championship.”
7. Tyler Reddick: Reddick finished third in the Rouff Mortgage 500
“I think it’s a brilliant strategy for NASCAR to have a race sponsored by a home loan financing company,” Reddick said. “It may be the only way to draw more ‘interest’ in the sport.”
8. Chase Elliott: After challenging for the win with about 25 laps remaining, Elliott faltered with a slow pit stop and a spin on the backstretch. He finished a disappointing 11th.
“This just goes to show,” Elliott said, “that I don’t need anyone else to cost me a win, because me and my team are perfectly capable of doing it ourselves.
“Alex Bowman was driving the ‘Best Friends’ No. 48 Chevrolet. That paint scheme describes the animal welfare non-profit organization, and in no way represents my relationship with Kyle Larson.
9. Kevin Harvick: Harvick finished sixth at Phoenix and tied a Cup record with his 18th straight top 10 at one track.
“My good friends at Hunt Brothers Pizza were my main sponsor for the race at Phoenix,” Harvick said. “As you know, Hunt Brothers Pizza is arguably the nation’s best gas station pizza. And in these uncertain times, isn’t it nice to know you can get a large Hunt Brothers Pizza for less than a gallon of gas?”
10. (tie): Martin Truex Jr.: Truex blew a tire on Lap 221 and slammed the wall hard, ending his day at Phoenix. He finished 35th.
“I was stunned,” Truex said. “Not because of the impact, but because Brad Keselowski had nothing to do with my accident.”
10. (tie): Alex Bowman: Bowman finished 14th in the Rouff Mortgage 500.
“It would have been nice to win two in a row,” Bowman said. “Then I could tell Kyle Busch he was exactly right, because I’d ‘back’ into another win because I’d be back in Victory Lane.
“But I must say, it’s entertaining to get under Kyle’s skin. As much as I hate to give him props, Kyle’s skin is unmatched by any other driver, because it’s the thinnest and the palest.”