NASCAR Top-10 Power Rankings: Charlotte

Note: The quotes in this article are fictional.

1. Kyle Busch: Busch suffered several spins at Charlotte, but attrition and a big crash in the first overtime restart opened the door for Busch to contend for the win. He finished second to Joe Gibbs Racing teammate Denny Hamlin.

“I was frustrated for most of the race,” Busch said. “But when the going gets tough, you can do one of two things–either stay positive and hope for the best, or whine, complain, and moan and pray you get lucky. I chose the latter.”

2. Ross Chastain: Chastain ran up front consistently, winning Stage 3, and was in line for a certain top-five finish before being collected in an accident after the first overtime restart. Chastain finished 15th.

“I’m disappointed,” Chastain said. “Luckily, I already have two wins this season. I come from a family of watermelon farmers. So, qualifying for the NASCAR playoffs is important to me and my family. The last thing we want is for me to be ‘seedless’ once the post-season starts.”

3. Kyle Larson: Larson found trouble on many occasions early at Charlotte, but bounced back and was leading with a lap to go when Chase Briscoe lost control while chasing Larson, bringing out a caution. Larson spun on an overtime restart, and eventually finished ninth.

“Let’s see,” Larson said. “I wrecked in Saturday practice, had two equipment violations during Sunday’s race, hit the wall twice, had a fire in the pits, and spun a few times. Just a disastrous weekend. Heck, I don’t know what to say. I do know what not to say.”

4. Chase Elliott: Elliott won Stage 1 and led 86 laps, but a spin on lap 186 caused damage when he hit the wall. Elliott retired on Lap 193 and finished 33rd.

“I wasn’t around for all of it,” Elliott said, “but that race lasted more than five hours. To put that into perspective, it lasted as long as what Michael Waltrip’s ‘Grid Walk’ feels like.”

5. Alex Bowman: Bowman finished 10th at Charlotte.

“You saw an abundance of tire issues at Charlotte,” Bowman said. “There were blown tires, flat tires, runaway tires, and if you looked in the stands, plenty of spare tires.”

6. Ryan Blaney: Blaney got loose and tapped the wall on Lap 164, then lost control and triggered a big pileup on Lap 191, which involved 12 cars. Blaney finished 29th.

“I won $1,000,000 in the All-Star Race at Texas Motor Speedway,” Blaney said. “So, much like in Texas, I cost several drivers $1,000,000 at Charlotte.”

7. Martin Truex Jr.: Truex finished 12th at Charlotte.

“The Sunday before Memorial Day is the greatest day in auto racing,” Truex said. “You can wake up to the Monaco Grand Prix, have lunch with the Indianapolis 500, and get put to sleep by the Coca-Cola 600.”

8. Joey Logano: Logano finished 20th in the Coca-Cola 600.

“Like many other drivers,” Logano said, “I got taken out by a driver who made a dumb mistake. Charlotte was the long-time home of NASCAR’s All-Star Race. As you saw in Sunday’s Coca-Cola 600, the drivers in NASCAR are not all-stars. Some are scrubs.”

9. Denny Hamlin: Hamlin started on the pole at Charlotte, but faded quickly and was not much of a factor until a big wreck on an overtime restart left Hamlin with the lead. Hamlin battled Kyle Busch in the second overtime and edged his teammate by 0.014 seconds.

“That crash on the first overtime restart damaged the cars of a lot of contenders,” Hamlin said. “So, I have to thank Austin Dillon for ‘going for ‘broke.'”

10. William Byron: Byron was a victim of a Lap 191 crash triggered by Ryan Blaney, who lost control near the apron and veered into traffic. Byron’s day was done, and he finished 32nd.

“Six hundred miles is a long way,” Byron said. “It’s a physically draining race for the drivers, but even more mentally draining, especially for the fans who have to watch it.”

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


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