Note: The quotes in this article are fictional.
1. Kyle Busch: Busch came up short in a back-and-forth battle with Joey Logano in the Enjoy Illinois 300, taking the runner-up spot.
“That was good, clean racing at its finest,” Busch said. “And the exact opposite of what you saw from Denny Hamlin, Ross Chastain, and Chase Elliott. If NASCAR is trying to appeal to a younger audience, I guess they’re gonna do it with child-like behavior. I’m just shocked I wasn’t involved in those immature shenanigans.”
2. Joey Logano: Logano came out on top in a spirited battle with Kyle Busch to get the win in the inaugural Cup race at World Wide Technology Raceway.
“That was fun,” Logano said. “I like measuring myself against the best. When I can’t do that, I like measuring myself against someone who thinks he’s the best. That’s Kyle.”
3. Ross Chastain: Chastain overcame several run-ins with Denny Hamlin and Chase Elliott to post an eighth-place finish at Worldwide Technology Raceway.
“Hamlin was holding me up,” Chastain said. “I was so close to him, he could see the word ‘Moose’ on my hood. In hindsight, maybe my hood should have read ‘Moove.’
“That being said, I admitted my mistakes after the race, which is something unheard of in this sport. I’ll probably get accused by some NASCAR old-school fans of being ‘woke.'”
4. Ryan Blaney: Blaney finished fourth in the Enjoy Illinois 300.
“My No. 12 Ford sported the ‘Dent Wizard’ paint scheme,” Blaney said. “Many, if not all, of the drivers call Brad Keselowski the ‘Dent Wizard,’ because he can magically cause damage to your car without even touching it.”
5. Kyle Larson: Larson finished 12th at Gateway and is now mired in a 13-race Cup winless streak.
“Not winning is something totally foreign to me,” Larson said. “The only things I’m used to losing are dignity and sponsors.”
6. Martin Truex Jr.: Truex started 13th and finished sixth in the Enjoy Illinois 300.
“That was my 600th Cup series start,” Truex said. “And with my contract expiring, I’m trying to decide whether or not I want to do this anymore. ‘To re-tire, or not to re-tire.’ That is the question. And this time, it’s entirely up to me, and not my crew chief, to answer it.”
7. Chase Elliott: Elliott finished 21st in the Enjoy Illinois 300, his day hindered by a bump from Ross Chastain on Lap 101 that spun Elliott into traffic.
“Chastain drove like a man possessed,” Elliott said. “In that case, somebody needs to call an exorcist to get the ‘hell’ out of Ross, because he is one ‘hell’ of a bad driver.”
8. Alex Bowman: Bowman finished 13th at Gateway as Hendrick Motorsports failed to place a driver in the top 10.
“It looks like Denny Hamlin’s got a new feuding partner,” Bowman said, “in Ross Chastain. That’s good for me. Don’t get me wrong, I’m still a ‘hack;’ but with Chastain in the mix, I’m not the ‘absolute hack.'”
9. Denny Hamlin: Hamlin was bumped into the wall by Ross Chastain on Lap 64 at Gateway and eventually finished 34th, 11 laps off the lead lap.
“I spent most of the race trying to get revenge on Chastain,” Hamlin said. “If only I could match that same determination in the championship round of the playoffs, I’d probably have more than zero championships.”
10. Aric Almirola: Almirola finished fifth at Gateway, posting his second top-five of the season.
“This was the Cup series’ only stop in the state of Illinois,” Almirola said. “If you told the average NASCAR fans that the ‘S’ in ‘Illinois’ in silent, they would likely say ‘No ‘S’.'”