Note: The quotes in this article are fictional.
1. Denny Hamlin: Hamlin finished 13th at Charlotte and will join race-winner and Joe Gibbs Racing teammate Christopher Bell in the Round Of 8.
“If Bell needs any advice about how to successfully handle the pressure of being this deep into the playoffs,” Hamlin said, “he should come talk to me. And I’ll recommend a qualified person that he can speak with.”
2. Chase Elliott: Elliott spun late at Charlotte and finished 20th.
“My spot in the Round Of 8 was already secured,” Elliott said. “So my spin was merely a spin, and not a spin out.”
3. Joey Logano: Logano started on the pole and finished 18th in the Bank Of America ROVAL 400, easily qualifying for the Round Of 8.
“I hear NASCAR is investigating accusations of Stewart-Haas Racing’s Cole Custer for race manipulation to get Chase Briscoe in the playoffs,” Logano said. “I don’t recall NASCAR investigating when Matt Kenseth manipulated my rear bumper to get me out of the playoffs.”
4. William Byron: Byron finished 16th at Charlotte and advanced to the next round of the playoffs.
“NASCAR rescinded my 25-point fine for wrecking Denny Hamlin,” Byron said. “I applaud NASCAR for doing the right thing, even though I didn’t.”
5. Ryan Blaney: Blaney finished 26th at Charlotte, and moved on to the Round Of 8.
“I’m the only winless driver remaining in the playoffs,” Blaney said. “Apparently, I’m saving my best for last, because I’m certainly not saving it for first.”
6. Ross Chastain: Chastain won Stage 2 at Charlotte, but hit the wall in the final stage, damaging his right rear. He finished 37th, but still advanced to the Round Of 8.
“I’m just happy to make it to the next round,” Chastain said. “Now, it’s ‘crunch time.’ So, my fellow playoff competitors should be wary, because when they hear me say ‘It’s crunch time,’ it usually means I’m getting ready to accidentally wreck them.”
7. Christopher Bell: Bell took a dramatic win at Charlotte, using new tires on a late pit stop, got past Kevin Harvick on Lap 111 and pulled away for the win.
“I’m not sure how we pulled that off,” Bell said. “Actually, you can replace ‘off’ with ‘out’ in that sentence, because we pulled that out of the dark recesses of our collective behinds.”
8. Chase Briscoe: Briscoe finished ninth at Charlotte and snagged the eighth and final Round Of 8 playoff spot.
“I knew I had to go after that final restart,” Briscoe said. “So I was driving like a man possessed. As a kid, I watched my current team owner Tony Stewart race with that same abandon, because he often drove like a man possessed to race to his next meal.”
9. Kevin Harvick: Harvick finished second in the Bank Of America ROVAL 400.
“Congratulations to Christopher Bell for his race-winning pass,” Harvick said. “It was the second-biggest pass of the day. The biggest was my car passing inspection.”
10. Kyle Larson: Larson hit the wall on Lap 98, breaking the right-rear toe link. He finished five laps down and was eliminated from the playoffs.
“I don’t know what to say,” Larson said, “so I think it’s best to say nothing at all. That’s a mantra I’ve chosen to live by since the spring of 2020.”