Note: The quotes in this article are fictional.
1. Kyle Busch: Busch won the Pala Casino 400 in Fontana in only his second start for Richard Childress Racing.
“I knew I could win with RCR,” Busch said. “I’m a confident driver and I know I have the talent to win on any track. My skill set is unlimited. There may be more weapons in my skill set than in my luggage.”
2. Ross Chastain: Chastain won Stage 1 at Fontana and led 91 laps, but failed to capitalize with a win, settling for third.
“It looks like Kyle Busch is still ‘Rowdy,'” Chastain said. “But is Kyle a true ‘outlaw?’ He’s not. I am. Because NASCAR outlawed my ‘around-the-outside’wall’ move at Martinsville. But NASCAR didn’t say anything about outlawing an ‘around-the-inside-wall’ move. I’ve got a feeling the physics will work a little differently on that one.”
3. Joey Logano: Logano followed up his runner-up finish at Daytona with a 10th at California.
“Sure I’m disappointed that I haven’t won this season,” Logano said. “But it’s nice to know I have two Cup championships under my belt. And let me tell you, that’s a really uncomfortable place to keep them. I can only imagine the discomfort that Richard Petty and Jimmie Johnson must endure.”
4. Denny Hamlin: Hamlin led 11 laps and finished sixth at California.
“That was the last race in California under its current two-mile configuration,” Hamlin said. “Once the reconfiguration is complete, it will be a ½-mile track. So, just like that, one and a half miles of Fontana will be gone. Most drivers and fans wish that all two miles of the track would disappear.”
5. Alex Bowman: Bowman finished eighth in the Pala Casino 400.
“Kyle Busch just had too much car for the rest of us at the end,” Bowman said. “Kudos to Richard Childress Racing, for giving Kyle a car with the firepower under the hood and not in the trunk.”
6. Daniel Suarez: Suarez joined Trackhouse Racing teammate Ross Chastain in the top 10 with a fourth at California.
“It’s always cool to have Tony Stewart in the Fox Sports booth calling the race,” Suarez said. “You can tell by Tony’s voice that he really misses racing and would love to be out there. I think what I’m trying to say is that Tony sounded ‘hungry.'”
7. Ricky Stenhouse Jr.: Daytona 500 winner Stenhouse finished 12th at California.
“When you win the first race of the season,” Stenhouse said, “it’s hard to improve upon that. After the initial euphoria, I would expect things to steadily go downhill, much like my relationship with Danica Patrick.”
8. Kevin Harvick: Harvick finished fifth in the Pala Casino 400.
“That was my 750th consecutive Cup start,” Harvick said. “That’s a long time. And Busch beer has been with me for most of it. Hunt Brothers Pizza has been with me for a long time too because that stuff is just so damn hard to digest.”
9. Chris Buescher: Buescher finished 12th at California after starting the season with a strong fourth in the Daytona 500.
“I like how we’re running so far,” Buescher said. “I know it’s early, but it’s never too late for another Kyle Busch gun incident joke. So here goes. ‘What did Kyle Busch say when his vacation ended in Mexico in January?’ ‘It’s time to bail.'”
10. Chase Elliott: Elliott rebounded from a poor showing at Daytona with a solid runner-up finish in the Pala Casino 400.
“It’s all about overcoming adversity,” Elliott said. “I’m not talking about my bad result at Daytona, I’m talking about having Kyle Larson as a teammate.”