NASCAR Top-10 Power Rankings: Phoenix

Note: The quotes in this article are fictional.

1. William Byron: Byron was strong early in the United Rentals Work United 400, winning Stage 1. After falling back from the front late, Byron used a fast two-tire pit stop, and two timely cautions, to win his second consecutive race.

“That’s two in a row,” Byron said. “And I really don’t know which flag to keep as a souvenir – the checkered or the yellow. Sometimes, your reputation as a great driver is built on the backs of those not-so-great drivers.”

2. Kevin Harvick: Harvick, historically dominant at Phoenix, blew by Kyle Larson for the lead late, but a sure win was foiled by a late caution. Harvick eventually finished fifth.

“Losing like this really sucks,” Harvick said. “Building such an insurmountable lead, only to have it wiped away by a caution, makes me sick to my stomach, much like Hunt Brothers Pizza.”

3. Kyle Larson: Larson started on the pole at Phoenix, and used a quick two-tire pit stop with eight laps to go to gain the lead. Larson was leading with two laps to go, but another late caution forced another restart, and Larson couldn’t hold off William Byron. Larson finished fourth.

“Let’s face it,” Larson said, “Kevin Harvick should have won this race. Harvick went by me on Lap 269 faster than Hunt Brothers Pizza through your digestive system.”

4. Alex Bowman: Bowman finished ninth at Phoenix, as all four Hendrick Motorsports cars finished in the top 10, with William Byron taking the win.

“Hendrick Motorsports builds cars that almost any driver can put in the top 10,” Bowman said. “Take Josh Berry, for example. He basically came off the street and was able to drive Chase Elliott’s car to success. So, driving a Hendrick car is a springboard to success, whereas Chase himself is a snowboard to the hospital.”

5. Christopher Bell: Bell posted his second top 10 with a sixth in the United Rentals Work United 500.

“Former Formula 1 world champions Jenson Button and Kimi Raikkonen are scheduled to drive in the Cup race at the Circuit Of The Americas on March 26th,” Bell said. “I think that would be a great time to prank those two guys by convincing them that NASCAR also begins races with a standing start.”

6. Kyle Busch: Busch overcame a slow Stage 2 pit stop and came back to finish eighth at Phoenix.

“It just goes to show that if you work hard and have a sizable budget,” Busch said, “anything is possible. That, of course, is a reference to my lawyer that got me out of that jam in Mexico. And yes, bribery does work.

“Some people are calling me the ‘Ja Morant of NASCAR. I think that’s a compliment. In any case, let’s holster that comparison for now.”

7. Ross Chastain: Chastain finished 24th in the United Rentals Work United 500, after dropping from the top five on the final restart.

“Sometimes,” Chastain said, “your car is fast, like Michael Waltrip at Daytona in 2001. Sometimes, your car is slow, like Michael Waltrip running through the grid on Sunday. Mine was both.”

8. Joey Logano: Logano struggled with handling early and never was competitive up front on his way to an 11th-place finish at Phoenix.

“That handling caused early contact with Martin Truex Jr.,” Logano said. “Luckily, Martin didn’t get too angry. I mean, he could have pulled a ‘Mexican Kyle Busch’ and gone ‘ballistic.'”

9. Denny Hamlin: Hamlin started second at Phoenix but faded fast on the final restart, finishing 23rd.

“I just had no grip at the end,” Hamlin said, “which made the handling of my No. 11 Toyota a disaster. In a car sponsored by Shingrex, you could say my car drove like ”S’ on a shingle.'”

10. Ryan Blaney: Blaney finished second at Phoenix, posting his first top-5 finish of the season.

“Congratulations to William Byron,” Blaney said. “I think his celebration of putting on that oversized big hat is cool. Funny thing is, that hat would fit Ryan Newman perfectly.”

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

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