Note: The quotes in this article are fictional.
1. Joey Logano: Logano started on the pole and was the class of the field at Atlanta, winning Stage 1 and leading 140 on his way to the win in the Ambetter Health 400.
“I knew I would win this race,” Logano said, “because I ‘am better’ than everyone else.”
2. Christopher Bell: Bell came home third at Atlanta as the top Toyota finisher. Bell helped Joey Logano to the win with a strong push that helped move Logano past Brad Keselowski.
“Notice that no Hendrick Motorsports cars were racing for the win,” Bell said. “Atlanta Motor Speedway may have 28-degree banking in the turns, but at least on Sunday, it was a totally ‘level playing field.'”
3. Kyle Busch: Busch survived a spin in the Kevin Harvick-Ross Chastain incident, and damage was minimal. Busch recovered to post a solid 10th at Atlanta.
“NASCAR really came down hard on Hendrick Motorsports,” Busch said. “NASCAR must have found some really incriminating violations in those inspections. I may have been caught with a gun in Mexico, but at least it wasn’t a smoking gun.”
4. William Byron: Byron was eliminated from the Ambetter Health 400 as an innocent victim of a crash with 71 laps left, caused when Kevin Harvick got loose in tight quarters and collected several cars.
“And speaking of ‘innocent victim,'” Byron said, “most people are saying Hendrick Motorsports is not one after their huge penalties and fines as a result of failed inspections. It’s one thing to be the victim; it’s another thing to play the victim. One of those things we do very well.”
5. Kevin Harvick: Harvick was a victim in one of two final stage wrecks at Atlanta. With 71 laps left, Harvick got loose with Ross Chastain right on his bumper, and Harvick spun into traffic, triggering a crash that involved 12 cars.
“The easy way out would be for me to blame Chastain for causing the crash,” Harvick said. “Why? Because everyone would believe it, even Ross himself.”
6. Ryan Blaney: Blaney posted his second consecutive top 10 with a seventh at Atlanta. He is fourth in the points standings,
“NASCAR handed down quite a list of penalties, suspensions, and fines to Hendrick Motorsports,” Blaney said. “Heck, I bet when NASCAR made the announcement, they, like Hendrick themselves, probably used a ‘cheat sheet.'”
7. Ross Chastain: Chastain had an eventful day at Atlanta on his way to a 13th-place finish in the Ambetter Health 400.
“Obviously,” Chastain said, “my reputation precedes me. Just ask Kevin Harvick. Now, I’m being accused of wrecking people even when I don’t even touch them.”
8. Kyle Larson: Larson was, unfortunately, running behind Aric Almirola with 52 laps left, as Almirola, on old tires, blew a right rear tire and collected Larson, who was competing in his 300th Cup series start.
“I was just in the wrong place at the wrong time,” Larson said, “much like the thousands of gamers who were listening to me back in April of 2020.
“Hendrick Motorsport’s best finish was a 14th by Alex Bowman. It was a sad day for Hendrick. But I must say, I’ve seen worse days, pretty recently, actually.”
9. Brad Keselowski: Keselowski settled for the runner-up spot at Atlanta, unable to hold off former teammate Joey Logano on the final lap. It was Keselowski’s best result of the year.
“Me and Joey go way back,” Logano said. “Or at least Joey says I go way back, because he won the Cup last year; I won it way back in 2012.”
10. Denny Hamlin: Hamlin finished sixth at Atlanta, joining Joe Gibbs Racing teammates Christopher Bell (third) and Ty Gibbs (ninth) in the top 10.
“I was penalized 25 driver points and fined $50,000 for making intentional contact with Ross Chastain at Phoenix,” Hamlin said. “And, as I am prone to do, I’ll ‘admit’ it, and say it was worth every penny.”