NASCAR Top-10 Power Rankings: Atlanta II

Note: The quotes in this article are fictional.

1. William Byron: Byron blew a right rear tire on lap 80 after contact with Corey Lajoie. Byron spun, fortunately keeping the car off the wall, and fell a lap down. Byron persevered and recovered to take the lead early in the final stage. He held on for the win as rain ended the race early on lap 185.

“That just goes to show you should never give up,” Byron said. “Unless you’re leading the race when the rain comes. Then I’m all for quitting.”

2. Kyle Busch: Busch finished fifth in the Quaker State 400, posting his seventh top 5 of the year.

“If things would have played out a little differently,” Busch said, “I could have won that race. Also, if things would have played out a little differently before, I could currently be residing in a Mexican prison.”

3. Ryan Blaney: Blaney edged Kyle Larson for the Stage 1 win and went on to finish 8th at Atlanta.

“Congratulations to William Byron,” Blaney said. “I guess he was in the right place at the right time. Me? I find it difficult being in the right place at the right time even when it doesn’t rain.”

4. Joey Logano: Logano and his Penske Racing cohorts were strong throughout the night at Atlanta.

“Penske cars were running 1-2-3 at points in the race,” Logano said. “That’s what you call ‘having your teammate’s back.'”

5. Denny Hamlin: Hamlin was running in the top 10 on lap 155 when Alex Bowman got loose and clipped Hamlin’s No. 11 Toyota. Hamlin spun through the infield grass and lost massive track position. He eventually finished 14th.

“How about the Coca-Cola paint scheme on my Toyota?” Hamlin said. “It was all over my No. 11 car. Talk about ‘rolling in Coke.’ No one’s done it like this since Tim Richmond.”

6. Martin Truex Jr.: Truex finished 29th in the rain-shortened Quaker State 400 at Atlanta Motor Speedway.

“With the threat of rain midway through the race,” Truex said, “drivers started operating with a sense of urgency. In other words, they’re driving like maniacs. Some, like Michael McDowell, for example, drive like that on pit road.”

7. Ross Chastain: Chastain was collected in a lap 124 accident, causing his right-front tire to blow. The damage from the blown tire ended his day and he finished 35th in the Quaker State 400.

“You didn’t hear my name mentioned much during the race,” Chastain said. “Incidentally, when my name is mentioned, it is a four-letter word.”

8. Christopher Bell: Bell finished 23rd in the Quaker State 400.

“Even though it’s a 1.5-mile track,” Bell said, “Atlanta Motor Speedway is one of the fastest tracks on our schedule. It has everything that Daytona and Talladega have, except an infield with the space to hold the people that would normally fill the Daytona and Talladega infield. So, unlike those people, the AMS infield lacks girth.”

9. Kyle Larson: Larson spun on Lap 92 while running 14th and while entering pit road, blew a tire and suffered substantial front-end damage. He finished 36th.

“That was my sixth DNF of the year,” Larson said. “That stands for ‘Did Not Finish.’ I have three wins this season and am locked into the playoffs. So, to me, those ‘DNF’s’ ‘DNM.’ That’s ‘Do Not Matter.'”

10. Kevin Harvick: Harvick struggled for most of the night at Atlanta, and a late spin left him several laps down. He finished 30th.

“It was cool to run pace laps side-by-side with Richard Childress in the No. 29 I drove to my first Cup win in 2001,” Harvick said. “It felt like old times, mostly because Richard is 77 and I’m 47.”

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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