Note: The quotes in this article are fictional.
1. Kevin Harvick: Harvick finished 10th at Bristol as Stewart-Haas Racing teammate Kurt Busch took the win.
“It was Kurt Busch’s night,” Harvick said. “And he deserves it. I know I’ve been dominating the headlines all season, but it’s good to see Kurt making headlines of his own, especially those that don’t involve assassins, or ear surgery, or getting punched.”
2. Kyle Busch: Busch survived an early spin, which resulted in considerable damage, to race back into contention before a flat tire with 18 laps to go derailed his chances. He finished 20th.
“I accidentally wrecked Martin Truex Jr. I feel terrible. There’s only one thing tougher for a Busch brother than knowing he accidentally knocked a driver out of the race, and that’s apologizing for it. But I am remorseful. Just ask Martin. He’ll tell you I’m the ‘sorriest’ SOB in NASCAR.”
3. Martin Truex Jr.: Truex was knocked out of the race on lap 465 when contact with Kyle Busch set him into the wall and spinning across the track, where he was clipped by J.J. Yeley. Truex finished 30th.
“After the crash,” Truex said, “my wife Sherry Pollex tweeted and called Kyle a ‘moron.’ I’m not one to criticize, but she’s right. I find it difficult to badmouth anyone. I do my talking in the car. So, while I’m talking track, she’s talking smack.”
4. Kurt Busch: Busch took the lead on a restart with 23 laps to go and held off Kyle Larson to capture his first win of the season and sixth career win at Bristol.
“I got two awesome restarts,” Busch said, “both at the expense of Clint Bowyer. My co-car owner Tony Stewart would be proud because I ‘Smoke’d’ Clint.”
5. Clint Bowyer: Bowyer led 120 laps and finished sixth at Bristol.
“It was my race to lose,” Bowyer said, “and I blew it on the restart with 23 laps to go. Getting a good restart is crucial. Kurt got it right; I got ‘left.’”
6. Joey Logano: Logano led 95 laps and finished fourth in the Bass Pro Shops NRA Night Race, posting his sixth top five of the year.
“An NRA-sponsored race at night?” Logano said. “That’s what you call a ‘shot in the dark.’”
7. Kyle Larson: Larson started on the pole and tried unsuccessfully to chase down Kurt Busch for the win late at Bristol. Larson’s runner-up finish was his seventh top-five of the season.
“I had fresher tires than Busch,” Larson said. “I thought that would give us a big advantage, but when the rubber hit the road, it wasn’t to be. Sure Busch’s tires were worn, but they sure did the trick for him. If his tires could speak, they would have said, ‘Don’t tread on me.’”
8. Chase Elliott: Elliott posted his fifth consecutive top-five finish with a third at Bristol.
“This was the 40th anniversary of the Bristol night race,” Elliott said. “That means NASCAR fans at Bristol have been getting ‘lit’ for close to half a century.”
9. Ryan Blaney: Blaney dominated early at Bristol, leading 121 laps, and finished seventh.
“More importantly,” Blaney said, “I clinched a spot in the Playoffs. That means I’m one of 16 drivers with a chance to win the Monster Energy Cup championship. I like those odds. Vegas oddsmakers aren’t quite so optimistic. They’ve placed my odds at winning the Cup at 666/1 because I don’t have a chance in hell.”
10. Brad Keselowski: Keselowski finished 16th in the Bass Pro Shops NRA Night Race.
“Despite my below-average finish,” Keselowski said, “I still clinched a spot in the Playoffs. That’s called a ‘berth.’ Now, there are four spots still to be decided in the next two races. And there are several drivers still in the running for those four spots. It will be nerve-racking. Doctors have said that where these ‘berths’ are concerned, the dilations are practically at zero. Of course, they’re talking about those drivers’ sphincters.”