Note: The quotes in this article are fictional.
1. Kyle Busch: Busch started on the pole at Dover and led 21 laps on his way to an eighth-place finish.
“I’m just glad to survive with a decent finish,” Busch said. “The ‘Monster Mile’ claimed a few victims on Sunday. Talladega’s 2.66 mile track could be even more monstrous. Then we get Kansas Speedway’s 1.5 mile track. It doesn’t scare anyone, except prospective ticket buyers.”
2. Martin Truex, Jr.: Truex finished 15th at Dover.
“Jimmie Johnson bought my team’s kids bicycles as an apology for wrecking me at Charlotte,” Truex said. “Just like what he did in Charlotte, this was a ‘sorry’ move as swell.”
3. Kevin Harvick: Harvick led 286 laps before a lug nut broke a valve stem, forcing an extra pit stop. Harvick fell a lap down but worked his way back to finish sixth.
“I was dominating,” Harvick said, “but that’s one way to ‘stem’ the tide. My luck with tires has been very unfortunate lately. But I’ll refrain from bashing Goodyear, because I ultimately had a good week.”
4. Chase Elliott: Elliott won at Dover and clinched his spot into Round 3.
“My ticket has been punched,” Elliott said. “I don’t know if that translates to tickets being bought, though.
“I like my chances to win the Monster Energy Cup. It would be great to join my father as Cup champion. My dad Bill won the 1988 Winston Cup championship. Dad was known as ‘Wild Bill From Dawsonville.’ With a championship, I could be known as ‘Awesome Chase From The Same Place.'”
5. Brad Keselowski: Keselowski finished 14th at Dover after he was collected in a crash triggered by Aric Almirola’s spin.
“I’m seventh in the playoff points standings,” Keselowski said. “That’s too close to the cutoff line for me, so I’m going to Talladega with every intention of winning. That’s called ‘Brad Intentions.’
“And while Talladega is not an official elimination race, it is the ultimate elimination race.”
6. Kurt Busch: Busch finished fifth at Dover, posting his sixth top 5 of the season.
“I’m pleased with my finish,” Busch said. “Talladega’s next on the schedule, and I finished second there in April. So the thought of ‘Dega’s super speedway makes my ears perk up. Or it used to, until the ‘perkiness’ was surgically removed from my ears back in 2006.”
7. Joey Logano: Logano finished third in the Gander Outdoors 400.
“I hear Matt Kenseth won’t be driving in 2019,” Logano said. “I’ll have no part of Matt’s going away party, but I will party that he’s going away.”
8. Clint Bowyer: Bowyer wrecked late at Dover and finished 35th, 16 laps down, and left him below the cutoff line to advance to the next round.
“Fans were able to bet on sports at a kiosk at Dover Speedway,” Bowyer said. “Sure, betting is fun, but if you’re a real NASCAR gambler, you’ll eat a hot dog at Martinsville.”
9. Aric Almirola: Almirola was leading when Clint Bowyer wrecked, opening the door for Chase Elliott to stay out and win the race. Almirola finished a disappointing 13th.
“I’m winless in my last 149 races,” Almirola said. “Maybe I should have stayed out on old tires and kept the lead. But hindsight is 20/20, and you really need to have great vision to look back to my last win.”
10. Ryan Blaney: Blaney finished 11th at Dover.
“The win at Charlotte gave me a lot of confidence,” Blaney said. “And I’m very confident I can win at Talladega. The name of the game at Talladega is to hang back and wait for an accident up front to open the door. So, I’ll maintain my strategy from Charlotte, and keep Jimmie Johnson in front of me.”