NASCAR Top-10 Power Rankings: Talladega

Note: The quotes in this article are fictional.

1. Kyle Busch: Busch finished 10th at Talladega to keep his streak of top-10 finishes alive. His streak now stands at 10.

“Mine wasn’t the only ‘streaking’ going on a Talladega,” Busch said. “There was the ‘Miss Nude Talladega Infield” contest staged on Saturday night. That’s right, I said ‘Saturday night.’ Sure, it was dark, so the contestants were judged by headlights.”

2. Joey Logano: Logano led 37 laps and finished fourth in the Geico 500.

“I thought I had the race won,” Logano said. “But then Chase Elliott and two other Chevrolets got by me. In the end, Chevy finished 1-2-3 and finally looked like a contender. So, not only did Chevy win and place, but they finally showedup.”

3. Denny Hamlin: Hamlin was involved in a Lap 11 wreck in the Geico 500 and the ensuing damage eventually ruined his day, forcing him to the garage on lap 80.

“I blame Bubba Wallace for the wreck,” Hamlin said. “He basically ruined any chance I had. Much of the talk at Talladega was of ‘spoiler height.’ Well, my ‘spoiler height’ was 5′ 10,” because that’s how tall Bubba is.”

4. Chase Elliott: Elliott grabbed the lead after a restart with four laps to go and held on to win the Geico 500, which ended under caution. Elliott led a 1-2-3 finish for Chevy as Hendrick teammate Alex Bowman took second, followed by Ryan Preece in third.

“I also led Hendrick to a 1-2-3 finish in Stage 2,” Elliott said. “Up until Talladega, Hendrick Motorsports looked downright incompetent. I doubt competitors thought we could count 1-2-3, much less finish 1-2-3.”

5. Martin Truex Jr.: Truex suffered damage in an accident with seven laps to go and finished a disappointing 20th at Talladega.

“One minute,” Truex said, “I’m looking at a sure top-10 finish. The next minute, I’m spinning. Fortunes change in a split second, much like NASCAR’s explanations for when and when not to throw a caution flag.”

6. Brad Keselowski: Keselowski came home 13th at Talladega, while Penske Racing teammate Joey Logano finished fourth.

“I’m very surprised NASCAR officials didn’t throw a caution when Ricky Stenhouse Jr. spun and slammed the wall on the final lap,” Keselowski said. “Stenhouse hasn’t felt less important since Danica Patrick dumped him.”

7. Kevin Harvick: Harvick was knocked out early at Talladega, exiting on Lap 11 from damage sustained when contact between Ryan Blaney and Bubba Wallace triggered a wreck. Harvick finished 38th.

“It was a tough start to the race for Stewart-Haas Racing,” Harvick said. “Right off the bat, Ryan Blaney got bumped, and the next thing you know, SHR teammate, Clint Bowyer, slammed into me. It was downhill from there. I looked at my No. 4 Ford with the flannel paint scheme and said to myself, ‘I see a pattern here.'”

8. Kurt Busch: Busch posted a strong sixth-place finish at Talladega.

“It’s always unpredictable at Talladega,” Busch said. “And I’m talking about what goes on in the infield. Jeremy Mayfield once opined that there’s more ‘speed’ in the infield than on the track.”

9. Aric Almirola: Almirola battled back from an early pit road speeding penalty to post a solid ninth in the Geico 500 at Talladega.

“Congratulations to Chase Elliott,” Almirola said, “and to people who dine at Hooters. Since Chase won, you can get 15 wings and a pitcher of beer or Mountain Dew for just $15. It’s an actual instance of ‘Winner, winner, chicken dinner.’ And, it would feed a NASCAR family of one.”

10. Ryan Blaney: Blaney survived early trouble at Talladega and finished 15th in the Geico 500.

“Stewart-Haas Racing is still winless for the season,” Blaney said. “Word around the campfire is that Joe Gibbs Racing and Penske Racing are calling our 200,000 square foot in Kannapolis, NC the ‘Inferiority Complex.'”

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