NASCAR Top-10 Power Rankings: Daytona

by Jeffrey Boswell On Mon, Jul. 09, 2018

Erik Jones, driver of the #20 buyatoyota.com Toyota, celebrates in Victory Lane after winning the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series Coke Zero Sugar 400 at Daytona International Speedway on July 7, 2018 in Daytona Beach, Florida. Photo by Matt Sullivan/Getty Images.

Note: The quotes in this article are fictional.

1. Kyle Busch: Busch finished 33rd in the Coke Zero Sugar 400 after crashing out in an early wreck caused by Ricky Stenhouse Jr.

“The No. 18 Interstate Battery Toyota was capable of winning,” Busch said. “That is, until Stenhouse took me out. Revenge is forthcoming. But not from me. I don’t have time to mess with him, so I’m gonna have my hauler driver take his out on the way from Daytona to Kentucky. That’s ‘interstate battery.'”

2. Martin Truex Jr.: Truex finished second at Daytona, losing the win after Erik Jones passed him on the last lap.

“Erik got a kiss from his girlfriend in Victory Lane for winning the Coke Zero Sugar 400,” Truex said. “I, on the other hand, didn’t get a kiss from anyone. In other words, I got ‘zero sugar.'”

3. Kevin Harvick: Harvick’s day ended with two laps remaining in regulation when he was collected in a crash involving several cars.

“One second you’re racing for the win,” Harvick said. “The next, you’re climbing out of your wrecked car. Next, you’re walking down the track toward the ambulance with Clint Bowyer discussing the scratches and scrapes you just suffered. As it is in nearly all instances, Clint’s remedy is to ‘put a little alcohol on it.'”

4. Clint Bowyer: Bowyer was contending up front with two laps remaining in regulation when he was turned by Bubba Wallace and sent into the wall. Bowyer finished 22nd.

“Even when he’s not in the car,” Bowyer said, “Dale Earnhardt Jr. is a factor. He was the only ‘Junior’ who didn’t cause an accident at Daytona.”

5. Joey Logano: Logano finished 39th in the Coke Zero Sugar 400.

“A couple of early wrecks wiped out many of the biggest names in NASCAR,” Logano said. “Most of those accidents were the result of the actions of Ricky Stenhouse Jr. I can totally see why Danica Patrick dumped Ricky Stenhouse Jr. Although he was the ‘Big One,’ he was not ‘the One.'”

6. Kyle Larson: Larson finished 29 at Daytona after spinning on Lap 123 and collecting Ricky Stenhouse Jr.

“I won Friday’s Xfinity Series race,” Larson said. “That was thanks to NASCAR saying Justin Haley’s pass for the lead was illegal because two of his tires were below the yellow line. Is that line really yellow, because I could have sworn I saw a ‘silver lining?’

7. Brad Keselowski: Keselowski fell victim to one of several wrecks at Daytona and finished 36th.

“I wrecked because William Byron blocked me,” Keselowski said. “I lifted and got hit from behind. I guess the lesson is this: ‘Don’t check up, otherwise you’ll be headed for the infield care center for a ‘check-up.’ Another lesson: keep your foot on the pedal. That way it’s less likely to want to end up in someone’s behind.”

8. Denny Hamlin: Hamlin finished a disappointing 38th at Daytona

“What a great drive by Erik Jones,” Hamlin said. “He picked up his first Monster Energy Cup win by outdueling the defending champion. Wow! Who would have thought Erik would get his first win at Daytona? And who would have thought his first win would come before his first tan?”

9. Kurt Busch: Busch finished 37th at Daytona after crashing out in a Lap 53 accident that also wiped out Denny Hamlin, Joey Logano, Brad Keselowski, and Ryan Blaney.

“That’s a veritable who’s who of drivers who have never won a Cup championship,” Busch said.

“I’m going to go out on a limb and say Ricky Stenhouse Jr. played a part in that accident. Stenhouse won the first two stages. Obviously, his car was awesome. Then he just started causing accidents. In both cases, you could say he was a one-man wrecking crew.”

10. Erik Jones: Jones made a last-lap pass of Martin Truex Jr. and held on to win the Coke Zero Sugar 400, earning his first Monster Energy Cup win.

“I’m proud to drive the No. 20 car that Tony Stewart made famous,” Jones said. “I’ve always admired Tony. He’s a giant in this sport, literally and figuratively. In fact, I was thinking about Tony when I crossed the finish line, knowing I had clinched a spot in the Chase and proved my value to Joe Gibbs. It was a case of ‘girth,’ ‘berth,’ and ‘worth.'”

** The opinions expressed on this site are not necessarily those of the publisher. All comments other than website related problems need to be directed to the author. (c)SpeedwayMedia.com. **

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