Note: The quotes in this article are fictional.
1. Martin Truex Jr.: Truex led 62 laps and used some clever pit strategy to secure the win in the Toyota/Save Mart 350 at Sonoma.
“I’ve got to hand it to crew chief Cole Pearn,” Truex said. “He suckered Kevin Harvick into pitting early. It was pure trickery and it helped us secure the win. You don’t see tricks turned like that in NASCAR, except in the Daytona infield.”
2. Kyle Busch: Busch finished fifth in the Toyota/Save Mart 350, posting his 11th top-five result of the year. He leads the Monster Energy Cup points standings by 72 over Kevin Harvick.
“How about Martin Truex Jr.’s pit strategy?” Busch said. “Kevin Harvick’s team fell for it big time. It kind of reminded me of the Mars company’s lollipop-production strategy, because there’s ‘a sucker born every minute.'”
3. Kevin Harvick: Harvick started sixth and finished second at Sonoma, bested by Martin Truex Jr., who feigned a late pit stop which made Harvick pit earlier than expected.
“We fell for it,” Harvick said. “Cole Pearn threw out the bait, and we bit, and that bites.”
4. Joey Logano: Logano finished 19th at Sonoma and is now third in the Monster Energy Cup points standings, 112 out of first.
“We really didn’t have a car fast enough to win,” Logano said. “So my day at Sonoma was basically a nice, leisurely drive through wine country. Not to be confused with ‘whine‘ country; that’s where my dad lives.”
5. Clint Bowyer: Bowyer took third at Sonoma as Stewart Haas Racing cars placed four cars in the top 8. Bowyer is sixth in the points standings, 152 behind Kyle Busch.
“Martin Truex Jr. celebrated his win with a glass of wine in Victory Lane,” Bowyer said. “Personally, I think that’s bad optics for a NASCAR driver. It’s one thing to drink wine but from a wine glass? If it was me, I would have sent a crew member on a ‘Chase For The Cup’ from which to drink wine.”
6. Brad Keselowski: Keselowski finished 13th at Sonoma on a tough day for Penske Racing.
“That was the last Fox NASCAR broadcast of the season,” Keselowski said. “Now, NBC takes over. Hopefully, NBC can do something to make the product more entertaining. Seriously, NASCAR needs a real jump in viewership. And trust me, I’m an expert in ‘jumps in viewership.’ Back in 2014, ratings exploded when I was ‘jumped’ between two haulers by Matt Kenseth.”
7. Kurt Busch: Busch started 23rd and worked his way through Sonoma’s twists and turns to score a sixth-place finish.
“Far be it from me to criticize Kevin Harvick’s team for being fooled,” Busch said. “After all, I’m the guy who thought he was dating an assassin.”
8. Kyle Larson: Larson started on the pole at Sonoma and finished 14th.
“Martin Truex Jr.’s crew chief Cole Pearn deserves all the credit for the win,” Larson said. “His pit stop bluff was arguably the most brilliant overtaking maneuver in NASCAR history. Had that been at the poker tables, Pearn would have forced Kevin Harvick’s team to fold and watch a sure victory go down the drain. I’m not sure what cards they were holding, but I’m guessing it was a ‘flush.'”
9. Aric Almirola: Almirola finished eighth at Sonoma.
“Despite Kevin Harvick getting duped out of the victory,” Almirola said, “it was still a successful race for Stewart-Haas Racing. SHR cars finished second, third, sixth, and eighth. And we all celebrated by jumping off a bridge, mostly because Cole Pearn told us Martin Truex Jr. was gonna do it first.”
10. Denny Hamlin: Hamlin finished 10th at Sonoma, recording his ninth top 10 of the year.
“There were only two cautions on the day,” Hamlin said, “and those were just for the end of the stages. I know one person who wanted one more caution, and that’s Kevin Harvick. That would have tightened up the gap between Harvick and Martin Truex Jr. So, I’m surprised NASCAR, like they have done so often in the past, didn’t just invent some debris on the track. Even if there wasn’t debris on the track, they could have convinced everyone there was. I’m almost positive Rodney Childers would have bought it.”