Note: The quotes in this article are fictional.
1. Kevin Harvick: Harvick finished 10th at Las Vegas.
“I’ve got a comfortable points lead,” Harvick said. “There’s a safe distance between me and the cut off line. And that’s exactly how I plan to race at Talladega—a ‘safe distance’ from the front.”
2. Denny Hamlin: Hamlin won Stage 1 at Las Vegas and went on to a third-place finish in the South Point 400.
“I’m now a co-owner with Michael Jordan of a car to be driven by Bubba Wallace,” Hamlin said. “It’s great to have M.J. involved in our sport. And I’m sure this isn’t the first time Michael’s ‘put money on’ NASCAR.”
3. Brad Keselowski: Keselowski started 12th and finished 13th at Las Vegas.
“I battled handling issues all day,” Keselowski said. “The No. 2 Auto Trader Ford was just not responsive. And trust me, I was talking to it all day, with language unfit even for Kyle Busch’s radio.”
4. Chase Elliott: Elliott finished 22nd in the South Point 400.
“Hendrick Motorsports was fined $100,000 for a wind tunnel violation,” Elliott said. “Apparently, we exceeded the amount of time you’re allowed in the wind tunnel. That’s pretty much the definition of ‘blowing’ $100,000.”
5. Kurt Busch: Busch secured his spot in the playoff Round of 8 with a win in his hometown of Las Vegas.
“There was a little luck involved,” Busch said. “I took the lead when a caution flew during green-flag pit stops. So, maybe I didn’t have the best car, but I had enough car. It’s a case of ‘Local boy makes good enough.'”
6. Martin Truex Jr.: Truex finished fourth at Las Vegas and is now sixth in the playoff points standings.
“We’ve got Talladega next on the schedule,” Truex said. “And who knows what might happen there? That’s always the question at Talladega, and as questions go, it’s a ‘big one.'”
7. Joey Logano: Logano finished 14th at Las Vegas, as an early tire issue set him back in the field.
“That ‘tire issue’ was caused by contact with Kyle Busch,” Logano said. “Trust me, if I could have no contact with Kyle Busch, I’d be thrilled.”
8. Alex Bowman: Bowman finished fifth at Las Vegas and now stands seventh in the standings.
“I’m one of the drivers who are hovering around the cut off line,” Bowman said. “It’s tough on one’s mental state. Plus, we’ve got Talladega to deal with. That means we may have to deal with wrecks, all while trying not to be a nervous wreck.”
9. Kyle Busch: Busch finished sixth in an up-and-down day at Las Vegas.
“I’ve now gone 30 races without a win,” Busch said. “So I know I’m due. And I’m counting on ‘when’ and ‘win’ intersecting at Talladega.”
10.Aric Almirola: Almirola finished 17th in the South Point 400.
“I’ll most likely need a win to advance,” Almirola said. “And Talladega will be a challenge, so I’ll need good aerodynamics and the good Lord on my side. So, I’m heading to Alabama’s superspeedway on a ‘wing and a prayer.'”