NASCAR Top 10 Power Rankings: Talladega

Note: the quotes in this article are fictional.

1. Denny Hamlin — Hamlin won at Talladega in a wild finish, the result not determined until the 3rd overtime. Hamlin officially qualified for the next round of the playoffs.

"And I got boo'ed for my effort by many of the 15,000 fans in attendance," Hamlin said. "You'd think masks would have muffled that, but it is Alabama, so apparently not.

"Michael Jordan is in NASCAR. I assume this means there will be an 'Aero Jordan' product line out soon."

2. Kevin Harvick — Harvick finished 20th in the YellaWood 500 at Talladega.

"I'm not sure what 'YellaWood' is," Harvick said. "I hear it's treated with something; I'm guessing it's penicillin."

3. Chase Elliott — Elliott finished 5th at Talladega and was the only playoff driver other than Denny Hamlin to crack the top 10.

"Chad Knaus is leaving the pit box to become Hendrick Motorsports Vice President of Competition," Elliott said. "'VP of Competition' is probably code for 'Finder of Ways to Cheat Without Getting Caught.' But if they gave Chad that job title, it would look very suspicious."

4. Brad Keselowski — Keselowski finished 18th in the YellaWood 500 at Talladega.

"The race was pure chaos from the start," Keselowski said. "We had a caution before one lap was completed. And from there, the attrition was constant, and that includes the race's flag man, who suffered a torn rotator cuff."

5. Kurt Busch — Busch was ousted at Talladega in a lap 110 crash in which his car went airborne. He finished 32nd.

"Luckily," Busch said, "I stuck the landing.

"Even though I was in it, I didn't have to worry about the 'Big One' at Talladega, because the Monster Energy Chevy was the 'Big 1' last week at Las Vegas."

6. Martin Truex, Jr. — Truex finished 23rd at Talladega.

"You always have to expect the unexpected at Talladega," Truex said. "Like, for example, it was not expected that you'd have to switch channels from NBC to NBC Sports Network to see the conclusion of the race. The notion that this helped ratings is 'remote.'"

7. Joey Logano — Logano finished 26th at Talladega, as Denny Hamlin and Chase Elliott were the only playoff drivers in the top 10.

"This race took over 4 hours to complete," Logano said, "and the margin of victory was a mere .086 seconds. And that's the long and short of it."

8. Alex Bowman — Bowman finished 14th at Talladega and is 7th in the points standings.

"The 2021 NASCAR schedule is out," Bowman said, "and there's a race at Bristol on dirt. It's the first Cup race on dirt since 1970. So fans, get your tickets now, else you'll be left out of the dust."

9. Aric Almirola — Almirola was knocked out of the race while leading in a wreck with 3 laps to go in Stage 1. He finished 37th and will need a win at Charlotte to advance.

"I guess I'm putting all my eggs in one basket," Almirola said. "And when I get to Charlotte, I'm gonna throw all the eggs in that basket at Alex Bowman for wrecking me."

10. Kyle Busch — Busch's rough day at Talladega involved several wrecks, blown tires, and various damages to his No. 18 Toyota. He completed 188 laps before his day was mercifully ended.

"My day at Talladega," Busch said, "not to mention my year in general, has me thinking 'early retirement."

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