Wednesday, June 2, 2021
NASCAR Top 10 Power Rankings: Charlotte
Note: the quotes in this article are fictional.
1. Kyle Larson — Larson started on the pole at Charlotte, led the most laps, swept all four stages, and won the Coca-Cola 600.
"You can buy gear commemorating my impressive win in many places," Larson said. "Just search the internet for 'dominating fashion.'
"The 'Hendrick 1-2-3-4' almost happened again. Soon, the 'Hendrick Broom' could become a phrase used for more than just sweeping Hendrick scandals under the rug."
2. Denny Hamlin — Hamlin finished a solid 7th at Charlotte, scoring his 11th top-10 result of the year.
"We never found the right balance for the car," Hamlin said. "But if you can finish 7th on a bad day, then things aren't really that bad. Actually, my status hasn't changed, because I'm still the points leader, and I'm still the best driver never to have won a Cup championship.
"I've never won the Coca-Cola 600. And I'm certainly not the only NASCAR driver to ever be 'Coked out.'"
3. Chase Elliott — Elliott ran up front all day as the four-car Hendrick Motorsports team battled for the win.
"I employed a new spotter for the Coca-Cola 600," Elliott said. "Trey Poole is my cousin, and he replaces Eddie D'Hondt, who was indefinitely suspended. Actually, he was definitely suspended. We told Eddie to 'give it arrest.'"
4. William Byron — Byron came home fourth in the Coca-Cola 600 as Hendrick Motorsports teammate Kyle Larson won convincingly.
"Kyle has lost several races in which he led the most laps," Byron said. "It almost happened again, but Kyle held on for the win. Clearly, Kyle doesn't want history repeating itself just as much as he doesn't want himself repeating itself."
5. Alex Bowman — Bowman finished 5th at Charlotte as Hendrick Motorsports took four of the top five spots.
"Jay Leno served as one of the grand marshals for the race," Bowman said. "And fittingly, the race was won by the team that made the right adjustments to maximize car performance after the sun set. In other words, the most important part of the race was the 'Tonight Show.'"
6. Martin Truex, Jr. — Truex finished 29th at Charlotte and now has three consecutive finishes of 19th or worse.
"I had a flat tire late in the race," Truex said. "And if that wasn't bad enough, my pit crew had trouble removing the tire from the rim. It's a helpless feeling sitting in your car knowing you can't go anywhere. It must be the same feeling Quin Houff gets every week."
7. Kevin Harvick — Harvick finished 10th at Charlotte.
"We had to make an early pit stop due to a loose wheel," Harvick said. "And speaking of 'early pit stops,' the Hunt Brothers Pizza logo was prominent on the No. 4 Chevy. And like loose wheels, Hunt Brothers Pizza is also a reason for having to make early pit stops."
8. Kyle Busch — Busch started from the rear but quickly established himself as a frontrunner on the way to a 3rd-place finish.
"I was solely responsible for preventing the Hendrick 1-2-3-4 sweep," Busch said. "It may be the first time I've ever taken responsibility for anything."
9. Brad Keselowski — Keselowski posted an 11th-place finish at Charlotte.
"The Coca-Cola 600 is a long, grueling race," Keselowski said. "To put it into perspective, 600 miles is approximately one-tenth the distance that me and Penske Racing are apart in contract negotiations."
10. Joey Logano — Logano finished 17th at Charlotte.
"It certainly wasn't a banner day for Penske Racing," Logano said. "Our lack of performance has really opened my eyes to some things, like how much better Hendrick is than us, and how much work we need to do, and why Brad Keselowski might want to leave Penske.
"Trackhouse Racing co-owner and rap superstar Pit Bull was at the race. Let's be real, though. Kyle Larson led 327 laps and won every stage. He may be the real 'pit bull,' because he grabbed the lead and wouldn't let go."