Wednesday, October 6, 2021
NASCAR Top 10 Power Rankings: Talladega
Note: the quotes in this article are fictional.
1. Denny Hamlin — Hamlin finished 7th at Talladega in a rain-delayed and rain-shortened race won by Bubba Wallace, who drives for 23XI Racing, co-owned by Hamlin and Michael Jordan.
"What a win by Bubba," Hamlin said. "At some point, Bubba, Michael, and I will enjoy a victory cigar together. And to all those who have a problem with Bubba winning, I'll see you in hell, and you can see me inhale."
2. Kyle Larson — Larson suffered damage late in Stage 1 when contact between William Byron and Ross Chastain sent Chastain's No. 77 hard into Larson's left side. Larson limped home with a 37th-place finish.
"We spent a lot of time trying to get the car to maintain minimum speed," Larson said. "How do I know I'm above that minimum speed threshold? I'm going faster than Quin Houff."
3. Joey Logano — Logano came home 3rd in the YellaWood 500.
"Racing at Talladega is all about getting a good run," Logano said. "My Penske teammate Brad Keselowski knows that better than anyone, because as far as his career with Penske goes, Brad had a good run."
4. Martin Truex, Jr. — Truex finished 12th in the YellaWood 500 at Talladega.
"Talladega is hectic enough when the weather is good," Truex said. "When the threat of rain is added to the equation, it creates another level of chaos, and it confuses some fans, because they see the word 'equation' and think they'll have to do some type of math."
5. Ryan Blaney — Blaney finished 15th at Talladega and is 6th in the playoff standings, 15 points above the cut line.
"Saturday's Xfinity race was shortened because of darkness," Blaney said, "and apparently, should have been sponsored by 'Natural Light' beer."
6. Chase Elliott — Elliott finished 18th at Talladega.
"I'm pretty sure Kevin Harvick is still angry with me," Elliott said. "He apparently 'has it in' for me. The Round of Eight in the playoffs? It may 'have it out' for Harvick."
7. Kyle Busch — Busch came home 27th at Talladega and is only 9 points above the playoff cut line.
"After the race was already delayed by a day," Busch said, "it was certainly anti-climactic for it to end early because of rain. And I know anti-climactic, because I know all things 'anti,' because I may be the anti-Christ, according to a lot of fans."
8. Kevin Harvick — Harvick posted a solid 8th-place finish at Talladega, but is 9th in the playoff standings, 9 points below the cut line.
"I'm sitting on the playoff bubble," Harvick said. "Surprisingly, despite its airiness, it really chaps my ass."
9. William Byron — Byron crashed on lap 116 after contact with Ryan Preece in a multi-car accident and finished a disastrous 36th. He's is 44 points below the cut line.
"I'm heading to Charlotte with one goal in mind," Byron said, "and that's winning. That may sound overconfident, but hey, it's 'go big or go home,' and as a driver for Hendrick, Charlotte is conveniently home."
10. Alex Bowman — Bowman crashed out at Talladega on lap 97 after Chase Elliott bumped Ricky Stenhouse, Jr., sending Stenhouse hard into the side of Bowman. Bowman finished 38th, and is last in the playoff standings.
"I don't know what happened," Bowman said. "I'm not one to point fingers, or name names, or make accusations, but I am one to do all three of those at once. So, my finger is aimed at Chase Elliott, who I'm accusing of causing me to wreck. My 'side' of the story is the left side of my car was ruined, and I'm starting to 'side' with Kevin Harvick."