NASCAR Top 10 Power Rankings: Daytona

Note: the quotes in this article are fictional.

1. Ricky Stenhouse, Jr. — Stenhouse overtook Joey Logano for the lead on an overtime restart, but a huge pileup behind necessitated another restart. Stenhouse again nailed the restart and won when Kyle Larson's spin brought out the caution.

"This is a great day for JTG Daugherty Racing," Stenhouse said. "Not only does it mean I've won the Daytona 500 and I've qualified for the playoffs, it also means everyone will be again treated to Brad Daugherty's mountain hillbilly accent. Brad's never met a syllable he didn't like."

2. Joey Logano — Defending Cup series champion Logano finished 2nd in the Daytona 500.

"I feel like NASCAR's overtime rules robbed me of a chance to go for the win," Logano said. "It's like NASCAR's rule book 'handcuffed' me, much like Mexico's rule book did the same to Kyle Busch."

3. Christopher Bell — Bell came home 3rd at Daytona, finishing the race as Joe Gibbs Racing's top finisher.

"Let's give it up for Ricky Stenhouse, Jr.," Bell said. "He's a real stand-up guy, and he's been racing in the Cup series for 15 years, so he's paid his dues. One thing he hasn't paid is bail, to get out of a Mexican prison."

4. Chris Buescher — Buescher survived a wild Daytona 500 and navigated a big final lap wreck to come home 4th.

"Driving for Roush Fenway Keselowski Racing has taught me a lot about how to be a successful driver," Buescher said. "And Brad was especially was kind enough to give me pointers on how to win at Daytona. Pointers I kindly ignored, because he's 0-14 here."

5. Alex Bowman — Bowman started on the pole at Daytona and won Stage 1 on his way to a 5th-place finish.

"This was the longest Daytona 500 in history," Bowman said. "It went 211 laps, which is equivalent to 528 miles. That's 28 extra miles than the advertised distance. And I think NASCAR needs to go the extra mile to fix or modify their jacked up overtime rules."

6. A.J. Almendinger — Almendinger posted his best Daytona 500 finish ever with a 6th.

"I'm known as more of a road course expert," Allmendinger said. "This result gives me confidence that I can post top-10 results on super speedways on a consistent basis, provided there's a massive pileup which allows me to pass 15+ cars on the last lap."

7. Kyle Busch — Busch took the lead on lap 197 and was in position to make a move for the win late, but was caught in a wreck after the last restart and finished 19th.

"Sure I'm disappointed," Busch said, "but I can't dwell on missed opportunities. For me, it's on to the next race in California. That's the life of a NASCAR driver — always traveling from one destination to the next. You know what they say about Kyle Busch — 'always packing.'"

8. Ross Chastain — Chastain finished 9th at Daytona.

"Erik Jones was driving the No. 43 car sponsored by legendary rock band Guns 'N Roses," Chastain said. "If you placed roses inside Kyle Busch's suitcase, you would also get 'Guns N' Roses.'"

9. Daniel Suarez — Suarez recovered from a late spin and finished 7th in the Daytona 500.

"First of all," Suarez said, "as a Mexican citizen, I'd like to speak on the Kyle Busch gun incident. Kyle's always been known as a 'loose cannon.' His recent ordeal in Mexico pretty much confirms that.

"I just wonder what would happen to me if I was caught with a handgun and ammo here in America. I mean, besides being declared a national hero."

10. Kevin Harvick — Harvick finished 11th in the Daytona 500.

"This is my final season as a full-time driver," Harvick said. "I've been doing this so long, I remember when the Daytona 500 started at noon. I believe it's just a matter of time before it has an 8:00 PM start time."

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