NASCAR Top 10 Power Rankings: Richmond

Note: the quotes in this article are fictional.

1. Denny Hamlin — Hamlin swept Stages 1 and 2 at Richmond, but couldn’t hold off Alex Bowman late and settled for second place.

“I’m still winless this season,” Hamlin said. “My critics say I can’t win the big one; now, I can’t even win a little one.”

2. Martin Truex, Jr. — Truex contended for the win for most of the day until a pit road speeding penalty dropped him back. He still managed to rebound for a fifth-place finish, his fourth of the year.

“Now I have two lead feet,” Truex said, “because with my original lead foot, I shot myself in the other foot. And that’s going to make it very difficult to ‘pussy-foot’ the gas pedal the next time I roll down pit lane.”

3. Joey Logano — Logano led 49 laps and came home 3rd in the Toyota Owners 400 at Richmond.

“Jimmie Johnson made his Indy Car debut on Sunday in the Grand Prix of Alabama,” Logano said. “I don’t know about you, but it seems like ‘Grand Prix’ and ‘Alabama’ should never be used in the same sentence. That would be akin to a race called the ‘Blue-Emu Maximum Pain Relief Formula 1 Monaco Grand Prix.’ Besides, in Alabama, ‘prix’ has an entirely different pronunciation.”

4. William Byron — Byron finished 7th at Richmond.

“My No. 24 Chevy sported the ‘Liberty University’ paint scheme,” Byron said. “Jerry Falwell, Jr. called my car the ‘one to watch,’ especially if his wife was in the passenger seat.”

5. Christopher Bell — Bell finished 4th in the Toyota Owners 400 as Joe Gibbs Racing placed all four cars in the top eight.

“I’m thrilled to be in the Joe Gibbs Racing No. 20 Toyota,” Bell said. “That No. 20 is iconic in NASCAR. Tony Stewart drove that car into the stratosphere of relevancy; Erik Jones drove it into the ground.”

6. Alex Bowman — Bowman got by Denny Hamlin with 10 laps and cruised to his first win of the year, capturing the Toyota Owners 400 at Richmond.

“Four Joe Gibbs Racing cars finished in the top eig,” Bowman said, “but I whipped them all. I now know what it’s like to be Joe Gibbs, because I’m a ‘Toyota owner‘ too.”

7. Kyle Larson — Larson struggled at Richmond with an 18th-place finish, two laps down.

“We dealt with handling issues all day,” Larson said, “and never quite figured things out. It was a bad day, but I can think of worse days I’ve had. Particularly, one comes to mind.”

8. Kevin Harvick — Harvick blew a tire with 20 laps to go and limped home with a 24th at Richmond.

“Losing a tire that late in a race is a lot like Hunt Brothers Pizza,” Harvick said. “It leaves a bad taste in your mouth. The fortunes of being a championship-caliber driver with supreme confidence are also a lot like Hunt Brothers Pizza, because you know it will soon come out the other side.”

9. Chase Elliott — Elliott finished 12th at Richmond and is 7th in the points standings.

“Bubba Wallace got his COVID-19 vaccination,” Elliott said. “He’s encouraging others to do the same. I think NASCAR should also. Have you seen NASCAR’s rating? Any ‘shot in the arm’ would be beneficial.”

10. Ryan Blaney — Blaney finished 11th at Richmond, posting a career-best result at the .75-mile track.

“We didn’t have any air hose issues like we did last week at Martinsville,” Blaney said. “Let me tell you, I was so relieved, I let out a ‘PSI of relief.'”

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