Ryan Newman — Oh so close to a win. Still, his runner-up result is his best finish of the year.
Michael McDowell — Finished fifth, tying his season-best finish, which he achieved in the Daytona 500.
Corey LaJoie — Finished seventh, one spot off his season-best finish, which came at Daytona in July.
Brendan Gaughan — OK, so he was wrecked while at the front and rolled over once, but he was uninjured and joked about needing to get his parent’s permission to run in next year’s Daytona 500 as planned. And also he had a funny line about how his landing might have been judged.
Hendrick Motorsports — Its three playoff cars needed strong runs to help their playoff hopes. Instead, all three were in wrecks and Ryan Blaney’s win means that Alex Bowman, Chase Elliott and William Byron are all but in a must-win situation this weekend at Kansas Speedway (2:30 p.m. ET Sunday on NBC). Hendrick Motorsports could see all three eliminated this coming weekend.
David Ragan — Tough luck strikes again. He failed to finish all four races at Daytona and Talladega this year because of accidents. No other Cup driver this season failed to finish all four of those races because of an accident.
Car owners — Fourteen of the 40 cars were eliminated by crashes and several more were damaged. As Ryan Newman said: “Just a financial disaster, I guess you could call it, when you come here. We all expect that, but it just kind of gets old after a while.”