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Finally….

An actual race takes place Saturday night. Don’t get me wrong, the Sprint Unlimited is a preseason event. The idea of wagering any kind of money on a preseason sporting event seems mindless. But odds are out, and they’re worth seeing as fans think about the real race in Daytona a week away.

Dale Jr. Or Bust

Dale Earnhardt Jr. is one of four race favorites. The #88 has won this race before, and it’s NASCAR’s most popular team.

But there haven’t been any kind of odds all year that haven’t listed the #88 as a top contender. Under the new points system, Earnhardt Jr. would have won the 2013 Sprint Cup. HIs crew chief bolts for the broadcast booth at year’s end. The “last chance” narrative, be it right or wrong, is picking up, and oddsmakers are using this as part of a 2014 strategy.

Don’t Call It A Comeback

Denny Hamlin is 10/1. Tony Stewart is 12/1. Those are numbers of those perceived to be contenders. For two drivers to have had such awful 2013 seasons, this is a great way to start 2014.

Why Not Us?

Danica Patrick is 20/1. Ricky Stenhouse Jr. is 30/1. Even Marcos Ambrose is 50/1. These numbers look bad, but all are better than normal. In fact, Patrick won’t see anything close to 25/1 the rest of 2014.

If I had fake money, Ryan Newman, Kurt Busch and Jimmie Jonson are intriguing for different reasons. Here’s how your favorite driver stacks up. Enjoy live racing, and insert random catchphrase here.