It’s really hot.

As the 2012 Sprint Cup schedule takes teams back to a track for the first time this year, temperatures exceed 100 degrees in much of the country. For those without power, it’s really hot. So hot we can actually feel like some of our favorite Sprint Cup drivers in the back half of the 2012 season. Here are three drivers who will feel the most heat the rest of this  season:

3. Jeff Gordon
Gordon needs two wins to make the Chase. He has zero. Math is fun.

2. Kyle Busch
Engine problems stink. So too has Busch’s diminishing results as the season has worn on. With changes coming to JGR, Denny Hamlin trying to make a title run and Joey Logano sniffing the Chase, no Busch in the Chase would be a big deal.

1. Carl Edwards
Edwards reportedly received one of the more lucrative deals in NASCAR after nearly bolting for Joe Gibbs Racing. But it’s been more than a year since his last win, and Edwards might have to win to even make the Chase. With Matt Kenseth out the door in six months, the heat is on.

I’m scorched, up a fake 430 dollars after Brad Keselowski made me look silly in Kentucky. Here are my fake picks for the sake of entertainment alone.

10 fake dollars on Matt Kenseth at 10/1

A reader told me to not give up on Kenseth; the dude and Greg Biffle dominated the Daytona 500. The Roush partnership helps with tandem drafting.

10 fake dollars on Greg Biffle at 12/1

See Matt Kenseth

10 fake dollars on Tony Stewart at 12/1
In the last five years, nobody has had a better average finish at Daytona than Whopper Man. And because Stewart hasn’t won the 500, this seems like a logical race to win.

10 fake dollars on Denny Hamlin at 15/1
Only Kyle Busch has led more laps at Daytona over the last five years than Hamlin. Unlike Busch, Hamlin has no weird voodoo curses that have ruined his engines the last month.    

5 fake dollars on Joey Logano at 30/1
Hamlin needs a running buddy; I don’t trust Kyle Busch.

5 fake dollars on Ryan Newman at 50/1

Because I like giving my fake money away.

Let’s hope the weather outside cools down as the action heats up in the second half of the 2012 Sprint Cup schedule. Here’s what The Spread thinks; enjoy the race, and insert random catchphrase here.

Matt Kenseth 10/1
Dale Earnhardt Jr 12/1
Jimmie Johnson 12/1
Tony Stewart 12/1
Jeff Gordon 12/1
Greg Biffle 12/1
Brad Keselowski 12/1
Kevin Harvick 12/1
Carl Edwards 12/1
Kyle Busch 12/1
Denny Hamlin 15/1
Clint Bowyer 15/1
Kasey Kahne 15/1
Jeff Burton 20/1
Martin Truex Jr 25/1
Jamie McMurray 25/1
Marcos Ambrose 30/1
Joey Logano 30/1
AJ Allmendinger 30/1
Kurt Busch 30/1
Juan Montoya 40/1
Paul Menard 40/1
Michael Waltrip 40/1
Trevor Bayne 50/1
Ryan Newman 50/1
Aric Almirola 60/1
Regan Smith 100/1
Dave Blaney 100/1
Casey Mears 100/1
Landon Cassill 100/1
David Gilliland 100/1
Bobby Labonte 100/1
David Ragan 100/1