GOODY’S FAST PAIN RELIEF 500 ODDS

There’s an old saying in coaching that you enjoy the wins for 24 hours, mourn the losses for 24 hours, then get over it and move on.

Tell that to Jimmie Johnson. Or me for that matter. After Kevin Harvick’s pass, I’m down a fake sixty dollars (100 if you count my membership to the "Kevin Harvick Stinks Fan Club”) and going to place where I should write a really short column.

Denny Hamlin owns Martinsville; he swept there last year. The first win came on one leg. With that pedigree, this seems like an easy call.

It is. Just not with Hamlin.

I’ve never seen 3/1 odds like this, especially for someone who has done jack and squadoosh in 2011. Don’t get me wrong, Hamlin is a great driver. Mike Ford is a great crew chief. But you need a car that runs in order to win. Hamlin hasn’t shown the ability to run a full race. He may own Martinsville. But someone needs to repo that Toyota engine.

This same odd logic trickles down to other popular drivers. Kyle Busch has the thirteenth best average finish at Martinsville. He has the same odds as a guy who wins here all the time.

Carl Edwards and Kevin Harvick love this track. It hasn’t loved them back. Yet, guys with better track records Mark Martin, Dale Earnhardt Jr. and Tony Stewart have more appealing numbers.

The math doesn’t normally work this way. That said, the 2011 Sprint Cup season normally doesn’t work this way, and that’s been great for fans. If only these picks can be good for my fake track record.

30 fake dollars on Jimmie Johnson at 9/2:

In the last ten races at Martinsville, Jimmie Johnson has never finished worse than tenth. Nine of those ten times, Captain Lowe’s finished fifth or better. Five times, Johnson took home a really fancy clock.

Johnson hasn’t won this year, but he’s been close twice. This seems like a no brainer, which means Marcos Ambrose will bump into Johnson in the pits and ruin my day.

20 fake dollars on Jeff Gordon at 8/1

Gordon’s record here isn’t too shabby. Gordon nine finishes of fifth or better in his last ten races. Gordon ended his winless streak; I think ending the streak on short tracks can happen.

If Tony Stewart, Brad Keselowski or Dale Earnhardt Jr. win, I am going to cringe. If Denny Hamlin wins, it’s game on for 2011. And while winning is fun, losing to Hamlin might make for enough excitement to hide the pain of another loss. Here’s what The Spread thinks, and insert random catchphrase here.

 
Denny Hamlin 3/1
Jimmie Johnson 9/2
Kyle Busch 8/1
Jeff Gordon 8/1
Kevin Harvick 8/1
Tony Stewart 10/1
Carl Edwards 12/1
Jeff Burton 15/1
Clint Bowyer 20/1
Mark Martin 25/1
Kurt Busch 25/1
Dale Earnhardt Jr 25/1
Ryan Newman 25/1
Jamie McMurray 25/1
Juan Pablo Montoya 30/1
Joey Logano 30/1
Matt Kenseth 60/1
Greg Biffle 60/1
Kasey Kahne 60/1
Martin Truex Jr 75/1
AJ Allmendinger 100/1
David Reutimann 100/1
Brad Keselowski 100/1
Marcos Ambrose 100/1
Brian Vickers 100/1
David Ragan 100/1
Paul Menard 100/1
Trevor Bayne 500/1
Bobby Labonte 500/1
Regan Smith 500/1
David Gilliland 1000/1
Field (Any Other Driver) 300/1

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