Now I know why Vegas is so fancy.

For the first time this season, one of my picks actually won a race. As a result of my fake $50 wager, I won a fake $100 for a fake $50 profit. As I was bouncing around in a vibrant victory dance, my wife asked me a pointed yet appropriate question.

“Didn’t you lose the first four races of the year?”

Yes. Yes I did. One win and four losses still has me down a fake $150. But the feeling of winning certainly mutes the sorrow of loss. And it’s that reality that allows Vegas to shine so brightly while we all eat government cheese. Especially after you see what who I’m picking this weekend at Martinsville.

In an awesome race preview, it was noted that Jeff Gordon and Jimmie Johnson have combined for 13 wins. Twice, Denny Hamlin has won here. Hamlin even admits it’s his favorite track. Sticking with the “I want winners theme,” you would think all my money would go on these three. Nope.

Johnson is on fire. He’ll probably win. But at 5/2, I would have to bet almost all my fake money to turn a profit. There are too many silly things that can happen to make the math work. Just ask Sam Hornish Jr.

As for Jeff Gordon, did you know he’s won once in the last 77 races? I didn’t either. Gordon’s won here seven times. But at 6/1, it’s not enough reward for a guy whose best days might be behind him. And yes, it was sad typing that, and I hope I’m wrong.

As for Hamlin, maybe you do need an ACL to compete in NASCAR. Hamlin has gone from a dude who could contend for the title to a dude whose best finish is 17th. When Paul Menard and Scott Speed are killing you in the points, I don’t take your 5/1 odds.

So in over thinking this far too much, where is my fake money going?  

$10 on Tony Stewart at 10/1
: Whopper Man has won here twice and has the fifth best average finish. Seems like a good plan.

$10 on Kevin Harvick at 12/1:
Stewart’s future employee leads the points and has come close. Why not Sunday?

$10 on Kyle Busch and Mark Martin at 15/1:
Busch wins races. Martin has won here twice. I want winners.

$10 on Kurt Busch at 18/1:
He had the best car at Bristol. A different kind of short track, I know, but Dodge’s last stand has some mojo and has won at the Paper Clip.

Here are the race odds courtesy of The Spread. Enjoy the race, and insert random catchphrase here.

Jimmie Johnson 5/2    
Denny Hamlin 5/1    
Jeff Gordon 6/1    
Tony Stewart 10/1    
Kevin Harvick 12/1    
Kyle Busch 15/1    
Jeff Burton 15/1    
Clint Bowyer 15/1    
Mark Martin 15/1    
Kurt Busch 18/1    
Juan Pablo Montoya 18/1    
Carl Edwards 20/1    
Dale Earnhardt Jr 20/1    
Kasey Kahne 30/1    
Jamie McMurray 35/1    
Ryan Newman 40/1    
Joey Logano 40/1    
Greg Biffle 40/1    
Matt Kenseth 60/1    
David Ragan 75/1    
Elliott Sadler 100/1    
Paul Menard 100/1    
Bobby Labonte 100/1    
Regan Smith 100/1    
Scott Speed 100/1    
Travis Kvapil 100/1    
AJ Allmendinger 100/1    
Sam Hornish Jr 100/1    
Marcos Ambrose 100/1    
Brad Keselowski 100/1    
David Reutimann 100/1    
Martin Truex Jr 100/1        
Brian Vickers 100/1
Field (Any Other Driver) 100/1