HEATH CALHOUN 400 ODDS

It is the worst feeling in the world that doesn’t involve pain.

It’s the feeling you get waiting in line at the Las Vegas airport after you got absolutely clobbered at the tables. Will it bankrupt you? I hope not. Is the loss only financial? You hope so. But you arrived to the city hours earlier with a plan that you knew would work. Confidence and optimism. You’re ready to go. Then the best laid plans start to sputter. Your stomach gets a bit queasy. You go to a different casino and find the same old problems. Before your ATM card tells you to relax, you’re plan is as successful as a new series on NBC. You’ve totally fallen apart.

As you stand in that long security line, you realize you ate too much. You drank too much. You lost too much. Waiting in line, the only thing bloated are credit card bills, your stomach and self doubt.

This is how I feel after Talladega. Check out some of my comments about Kevin Harvick from previous columns.

Another patient driver in a longer race. We call this a theme. Plus, Harvick has been the most consistent driver all season. At this math, I really like the selection. That said, I’ve liked all my selections this year and keep getting my clock cleaned. Uh oh.
 Tony Stewart’s future employee leads the points and has come close. Why not Sunday?
Read this really superb take on the RSR resurgence. Burton loves the track. Harvick could have two wins already. Bowyer has been near the front in key stretches.  

I rode this guy to more defeats than a Republican campaign manager trying to unseat a Kennedy. The one week I jump off. The one week I jump off.



Now I’m down $350 in fake cash
and aware betting on racing is kind of like roulette. You can play trends til you’re blue in the face.  But every spin is unique, and chances are you’re going to lose. With that in mind, here are my sure fire picks for Saturday night in Richmond.

$10 on Kyle Busch at 8/1: 
Kyle has the best average finish at the track, won here last year and hasn’t won this year. This strategy worked for Kevin Harvick last week. Maybe it will work for Dan Farkas this week.

$10 on Tony Stewart at 12/1: Whopper Man’s team started slow, but has picked it up the last three races. Stewart has the second best average finish at Richmond over the last five years, but he hasn’t won at the track. This seems like a wise investment. So too did Enron at some point.

$10 on Kevin Harvick at 12/1:
Drivers seem to win in spurts. Plus you knew this was coming.

$10 on Clint Bowyer at 15/1:
Bowyer has won here, but he hasn’t won in a while. Plus, I flipped a coin between Bowyer and Jeff Burton. Tails won.

$10 on Dale Earnhardt Jr. at 25/1
: His late father would have had a birthday this weekend. Earnhardt Jr. has actually won here in the last four years.  His team has made vast improvement. The stars seem aligned, especially at 25/1.

Here are the odds from “The Spread.” Enjoy the race, and insert random catchphrase here.

Jimmie Johnson 5/1
Denny Hamlin 6/1
Mark Martin 8/1
Jeff Gordon 8/1
Kyle Busch 8/1
Kurt Busch 12/1
Tony Stewart 12/1
Kevin Harvick 12/1
Clint Bowyer 15/1
Jeff Burton 15/1
Juan Pablo Montoya 18/1
Greg Biffle 20/1
Carl Edwards 20/1
Matt Kenseth 20/1
Kasey Kahne 25/1
Dale Earnhardt Jr 25/1
Jamie McMurray 40/1
Joey Logano 40/1
Ryan Newman 40/1
Martin Truex Jr 50/1
David Reutimann 60/1
Brian Vickers 60/1
Paul Menard 100/1
Elliott Sadler 100/1
AJ Allmendinger 100/1
Sam Hornish Jr 100/1
Marcos Ambrose 100/1
Brad Keselowski 100/1
David Ragan 100/1
Travis Kvapil 100/1
Bobby Labonte 100/1
Regan Smith 100/1
Scott Speed 100/1
Field (Any Other Driver) 100/1