For a sport struggling to find its identity, Sunday’s race is like a trip home for a college student.

Michigan’s automakers are like the grandparents of NASCAR. Every driver on tour used their technology, power and support to get to Sunday’s Helluva Good 400! Sour Cream Dips 400.  But the health of those proud giants has turned for the worse, and many hope to see these larger than life figures return to their prior glory, or at least keep on keeping on. Listen to drivers talk about Sunday’s race, and you can see it’s more than just 400 miles.

It’s also much more for folks like me trying to start a winning streak.  Denny Hamlin whittled down my Debt-O-Meter to $275 with his win last week.  That was an easy pick. Sunday won’t be. Here’s why:

I can’t pick Ford. Ford is like the really smart kid who totally went aloof and started going to Phish concerts. Carl Edwards, Matt Kenseth and Greg Biffle have three of the five best average finishes at MIS. Two of the All three would make the Chase if the season ended today. But Roush cars have underperformed all year and simply not been a factor at the end of most races.  Add Kasey  Kahne’s one foot out of the door at Richard Petty Motorsports and you get numbers which should add up but simply don’t.

I can’t pick Toyota. Denny Hamlin and Kyle Busch win a lot. But neither has won at Michigan. And don’t you think Kevin Harvick’s wife is going to find Joey Logano at some point? Plus, you can’t pick a Toyota in Michigan. Sorry.

I shouldn’t pick Chevy: Jimmie Johnson has never won at MIS. Jeff Gordon is like the fifth year senior whose just wants his diploma. Tony Stewart is like the fifth year senior who just switched his major from Journalism to Chemistry.

I shouldn’t pick Dodge: Sam Hornish Jr. and Brad Keselowksi? Not this year. Kurt Busch isn’t in the top ten of average finishes.

I feel like a kid who didn’t study for his final exam and is relying on CliffsNotes. But as Michigan native Bob Seger said, “Turn the page.” And while that has nothing to do with fake wagering on a NASCAR race, it’s a fine enough segue for my picks. And yes, this song will never get out of your mind.

10 fake dollars on Kurt Busch at 12/1
: Busch won here before. He’s contended three other times. All or nothing is awful if you’re trying to make The Chase. But, I’m trying to win fake money for winners and winners only.

10 fake dollars on Jeff Burton at 15/1: If you’re a fan of Karma, here a reminder of why Burton will win Sunday.

10 fake dollars on Tony Stewart at 20/1: Seven of his last ten races here have yielded a top ten. As much as Stewart has struggled, the former monkey owner would still almost be in The Chase if the season ended today. Why not?

10 fake dollars on Kevin Harvick at 20/1
: I just want to @#% off Joey Logano’s dad. Plus, dude is still leading the points race, isn’t he?

10 fake dollars Ryan Newman at 40/1: This is Big Ten Country. Newman went to Purdue. Maybe the Big Ten Network can make a documentary about this.

Throwing darts at driver names after playing beer bong at the frat house may have been more effective, but I’m not in college anymore; so deal with it.  Here’s what The Spread thinks, and insert random catchphrase here.  

AJ Allmendinger 100/1       
Brad Keselowski  60/1       
Carl Edwards 20/1       
Casey Mears 100/1       
Clint Bowyer 20/1       
Dale Earnhardt Jr  40/1       
David Gilliland 100/1       
David Ragan 100/1       
David Reutimann  50/1       
Denny Hamlin 7/1       
Elliott Sadler 100/1       
Greg Biffle 20/1       
Jamie McMurray 30/1       
Jeff Burton 15/1       
Jeff Gordon 7/1       
Jimmie Johnson 3.5/1       
Joey Logano 25/1       
Juan Pablo Montoya 25/1       
Kasey Kahne 25/1       
Kevin Harvick 20/1       
Kurt Busch 12/1       
Kyle Busch 5/1       
Marcos Ambrose 100/1       
Mark Martin 20/1       
Martin Truex Jr 40/1       
Matt Kenseth 20/1       
Paul Menard 100/1       
Regan Smith 100/1       
Ryan Newman 40/1       
Sam Hornish Jr 100/1       
Scott Speed 100/1       
Tony Stewart 20/1       
Travis Kvapil 100/1       
Field    100/1