HOLIDAY PROP BETS

Is it OK to ask Santa for a rear spoiler this Christmas?

While many us untangle lights, try to keep our cat from jumping on the tree and fight gobs of people for the right to save five dollars on some stupid gift our Cousin Earl will never use, I have some racing-related topics to ponder, prop -bet style.

Odds Kyle Busch gets his act together next season: 3/1

Busch won three Sprint Cup races. He went to Victory Lane 13 times in the Nationwide Series and won eight times in the Craftsman Truck Series. That’s 24 wins in one year. Twenty-four bleeping wins.

And while Busch made The Chase in 2010, he wasn’t a factor when the races mattered most. That can happen once. But it’s happened twice in three years. The year in-between, Busch didn’t qualify for the playoffs.

Natural talent will only get you so far. At some point, Busch has to harness his emotions in a way that keeps him relevant in September, October and November. Spatting with every other driver on tour isn’t best way to accomplish that.

I say 2011 is a critical year for Busch and he responds with 36 relevant races.

Odds the Daytona surface is a huge 2011 story: 1/456,291

When a giant hole delays your biggest race of the year by nearly three hours and causes thousands to leave early, it’s clear the track needs some work.
But why hasn’t anyone pondered how the new surface will impact speeds at one of racing’s fastest tracks? Maybe I’m missing something. Maybe I’ll find out in January and February when people are gushing, freaking out or a combination of both.

Odds Scott Speed gets another Sprint Cup gig: 4/1
Kudos to Speed for using Twitter to make the announcement. Shame on teams for not using the Nationwide Series more to season drivers like Speed. Time in a seat matters. For a sport searching for new stars, Speed is an example of this for the wrong reasons.

Odds Richard Petty Motorsports ever has another driver make The Chase: Even Money

It’s good for racing that RPM is alive.

It’s good for RPM that Red Bull Racing got Brian Vickers chasing in 2009.

It’s bad for RPM that it is on the bottom end of the Ford priority lot.

It’s unknown if RPM’s current drivers can cut the mustard, or if young drivers like Trevor Bayne might get a chance in Cup cars with the current logjam we see at the big teams.

I say it happens. But I also predicted Michael Waltrip Racing would make The Chase. Oops. Speaking of which…

Odds Michael Waltrip Racing makes The 2011 Chase: 5/1
Talk about a dud sandwich. Your hair won’t fool me this year.

Odds Jimmie Johnson ever wins driver popularity contest: 11/1
This isn’t a knock on Johnson, just a testament to how Dale Earnhardt Jr. can have a terrible year and still win the award. As much as NASCAR wants to be a global brand, its heart lies in the southern United States. Captain Wrangler exudes that lifestyle more than any driver. He keeps winning popularity contests. Dear NASCAR Marketing Department, follow your roots.

Odds this column is over: 1/1
I’m taking the odds, going out like a champ and wishing you well. Insert random catchphrase here.