IRWIN TOOLS NIGHT RACE ODDS

I don’t know who will win at Bristol. I know who won’t.

Kyle Busch.

In the last five years, Busch has five wins at Brstol. Only twice has he finished worse than tenth.

This year, Busch hasn’t finished worse than fifth in any short track start. He has the shortest odds of any driver I’ve ever since since writing this column. And I still won’t pick the guy. Here’s why:

History is against him:
There’s only been one repeat winner all year. In the year where everyone wins, that’s not a good precedent.

Drivers are against him:

Busch is so on his game that he might sprint away from the other drivers before the Chase even begins. In a course where it’s easy to nudge someone accidentally, Busch may find himself getting tapped, assuming anyone can catch him.

Pressure is against him:

Busch is the clear cut favorite to detrhone Jimmie Johsnon. Kevin Harvick and Carl Edwards are the only clear cut favoritees at any point all season. Ask either how it’s gone.

Plus, Busch has been the favorite before, then wilted in the Chase. I’m not saying Busch can’t handle the pressure this year. But when everyone assumes you will win, it’s not as easy to win.

There’s a line in Vegas that when everyone is picking a certain player or team, go in the other direction. I’m doing that. For real. What’s another fake fifty dollars when you’re already down 160?

20 fake dollars on Carl Edwards at 8/1

Edwards needs a win. He has the second best average finish at Bristol over the last five years and fourth best record at short tracks this year.

10 fake dollars on Jeff Gordon at 12/1

Did we forget Gordon has five career wins here as well?

10 fake dollars on Kevin Harvick at 12/1

Harvick would wreck his own mother for a win. Plus he has the second best record on short tracks in 2011. Both sound OK to me.

5 fake dollars on Dale Earnhardt Jr. at 30/1

In a year when everyone wins, there’s a certain little streak we haven’t mentioned. Dude loves Bristol…

5 fake dollars on David Ragan at 50/1

Did you know Ragan has the fifth best average finish at short tracks in 2011?

Is anyone named Busch wins, I will cringe. I should start practicting said cringe now. Here’s what The Spread thinks, and insert random catchphrase here.

Kyle Busch 5/2

Jimmie Johnson 5/1

Carl Edwards 8/1

Kurt Busch 10/1

Kevin Harvick 12/1

Jeff Gordon 12/1

Denny Hamlin 12/1

Matt Kenseth 15/1

Tony Stewart 18/1

Greg Biffle 18/1

Brad Keselowski 25/1

Kasey Kahne 25/1

Ryan Newman 30/1

Mark Martin 30/1

Dale Earnhardt Jr 30/1

Clint Bowyer 30/1

Joey Logano 40/1

David Ragan 50/1

David Reutimann 50/1

Paul Menard 50/1

Jeff Burton 50/1

Martin Truex Jr 50/1

Juan Pablo Montoya 60/1

Marcos Ambrose 100/1

Bobby Labonte 100/1

Brian Vickers 100/1

Jamie McMurray 100/1

Regan Smith 100/1

AJ Allmendinger 100/1

Field (Any Other Driver) 100/1