Don’t get me wrong; I want to win every week. But I really, really, really want to win this Sunday.
When you write a column betting fake money on races and the race takes place in Vegas, losing stinks more. Jeff Gordon added an extra ounce to boo with his win last week, leaving me down a fake 100 dollars heading to a place where people lose far more real dollars every day.
Strange thing about the 2011 Sprint Cup season is that while winning has been the sassier story, the losses are what might have a bigger impact on who takes home the Sprint Cup.
Don’t get me wrong, Trevor Bayne’s win is huge for the sport. But he won’t even compete for the Sprint Cup. He may not even run every race.
And while it’s great to call Jeff Gordon’s win a comeback, he never left. Most fans and media assume be would be in the 2011 Chase.
No, the real story are the losers. Those drivers who got caught up in the crossfire of wrecks at Daytona and Phoenix. You saw the pictures of people frantically putting their cars back together in a quest to get a few points under this new system that punishes drivers more for a really bad finish.
I know it’s only two races, but Jamie McMurray is already back 44 points. It’s 47 for Greg Biffle. And that Joey Logano Chase prediction already looks sour. He’s down 48 points in two races.
Is Sunday “must-win” for these three? Of course not. But in the third race of the season, is Sunday “Must no get caught up in wreck and finish 39th?” We’re getting there.
I’m not touching McMurray, Biffle for Logano with a 10-foot poll on Sunday. I am touching these three guys with real wishes and fake dollars.
25 fake dollars on Jimmie Johnson at 9/2
Three wins in the last five years. Two races where he hasn’t been his best. This is a trend that bucks. I say it bucks Sunday with green flag droppage at 3:16 EST for those with a watch.
15 fake dollars on Jeff Gordon at 7/1
It scares me to not bet on Kyle Busch or Denny Hamlin. But nobody has led more laps at this track in the last five years than Gordon. He just doesn’t have a win to show for it. I reserve the right to change my mind based on qualifying.
10 fake dollars on Matt Kenseth at 25/1
I’m probably throwing away my money. But, Kenseth had led 226 laps at Vegas in the last five years and has three finishes of fifth or better. That math plus those odds probably equals a big fat why not for me.
I really want to win. Others really want to not lose in a horrible fashion. You want to see what the Spread thinks; so, insert random catchphrase here.
Jimmie Johnson 9/2
Kyle Busch 6/1
Jeff Gordon 7/1
Carl Edwards 8/1
Denny Hamlin 10/1
Tony Stewart 10/1
Kevin Harvick 12/1
Kurt Busch 12/1
Greg Biffle 20/1
Matt Kenseth 25/1
Clint Bowyer 25/1
Joey Logano 25/1
Mark Martin 25/1
Jeff Burton 25/1
Juan Montoya 30/1
Kasey Kahne 30/1
Brian Vickers 30/1
Ryan Newman 30/1
Jamie McMurray 30/1
Dale Earnhardt Jr 40/1
David Reutimann 40/1
Martin Truex Jr 60/1
AJ Allmendinger 60/1
Bobby Labonte 100/1
Trevor Bayne 100/1
David Gilliland 100/1
Regan Smith 100/1
Marcos Ambrose 100/1
David Ragan 100/1
Paul Menard 100/1
Brad Keselowski 100/1
Field (Any Other Driver) 50/1