This will be different.

For the first time in nearly a decade, the 2011 Sprint Cup schedule heads to a new track. Kentucky Speedway finally hosts its first race. Great for the fans in Kentucky and Ohio, of which I am one. Bad for people trying to wager real or fake money on a race with no data upon which to rely.

Or so I thought.

Some consider Kentucky a cookie-cutter track. It’s 1.5 miles in length with normal banking. Most previews lump it into the “intermediate course” classification.

So I donned my journalism fedora, got a pencil and busted out my Texas Instruments adding machine. Turns out the following five drivers have the best average finish on these kinds of intermediate tracks in 2011.

  • Carl Edwards
  • Matt Kenseth
  • Kevin Harvick
  • Dale Earnhard Jr.
  • Greg Biffle

NASCAR’s website compared Kentucky to Kansas and Auto Club.  Brad Keselowski won and Kansas. Harvick won at Auto Club in the last second pass that cost me fake money. But I’m not bitter.

Actually, I am and won’t touch Harvick, even though he looks really good at 12/1. This is what happens when you’re up 40 fakes dollars after David Ragan wins at 40/1. Slightly blinded with a lack of knowledge (and sleep) here are my picks for your entertainment.

Fifteen fake dollars on Carl Edwards at 7/1:

I hate the odds but love his results.

Ten fake dollars on Matt Kenseth and Greg Biffle at 12/1:

I can’t pick one without picking the other

Ten fake dollars on Dale Earnhardt Jr. at 15/1:
If the #88 wins, this track will sell 107,000 seats for the next 107,000 years.

Five fake dollars on David Ragan at 50/1:
Correct me, but didn’t he win last week?  Ragan was 40/1, won the race and saw his odds get higher. What?

The beauty of racing is the consistency of the unknown. There’s a whole lot of that coming to Kentucky Speedway Saturday night. It’s why we’ll be watching. Here’s what The Spread thinks, and insert random catchphrase here.

Kurt Busch 7/1
Carl Edwards 7/1
Kyle Busch 8/1
Jimmie Johnson 8/1
Denny Hamlin 10/1
Jeff Gordon 10/1
Greg Biffle 12/1
Kevin Harvick 12/1
Matt Kenseth 12/1
Tony Stewart 12/1
Dale Earnhardt Jr 15/1
Clint Bowyer 20/1
Joey Logano 25/1
Kasey Kahne 25/1
Ryan Newman 30/1
Mark Martin 40/1
Juan Pablo Montoya 40/1
Martin Truex Jr 40/1
Jeff Burton 40/1
Brian Vickers 40/1
David Ragan 50/1
David Reutimann 60/1
Brad Keselowski 60/1
Jamie McMurray 60/1
AJ Allmendinger 75/1
Paul Menard 75/1
Marcos Ambrose 75/1
Regan Smith 100/1
Bobby Labonte 100/1
Field (Any Other Driver) 50/1