Matt Kenseth…what are we going to do with you?

Kenseth leads the 2012 Sprint Cup point standings. He has the best analytics of any driver all year. A past Cup champion, there was no reason to keep him off the short list of drivers who would win the 2012 Sprint Cup, until he bailed on Roush Fenway Racing this week.

The Kenseth paradigm we find at Kentucky Speedway will manifest itself through the rest of 2012, making my gig a whole lot more challenging.

Why To Keep Picking Kenseth:

  • This year, Kenseth has four finishes of fifth or better at 1.5-mile tracks.
  • This year, Kenseth has zero wins at 1.5 miles tracks.
  • This year, 1.5-mile tracks dominate the Chase.

It’s logical to think that Kenseth will win at least once at these tracks. And if you believe Kenseth is a contender, as I do, you would be crazy to not keep putting fake money on the man.

Why To Not Keep Picking Kenseth:

  • Jack Roush doesn’t like Toyota
  • Matt Kenseth may leave for Joe Gibbs Racing, which runs Toyota cars.
  • No driver has ever won a title, and then ditched their team to go somewhere else.

Let’s assume Roush Fenway Racing has finite resources. If Roush has to pick, doesn’t Kenseth drop to the bottom of the list, especially as Carl Edwards struggles to make the Chase? How will that sit with Kenseth? Isn’t this a reason why Carl Edwards stayed?

Regardless of what anyone says, the morale of Roush Fenway has to be down from where it was two weeks ago. So as we enter 1.5-mile tracks where these guys thrive, it makes picking a winner that much tougher. At least I’m up a fake 480 dollars after Clint Bowyer’s win last week. Here goes nothing for the sake of your entertainment:

20 fake dollars on Jimmie Johnson at 5/1
The odds are too high. But Johnson has led the most laps at 1.5-mile tracks this year.

15 fake dollars on Greg Biffle and Tony Stewart at 8/1
Kentucky and Kansas have some similarities. Biffle loves Kansas and 1.5-mile tracks. As for Stewart, three weeks of third or better with no wins equals momentum.

It’s that kind of momentum I would normally use to pick Matt Kenseth. Amazing how a press release can change the 2012 Sprint Cup season. Here’s what The Spread thinks. Enjoy the race Saturday night, and insert random catchphrase here.

Jimmie Johnson 5/1
Kyle Busch 7/1
Greg Biffle 8/1
Matt Kenseth 8/1
Tony Stewart 8/1
Carl Edwards 10/1
Denny Hamlin 10/1
Kasey Kahne 12/1
Dale Earnhardt Jr 12/1
Kevin Harvick 12/1
Jeff Gordon 12/1
Brad Keselowski 15/1
Clint Bowyer 25/1
Martin Truex Jr 25/1
Joey Logano 30/1
Ryan Newman 40/1
AJ Allmendinger 50/1
Kurt Busch 60/1
Jamie McMurray 100/1
Michael Waltrip 100/1
Paul Menard 100/1
Jeff Burton 100/1
Aric Almirola 100/1
Regan Smith 100/1
Bobby Labonte 100/1
David Ragan 100/1
David Gilliland 100/1
Juan Pablo Montoya 100/1
Marcos Ambrose 100/1