Joe Gibbs owes me a big hug.

I wrote the entire column. Had the pictures ready to send. Even tried to justify why Joey Logano had a chance of winning. Then the screen went blank.

If that’s not a sign I should bolt on my initial predictions for the 2010 Shelby American in Las Vegas, I don’t know what is.

For those keeping track, I’m down $100 fake dollars, having failed to pick Jimmie Johnson because I didn’t think the odds were right. Heaven forbid the Roush cars that won the race 25,253,245 years in a row decided to throw a turd sammich down at Fontana. Ugh.

New week. New race. New thoughts. Originally, I was going to go all in on Joe Gibbs Racing. Kyle Busch is the defending champion. Denny Hamlin has one of the best average finishes at the track, even though he’s never won there. Heck, even Joey Logano had a good finish at California, and if you run well in Cali, you usually run well in Vegas. I was even going to toss in some coin on David Reutimann before my computer turned into a paperweight.

So like Toyota probably should have done awhile ago, I am recalling my picks.  Like you, I’ve read far too many columns that suggest the setup for Vegas is so much like the set up at Fontana. Plus in 2010, Toyota has struggled. Chevy has not. It’s a simple premise to try and make fake money, as to not embarrass my family with lame predictions on the internet.  It’s also why a Joe Gibbs Racing car will probably win this weekend.

$10 on Jeff Burton, Kevin Harvick and Clint Bowyer at 15/1

Read this really superb take on the RSR resurgence. Burton loves the track. Harvick could have two wins already. Bowyer has been near the front in key stretches.   

$10 on Juan Pablo Montoya at 15/1

Montoya runs the same engines as RCR. Plus, he has to win on an oval track at some point. Right? I mean, he is that good? Like the greatest ever? 

$10 on Jamie McMurray at 60/1

Dude won the Daytona 500 and had the pole at Auto Club.  The best long shot I see, although I was tempted to spread that money across ten different drivers at 100/1 or worse. Viva la parody in racing.

If the Childress Posse or Montoya win, I am back to even for the year. I like even, even if it’s not real money and just for fun. If McMurray wins,  bass for everyone on fish fry Friday. If a Joe Gibbs car wins, I might cry. Here are the numbers, and insert random catchphrase here.

Courtesy of “The Spread,” here are the odds to win the Shelby American

Jimmie Johnson 9/2    
Mark Martin 7/1    
Kyle Busch 8/1    
Jeff Gordon 10/1    
Tony Stewart 12/1    
Denny Hamlin 12/1    
Greg Biffle 15/1    
Jeff Burton 15/1    
Kevin Harvick 15/1    
Clint Bowyer 15/1    
Juan Pablo Montoya 15/1    
Kurt Busch 18/1    
Carl Edwards 18/1    
Matt Kenseth 20/1    
Brian Vickers 25/1    
Kasey Kahne 25/1    
Dale Earnhardt Jr 30/1    
Ryan Newman 30/1    
Joey Logano 40/1    
Martin Truex Jr 60/1    
Jamie McMurray 60/1    
David Reutimann 60/1    
David Ragan 75/1    
Brad Keselowski 100/1    
Marcos Ambrose 100/1    
Sam Hornish Jr 100/1    
Field (Any Other Driver) 100/1    
AJ Allmendinger 200/1    
Elliott Sadler 300/1    
Scott Speed 300/1    
Regan Smith 500/1    
Travis Kvapil 500/1    
Bobby Labonte 500/1    
Paul Menard 500/1