SHOWTIME SOUTHERN 500 ODDS

Winston Churchill never saw a NASCAR race. But this leader’s advice helped me get off the schnide with Kyle Busch’s big win Saturday night. His quote of genius.

"The best way to take a look forward is to take a look back."

Good stuff from a great man. I may still be down $320 of fake coin in my entertainment bonanza of picks this year, but I smell a comeback. And grilled meat.

$15 on Jeff Gordon at 6/1: In the last eight races, Gordon has either finished or started in a top five position. Gordon has seven wins at Darlington and hasn’t finished outside the top five there since 2004. Plus, he’s on the verge of maiming someone the longer this winless streak goes.

$15 on Jimmie Johnson at 6/1: Johnson has the second best average finish at Darlington over the last five years. He’s gone five races without a win and two races without being a major factor and the end. Last year, Johnson started 42nd and almost won the thing. An on a totally hypothetical level, he also probably wants to see Gordon get all Kimbo Slice on somebody. A win might do that.

$15 on Denny Hamlin at  8/1: 11,4,1,30,1. That’s not the code to unlock the mysteries of “Lost.” It is how Hamlin has finished over the last five races, with Talladega serving as the lone sore spot. Kyle Busch did win last week, but Hamlin has the better record at Darlington. With a more experienced crew chief in Mike Ford, I say knee ligament damage is overrated.

$5 on Greg Biffle at 20/1: Biffle has two wins here over the last five years. I agree something seems off with Ford this year (don’t get mad at me, look at the standings.) But of all the long shots, this seems safest.   

I would like to think Churchill would be proud of these picks. But Churchill is dead. If he were alive, he probably wouldn’t give a hoot about NASCAR. Here are the odds from our familiar source at The Spread. Enjoy the race Saturday night, and insert random catchphrase here.

Jeff Gordon 6/1    
Kyle Busch 6/1    
Jimmie Johnson 6/1    
Denny Hamlin 8/1    
Mark Martin 12/1    
Jeff Burton 12/1    
Kevin Harvick 12/1    
Kurt Busch 12/1    
Tony Stewart 15/1    
Clint Bowyer 18/1    
Carl Edwards 20/1    
Matt Kenseth 20/1    
Greg Biffle 20/1    
Kasey Kahne 25/1    
Juan Pablo Montoya 25/1    
Dale Earnhardt Jr 25/1    
Joey Logano 25/1    
Brian Vickers 30/1    
David Reutimann 40/1    
Martin Truex Jr 40/1    
Ryan Newman 40/1    
Brad Keselowski 50/1    
Jamie McMurray 50/1    
Bobby Labonte 100/1    
Regan Smith 100/1    
Scott Speed 100/1       
Paul Menard 100/1    
Elliott Sadler 100/1    
AJ Allmendinger 100/1    
Marcos Ambrose 100/1    
David Ragan 100/1    
Travis Kvapil 100/1    
Sam Hornish Jr 100/1
Field (Any Other Driver) 100/1