Math is my frenemy.

On one hand, math has me down a fake $200 in my quest to predict who will win races this season. On the other hand, math has me making bold predictions that could earn me gobs of fake cash. On the other hand, none of those bold predictions have worked. On the other hand, I’m optimistic.

You know what…math probably sucks, but I’m sticking with it for this week’s picks at Phoenix, site of the Subway Fresh Fit 600. Trust me, you’ll be entertained.

$10 on Mark Martin at 7/1:
Martin has won at the track twice and is patient. With a longer race, Martin is a good safety pick.

$10 on Jeff Burton at 10/1: I want winners. Burton won here twice and has the fifth best average finish at Phoenix. Plus, Richard Childress Racing has to win at some point. Right? Maybe? Eeks.

$10 on Kevin Harvick at 15/1: Another patient driver in a longer race. We call this a theme. Plus, Harvick has been the most consistent driver all season. At this math, I really like the selection. That said, I’ve liked all my selections this year and keep getting my clock cleaned. Uh oh.

$10 on Dale Earnhardt Jr. at 25/1: I have tossed Dale Jr. under the bus/AMP Energy Chevy many times before. But Captain AMP is 10th in the points and has won at Phoenix twice. If you put those numbers next to “Driver X,” I refuse to believe that person would be 25/1. I get that Dale Jr. has made mental errors and has won less often than the Detroit Lions the last two years. But, look at the numbers. Dale Jr. is trending upward. If I’m right with him, I’m even for the season. And if I’m right with this or my next pick, WAHOO CITY!!!!

$10 on Paul Menard at 100/1
: You got it. I’m putting money on Paul Menard and not Jimmie Johnson. Johnson is 4/1. I would have to throw all my cash on him to win and make anything back. I just don’t think any driver, even the #48, has more than a 25 percent of winning. Too much stupid stuff can happen.

Menard is 11th in the points. He is racing’s most improved driver. Is there more than a 1% chance weird stuff can happen and Menard can luck out? Yes. Is there more than a 1% chance a driver who could make the Chase could win his first race? Yes.  If I luck out, would I guarantee to break even for the season, avoiding family and blogosphere ridicule? Yes.

I am playing the odds and making amends with my new frenemy Paul Menard. Don’t fail me the way math has all year.

Here are the odds from Enjoy the race Saturday night, and insert random catchphrase here.

Jimmie Johnson 4/1
Kurt Busch 7/1
Jeff Gordon 7/1
Mark Martin 7/1
Kyle Busch 9/1
Jeff Burton 10/1
Tony Stewart 10/1
Clint Bowyer 12/1
Denny Hamlin 12/1
Matt Kenseth 12/1
Kevin Harvick 15/1
Greg Biffle 15/1
Carl Edwards 15/1
Juan Pablo Montoya 18/1
Dale Earnhardt Jr 25/1
Joey Logano 25/1
Kasey Kahne 30/1
Jamie McMurray 35/1
Ryan Newman 40/1
Martin Truex Jr 40/1
Brian Vickers 50/1
David Reutimann 50/1
David Ragan 70/1
Elliott Sadler 80/1
AJ Allmendinger 100/1
Paul Menard 100/1
Brad Keselowski 100/1
Travis Kvapil 100/1
Sam Hornish Jr 100/1
Scott Speed 100/1
Marcos Ambrose 100/1
Bobby Labonte 100/1
Regan Smith 100/1