AAA 400 ODDS

The beginning of one era means the end of another.For the first time in 2011, profit and picks aligned. Whopper Man’s second win has me up 115 fake dollars with eight races to go. Mind you, all of this happened at a track Jimmie Johnson loved. Or used to love. For five straight years, it wasn’t a matter of if Johnson was going to make a run, rather how soon. Year after year, track after track, Johnson found a way to avoid multiple scrums and focus on what mattered most.2011 hasn&r ...

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GEICO 400 ODDS

Eleven drivers are chasing Jimmie Johnson for a chance to be champion. Most will fail.Even thought the points structure is new, the Chase has history which can help us determine who will and won’t win in 2011. Eighth or Worse, Don’t Bother Showing Up:Kurt Busch was seventh in points when he won in 2004.  Nobody eighth or worse going into the final race before The Chase has gone on to win The Chase.Kiss Tony Stewart, Dale Earnhardt Jr., Brad Keselowksi and Denny Hamlin goodbye ...

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WONDERFUL PISTACHIOS 400 ODDS

NASCAR got what it wanted.The Chase scenarios would confuse a math major. Several drivers would like a good showing to solidify their turf for the playoffs. Some need this race in order to even get in the playoffs. Just so happens the three drivers who need a win most are my picks this week, down a mere 75 fake dollars after Jeff Gordon’s Atlanta win. 20 fake dollars on Denny Hamlin at 9/2The last time Hamlin had a lead and needed a solid finish, he blew it at Homestead. Drivers and tea ...

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IRWIN TOOLS NIGHT RACE ODDS

I don't know who will win at Bristol. I know who won't.Kyle Busch.In the last five years, Busch has five wins at Brstol. Only twice has he finished worse than tenth.This year, Busch hasn't finished worse than fifth in any short track start. He has the shortest odds of any driver I've ever since since writing this column. And I still won't pick the guy. Here's why: History is against him:There's only been one repeat winner all year. In the year where everyone wins, that's not a good precedent. ...

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PURE MICHIGAN 400 ODDS

I’m on vacation. In Michigan.  How fitting?I spent six years in Northern Michigan trying to become the next Ron Burgandy. Often, I wondered why all these tourists would show up and create traffic in the summer. Now, I’m creating that traffic and watching some other anchor try to be the next Ron Burgandy. It’s surreal.So too are the changes taking place in NASCAR, where big manufactuers seem to be making bigger changes as we move toward the 2011 Chase. Ford is the new Ch ...

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GOOD SAM RV INSURANCE 500 ODDS

Dear Carl Edwards,You really screwed up my column. I wrote an entire segment about how the distractions surrounding your contract were hurting teams, impacting lines and making it harder to predict winners.   I was going to blame you for my loss at Indi, not Paul Menard who actually won the thing. Yes, I just typed that.  Down a fake 110 dollars, I was going to tout Matt Kenseth at the real leader of Roush Fenway, David Ragan as ready to step up and Ricky Stenhouse as the guy who sh ...

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LENOX INDUSTRIAL TOOLS 301 ODDS

Are we there yet?We’re finally to the half-way point of the 2011 Sprint Cup season. I know. It already seems like forever ago when Trevor Bayne won at Daytona, when Jeff Gordon’s streak ended and when traffic at Kentucky felt longer than an episode of The Talk.This time last year, it was clear there were only a handful of drivers worth picking. Now, the field is more wide open than ever. And that’s before we head to NASCAR’s favorite paper clip. Eight different drivers ...

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FIVE GREAT NASCAR RADIO RANTS

Real-time access to live communication. It is one of the things that makes NASCAR different from every other sport on the planet. Football fans can’t be in the huddle on fourth down of The Super Bowl. NBA coaches have a wireless mic, but it’s filtered. Major League Baseball doesn’t even know how microphones are used. NASCAR has them everywhere, including radio channels where drivers can talk with their teams. The beauty is it provides fans with immediate access and pers ...

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QUAKER STATE 400 ODDS

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” clas ...

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TOYOTA/SAVE MART 350 ODDS

How fitting the week Red Bull Racing dumps NASCAR that the 2011 Sprint Cup schedule takes us to wine country?Relaxed sipping and right turns don’t seem like an odd mix. It is an odd mix. So are the following realities that come from Red Bull’s departure. Danica Patrick is more likely to have a full-time ride next year than Brian Vickers.Patrick has a guaranteed sponsor in a sport craving them. Vickers is good. But is he good enough to lure a sponsor for a fourth team at Joe Gibbs ...

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