Who knew one little shift could shift things around so much?

NASCAR’s finest will have to turn right Sunday at Infineon in the heart of wine country, and that simple nuance has smashed the odds like a winemaker with fresh grapes and deadline.  And while I’m down a fake $325 after Denny Hamlin bucked a trend in Michigan, I’m confident this shift in directional turning will turn my fake fortunes this weekend.

That’s because it looks like the odds makers may have consumed too many free samples from the wineries. These numbers make Talladega look normal, leaving me to wager fake money for entertainment purposes on people I never would have expected.

20 fake dollars on Tony Stewart at 6/1: Whopper Man has won four of the last ten road races. And while my favorite monkey owner hasn’t visited Victory Lane in 2010, Stewart finds himself in position to still make the Chase.  Combine that with the season long struggles of Montoya and Ambrose, and you see why Stewart is my favorite of the favorites.

10 fake dollars on Denny Hamlin at 12/1: I will never get these odds on Hamlin again. And did you see what the dude did in Michigan? All the awkwardly timed cautions in the world may not stop Hamlin in 2010 or prevent other drivers from tearing knee ligaments as a way to compete.

10 fake dollars on Jimmie Johnson and 15/1: See Denny Hamlin sans the recent success. Plus, I just can’t take the plunge on road racing specialists. While they finish well, history has shown they haven’t won races. I want winners, along with a nice cab from Milat Vineyards near St. Helena.  Who says this column can’t appeal to the female demo?

10 fake dollars in Clint Bowyer at 30/1:
Richard Childress knows a thing or two about wine, and I believe in karma. Childress drivers have given me sour grapes all season. I’ve picked them almost every week, and the one week I passed on them, Kevin Harvick wins at Talladega.  But Clint Bowyer has the second best average finishing position of any active driver at Infineon. Can anyone explain to me why Mattias Ekstrom has better odds than Bowyer? (Editor’s Note: Here is a pic of Ekstrom since we didn’t know what he looked like either.)  

They say a sucker is born every minute. Chances are I may need to suck down some Merlot to get over the pain of another loss. But if I win, I will be drunk with glee at a nice fake payday. Here’s what The Spread thinks, and insert random catchphrase here.

Juan Pablo Montoya 6/1
Marcos Ambrose 6/1
Tony Stewart 6/1  
Jeff Gordon 6/1
Kyle Busch 7/1
Denny Hamlin 12/1   
Kevin Harvick 15/1
Jimmie Johnson 15/1   
Robby Gordon 18/1
Kurt Busch 20/1
Mattias Ekstrom 25/1
Kasey Kahne 25/1
Jamie McMurray 25/1
Clint Bowyer 30/1  
Carl Edwards 30/1
Boris Said 30/1
Mark Martin 40/1
Martin Truex Jr 40/1
Scott Speed 50/1
AJ Allmendinger 50/1
Field 7/1