Slow and steady wins the race.
That’s a hard sentence to write on a racing website, especially after two losses in a row have me down a fake 30 dollars heading into the final races of 2010. Still, slow and steady will win my personal race to pick winners every week. How do I know? Here are some kneejerk reactions from 2010, what we thought was going to happen and what actually occurred.
NASCAR hosed Clint Bowyer
Sure, it wasn’t cool for the NASCAR Mafia to dock Bowyer 150 points after winning the first Chase race. Yes, it hurt his chances of winning the Sprint Cup.
But have you seen what Bowyer has done since the penalty? Bowyer would still be down 150 points had the penalty never occured. And while that penalty is the difference between fourth and twelfth, does anyone remember who finished fourth or twelfth in 2009, let alone 2005?
Oh yeah, Bowyer’s response boosted his popularity among diehard fans, making him a more marketable figure in a sport with dire marketing needs.
Slow and steady thinking paints a very different picture.
Kasey Kahne’s move will send shockwaves through NASCAR
Kasey Kahne will move to Red Bull Racing in 2011 and Hendrick Motorsports in 2012. The kneejerk reaction was that this move will disrupt the Hendrick juggernaut, with poor Mark Martin getting the shaft again. In the end, Kahne will only improve the Hendrick stranglehold on NASCAR.
What really happened? Kahne is 21st in points. Richard Petty Motorsports fired him after Kahne’s saga in Charlotte. Since the end of the 2006 season, Kahne has four wins. Good, sure. Game changer, hold your Budweiser Clydesdales.
As for poor Mark Martin, he’s 15th in the points and hasn’t won all year. Martin also has a guaranteed ride for 2011, which is better than many of his friends in the garage. Plus, who knows about 2012 when you consider this next point.
Dale Earnhardt Jr. just needs a better crew chief
Tony Eury Jr. got tossed under the Amp Energy Chevrolet. The kneejerk reaction was you add a new crew chief with “The Hendrick Way” and Dale Jr. will be just fine.
NASCAR’s most popular driver is 19th in the points and hasn’t won in since Justin Bieber was in the womb (an exaggeration, but not by much.) The new crew chief hasn’t made a discernable difference.
Who’s to say Hendrick Motorsports will keep Dale Jr. past 2011, especially if Martin has a resurgence? Now that would cause a reaction.
So what does this have to do with my picks? It would be simple to wildly make moves and embark upon a new course. But slow and steady wins the race, even a speedy one like NASCAR. Here are my picks:
40 fake dollars on Denny Hamlin at 3/1:
Have you seen what Hamlin has done here?
10 fake dollars on Tony Stewart at 10/1:
Am I Thelma or Louise in this relationship?
Enjoy the race at your pace this weekend. Here’s what The Spread thinks, and insert random catchphrase here.
Jimmie Johnson 3/1
Denny Hamlin 3/1
Jeff Gordon 6/1
Tony Stewart 10/1
Kyle Busch 12/1
Kevin Harvick 12/1
Clint Bowyer 15/1
Jamie McMurray 20/1
Jeff Burton 20/1
Carl Edwards 25/1
Juan Pablo Montoya 25/1
Kurt Busch 25/1
Ryan Newman 30/1
Joey Logano 30/1
Dale Earnhardt Jr 40/1
Martin Truex Jr 40/1
Greg Biffle 50/1
Kasey Kahne 50/1
Mark Martin 50/1
Matt Kenseth 75/1
Marcos Ambrose 100/1
Sam Hornish Jr 100/1
Elliott Sadler 100/1
Regan Smith 100/1
Paul Menard 100/1
Scott Speed 100/1
Bobby Labonte 100/1
AJ Allmendinger 100/1
David Ragan 100/1
Reed Sorenson 100/1
David Reutimann 100/1
Brad Keselowski 100/1
Travis Kvapil 100/1
Field (Any Other Driver) 100/1