NASCAR: Helluva Good Sour Cream Dips at The Glen Odds and Predicitions
by Christopher G. Shepard - 8/7/2010
Tony Stewart is currently in eighth place in the Sprint Cup standings and will attempt to win a record fifth time on the road at Watkins Glen International on Sunday, Aug. 8 at 1:15 p.m. and try to cut into Kevin Harvick's 361-point lead with five races before the Chase for the Sprint Cup's 10-race playoff
Auto racing enthusiasts should keep in mind that Tony Stewart has managed to finish first or second at Watkins Glen for six consecutive years; this has only happened four times during the last 20 years. While Stewart has absolutely dominated at The Glen investors should keep in mind that nine winners have come from the pole while eight winners have come from outside the Top10 on the starting grid.
Predictions on who will win the Helluva Good Sour Cream Dips at The Glen?
It should come as no surprise to NASCAR fans that Harvick is still the hottest driver in the Sprint Cup thanks to five top-five finishes in the last six weeks. No wonder he is ahead by more points than can be made up in one race if he did not even start on Sunday. Harvick finished third in his last road-race at Infineon, but is set at +1200 to win on Sunday. However, coming into the Finger Lakes region of New York might end Harvick's top-five finish streak. Last year Harvick finished 35th after finishing sixth in 2008. Harvick has one win, two top-fives and five top-10 finishes in nine starts at The Glen. At Pocono Harvick continued to show that he is ‘in it to win it’ and finished fourth, but with his stranglehold on the standings all Harvick needs to do is finish around 10th until the Chase and he will still lead the pack.
Jeff Gordon, meanwhile, is also looking to break his 52-race winless streak, but he sports an 88.9 driver rating at The Glen despite having won four times in five races (1997-2001). A closer look at Gordon's record shows that early in his career he was most dominant at Watkins Glen. However, in his last eight races Gordon has averaged a 22.4-place finish and only finished inside the top 10 once. Last year Gordon finished 37th and in 2008 he finished 29th. Gordon is set at a sucker-inducing +800, but if recent results in New York are indicative of his performance at the Glen I'd steer clear of Gordon on Sunday.
Jimmie Johnson is fourth in the standings and 277 points behind Harvick for first place. Johnson has never won at Watkins Glen, but popped his road course cherry at Infineon earlier this year. Last year Johnson started from the pole but ended up finishing in 12th place. Johnson is better at the Glen than he is at Infineon, perhaps because it is wider and faster than the Northern California course. Johnson is coming off a 10th-place finish at Pocono, a race where he led three times for a total of 96 laps, but a collision with Kurt Busch's rear-end had Johnson finishing in the middle of the pack. Johnson is set at +800 to win and is my third favorite choice to win on Sunday.
Of course you can't cover Sprint Cup racing at the Glen and not mention Stewart. He is hot on the heels of a second-place finish at Pocono and moved up to eighth-place in the standings. The finish marked Stewart's third consecutive top-10 finish and, as per usual, now that summer has heated up so has Stewart. Stewart has seven road course victories and is only two behind Jeff Gordon for most all-time road course victories. Stewart has yet to win a race in 2010, but something tells me that this week is his week to break the winless streak.
Finally, one observation about Dale Earnhardt, Jr. and his fall in the odds despite being in striking distance of making the Chase. Junior is 129 points out of 12th place, he is backed by Hendrick Motorsports, one of the best teams in NASCAR history, but his odds have been dropping ever since Michigan. If you don't count Talladega or Daytona, Earnhardt, Jr. has consistently been +2000 or worse. At Watkins Glen Junior has reached the nadir this season as he is set at +10000 to win with the likes of Andy Lally and Scott Speed. This doesn't bode well for Junior and I wouldn't be surprised to hear the announcement from Rick Hendrick that he is replacing Junior at the end of the season.
Pick! Tony Stewart, No. 14, (+350)
Helluva Good Sour Cream Dips at The Glen - Long Odds Lucky Dog
Last week's my Long Odds Lucky Dog pick cashed at +1800 as Greg Biffle managed to drive Rousch Fenway Racing's Ford into the winner's circle and break a 64-race winless streak. This week I'll look to recapture the magic in New York's wine country. Mark Martin needs to finish in the top 10 for the next five races if he hopes to make the Chase once again this year. Martin is 13th in the NSCS, 34-points behind Clint Bowyer for the 12th and final spot in the Chase. Martin finished in seventh place last week at Pocono and if he can finish well at Watkins Glen he has a chance to get into the top 12 this weekend. Martin has won three times (only one shy of the record set by Stewart and Gordon) at The Glen and has three poles to go along with the wins. Martin sports 12 top-five finishes and 16 top-10s in 20 starts. Martin has been slowly getting better each week and has a good chance to surprise everyone with an upset win on Sunday and at +6000
Pick! Mark Martin, No. 5, (+6000)
Who will finish the Helluva Good Sour Cream Dips at The Glen in the Top 3?
At Sonoma, Marcos Ambrose, the road course specialist, killed my pick to win. After leading for much of the race with the best car he turned-off his engine during the last caution of the race (he said to conserve fuel) and was unable to re-fire the engine on the restart. This caused Ambrose to snatch defeat from the jaws of victory. Due to not maintaining minimum speed requirements he ultimately finished in seventh place and this gave Johnson his first road course victory. Brain farts are the sole reason I have Ambrose to finish in the top-three rather than to win outright. Simply put; I don't trust his judgment to close a race. However, for Ambrose to erase the memory of the awful loss at Infineon, he almost has to win. Keep in mind that Ambrose has already won twice at Watkins Glen (but on the Nationwide circuit) and in his two starts at The Glen has notched a second- and a third-place finish. While a first would help round his totals at Watkins Glen, he'll have more than his match driving against Stewart which is ultimately why I have Ambrose finishing in the top three. I don't think he will beat Stewart on Sunday.
Pick! Marcos Ambrose, No. 47, (Even)
Helluva Good Sour Cream Dips at The Glen - Odds to Win
Watkins Glen International Speedway - 1:15 p.m. 8/8/2010
Tony Stewart +350
Juan Pablo Montoya +800
Jeff Gordon +800
Kyle Busch +800
Jimmie Johnson +800
Kevin Harvick +1200
Denny Hamlin +2000
Kurt Busch +2500
Robby Gordon +2500
Jamie McMurray +3000
Boris Said +3000
Kasey Kahne +3000
Carl Edwards +3000
Ryan Newman +4000
Clint Bowyer +5000
AJ Allmendinger +5000
Greg Biffle +6000
Mark Martin +6000
zx Field (Any Other Driver) +6000
Jeff Burton +6000
Matt Kenseth +10000
Joey Logano +10000
Martin Truex Jr +10000
Max Papis +10000
Scott Speed +10000
Elliot Sadler +10000
Patrick Carpentier +10000
David Ragan +10000
Paul Menard +10000
Sam Hornish Jr +10000
Brad Keselowski +10000
Andy Lally +10000
Dale Earnhardt Jr +10000
Helluva Good Sour Cream Dips at The Glen - Odds to Finish Top 3
Watkins Glen International Speedway - 1:15 p.m. 8/8/2010
Juan Pablo Montoya
zx Field (Any Other Driver) +1800
Martin Truex Jr
Sam Hornish Jr
Dale Earnhardt Jr
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