NASCAR at the Glen 

Road-course events aren't that fun to watch in Nextel Cup racing, but they're pretty fun to bet on. You see, only a handful of drivers have a real chance at winning Sunday at Watkins Glen, because only a handful of drivers even want to be there.

Everyone else comes to road courses because NASCAR makes them; otherwise they'd no doubt rather be ATVing on their multimillion-dollar estates, eating barbecue at a five-star rib restaurant, or trying on gold-lamee pants at Sam's Club.

And the field of possible winners shrunk on Friday, when Mother Nature decreed that qualifying would get rained out. That meant road-course ringers like Brian Simo, Marcos Ambrose, Klaus Graf and A.J. Allmendinger weren't even given a chance to make the field. Among the road-course ringers, only Ron Fellows, who'll drive Tony Raines's #98 car, Boris Said, who'll slide behind the wheel of Bill Elliott's ride, and Patrick Carpentier, who'll race in his first-ever Nextel Cup event in David Stremme's #40, will be in the event. Said and Fellows number among the guys who can win; Carpentier does not.

Let's take a look at the best bets on Sunday's board for the Glen.

Last Week: Kurt Busch was dominant Sunday, much to our pleasure. We had Busch at +1134, which made it a profitable week all around, despite the fact that Jimmie Johnson passed Tony Stewart in the race's final few laps, which ruined our head-to-head wager. Nevertheless, we profited 0.56 units on 1.5 units wagered, a return of 37.3% for the week. For the season, we stand at a positive 5.43 units on 31.5 units wagered, a return of 17.2%. (Note that if you'd eschewed the conservative betting scheme we outline below, and simply bet one unit on each of the wagers we recommended, you'd have netted a positive 8.34 units last week on four units wagered, a return of 208.5%, and for the season you'd be up 30.41 units on 84 units wagered, a return of 36.2%. Note, of course, that such a betting pattern is subject to a lot more volatility.)

Take Tony Stewart (+280), 1/6th unit. It's not a ton of fun to take the heavy favorite in an event where 42 other results will lead to a frowny-face, but Smoke is this good at Watkins Glen. He's won three of the last five races here, and came in second last summer. While Sonoma, the other road course on the Nextel Cup schedule, is a more technical track, the Glen rewards aggression and muscling your car, and nobody does gets physical better than Stewart. He's the guy to beat.

Take Kevin Harvick (+918), 1/6th unit. For the defending race winner and a guy who's swept the last two Busch Series road-course events in two consecutive weekends (including this Saturday), Harvick's not getting a ton of love from the oddsmakers. But I'll give him a shout out. He's a great flat-track driver, which translates well to road courses, and like Stewart, he's known as an aggressive guy who likes to muscle his car around. Happy may not win this race, but these odds are a bargain.

Take Robby Gordon (+918), 1/6th unit. I understand these odds a little better; Gordon is coming off a Busch road event last weekend where he blew a personal gasket, disobeyed NASCAR officials, did a burnout alongside actual race winner Harvick, and got suspended for last week's Cup race. Let's just say he might be distracted. Nevertheless, Gordon has won at the Glen on the Nextel Cup circuit, and in his last five tries here, has finished in the top-four four times. That's pretty great, and never discount the revenge angle. Gordon would like nothing more than to get in Victory Lane in front of other possible winners like Stewart, Harvick, Juan Pablo Montoya (+486), Jeff Gordon (+609), Ron Fellows (+2626), Boris Said (+2626) and Denny Hamlin (+1653) and apologize to the world. Or, you know, flip it the bird.
by Michael Cash - thespread.com - Email Us

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