With the old adage that the “bookies never lose” notwithstanding, and NASCAR’s annual date with Sin City just a couple days away, now seems as good a time as ever to put up some odds you might (or might not) see throughout the 2008 NASCAR season…
2-1: Odds that corporate pitchman extraordinaire, Michael Waltrip, gets NAPA into the first five words of every radio or TV appearance.
3-1: Chances of a Robby Gordon-related controversy on the track before the start of the Chase. Double your money if he celebrates a win after being black flagged.
5-1: Ricky Rudd comes out of retirement to run at least one Sprint Cup race in 2008.
6-1: Dale Earnhardt Jr. to win his first NASCAR Sprint Cup Series championship. (Actual odds)
10-1: Current point leader Kyle Busch‘s odds to win the NSCS. By the way, you can get 12-1 for his big brother; bet those odds went down easy over a Busch family dinner.
15-1: Carl Edwards screws up a race-winning backflip by adding what he describes in post-race interviews as a “little wrinkle” to his routine — and even money on Jack Roush tearing him a new one should this come to pass.
20-1: Alltel-sponsored Ryan Newman to win the championship for a rival cell phone manufacturer in the inaugural season for the Sprint Cup (this is a price you can get). Your odds rise to 35-1 on the No. 31 Cingular Chevy driver winning it all.
40-1: Gillette signs up “young at heart” Mark Martin for their Gillette (not quite so) Young Guns campaign. The same price is also available for Ken Schrader and Dale Jarrett… but goes up to 80-1 if you parlay this with Sterling Marlin.
45-1: Tony Stewart to shave the mullet the moment he hears a positive comment about his new unkempt look from a member of the media.
50-1: Jimmy Spencer to actually answer the question he was asked by a studio host.
75-1: Speaking of studio hosts, 75-1 on John Roberts to miss a link or fail to fill some dead TV time with a snappy piece of dialogue. Damn, this guy is good. Does he even sweat? Also, these are the actual odds offered on Casey Mears becoming Sprint Cup champ.
200-1: Bob Dillner needing emergency midseason lower back or knee surgery due to all the crouching down he has to do on driver interviews.
300-1: Chances of this correspondent understanding every word of an Elliott Sadler interview. I love the guy, but damn, I can’t work out what he says half the time. Before I get a string of angry emails, I guess that’s the British part of me.
400-1: Kurt Busch to win the Pepsi 400 thanks to a push from the Home Depot Car. (It’s a push Busch affectionately later terms the “orange crush.”) Double your money if Stewart comes to Victory Lane to give the driver of the blue deuce a friendly hug.
500-1: Following in Helio Castroneves‘ dance steps, any given NASCAR driver in any of the top three series winning Dancing with the Stars. Heck, you would probably get this price if any of the drivers so much as put a toe on the dance floor in a single episode.
500-1: Vegas odds on Kyle Petty winning the big race in Vegas (actual price).
1,000-1: Jeff Gordon to climb from his car in Victory Lane, light a cigarette, fail to mention a single sponsor, take a swig from a bottle of ice cold Coke and remark to the TV reporter that “God, I’m good! If it wasn’t for me, there wouldn’t be any talent on this team.”
5,000-1: Cole Trickle to make a comeback. Parlay this with Harry Hogg coming back atop the pit box and Mello Yello picking up the primary sponsorship.
No odds given: Races run green flag to checkers without any sort of commercial interruption.