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I'm a lifelong NASCAR fan from Georgia. Lifelong only equates to about a quarter-century or so, but still. I've studied the sport religiously and clung to every detail I could, and its served me relatively well, I guess. On race day, I am as ferverent a Tony Stewart fan as you will find and even during the week I can be found on Tony Stewart fan sites and talking with other fans (or arguing with his detractors) on Twitter. He's been my guy since May of 1998. Its pretty cool to be able to say I was on Tony's bandwagon when short track fans around the country knew him well, as did the fans in the IRL (where I discovered him, obviously), but aside from his occasional starts in the Busch Series, most NASCAR fans had never even heard of the guy. As a writer, I'm a fan of all the drivers. Even guys I don't root for on race day, I find their good points (and the faults of the guys I DO pull for) and then try to write it out to the best of whatever writing ability I may have and without bias towards or against a particular driver. I may reference being a fan of Tony Stewart or the other guys I like (Bobby Labonte, Kevin Harvick, Mark Martin, Bill Elliott, David Ragan, Martin Truex, Juan Pablo Montoya), but I'll never write something driven by fandom. If I write it, its because as an unbiased wannabe racing writer, I believe it in my head and heart. As a cartoonist, I try to bring humor to this sport I love and to the folks I love: race fans. I get as much out of genuine laughter at one of my cartoons (well, as long as it's at the material IN the cartoon and not at the cartoon itself) as I do out of compliments on a story I've written. Besides NASCAR I'm a pretty big fan of the Atlanta Braves and while I have pretty diverse interests when it comes to music, my main man is John Mellencamp. I also love writing fiction, looking at pretty girls, collecting 1/64 NASCAR & Hot Wheels cars and stuffed animals, and daydreaming.

Johnson crashes on lap 235

In a stunning turn of events, championship point leader Jimmie Johnson has blown a tire and crashed on the 235th lap of the Advocare 500K at Phoenix. Johnson's Chevrolet now sits in the garage, while Brad Keselowski leads.

Busch back out front at lap 200

After fading briefly and giving up the lead to teammate Denny Hamlin, Kyle Busch has his No. 18 Camry back out front in the Advocare 500K at the Phoenix International Raceway. Busch has dominated the weekend's practices and won the pole.

Hamlin assumes control from Busch at PIR

After Kyle Busch dominated the early stages of the Advocare 500K, it is teammate Denny Hamlin who shows the way halfway through today's 312-lapper at the Phoenix International Raceway. Hamlin won at PIR back in March.

Busch dominant in early stages

Kyle Busch has dominated the race weekend at Phoenix International Raceway, and that strong run has continued into today's Advocare 500 where he has led 73 of the opening 80 circuits. Championship leader Jimmie Johnson runs 13th.

Busch leads, engine woes for Truex Jr.

Kyle Busch has led every lap of the Advocare 500K at Phoenix from the pole, but one of his chief challengers is already in the garage. Martin Truex Jr. started second but engine problems have ruined his day.

Logano wins Nationwide at Phoenix, Sadler crashes

Joey Logano won the Great Clips 200 at the Phoenix International Raceway, but the big story was an accident by Elliott Sadler on lap 198 that dealt a huge blow to his championship bid.

Edwards to make 300th start

Sprint Cup star Carl Edwards makes his 300th-career NASCAR Sprint Cup Series start in Sunday's Advocare 500K at the Phoenix International Raceway. The Missouri native has seen his share of highs and lows as a top-level stock car racer.

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Harvick wins wild Advocare 500K

In the wildest race of the 2012 Sprint Cup campaign - one that saw the point leader crash and a brawl between two rival teams - it was Kevin Harvick who got his first win of the 2012 campaign. Brad Keselowski finished 6th and took over the point lead

Remembering Marty Robbins 30 years later

Country and Western music icon Marty Robbins was also a stock car driver. A veteran of 35 starts in what is today the Sprint Cup Series, Robbins made his final start at Atlanta Motor Speedway on November 7, 1982, a month before his death.

Phoenix hosts penultimate 2012 Sprint Cup race

The NASCAR Sprint Cup Series enters its penultimate weekend of the 2012 season with the running of Sunday's Advocare 500K at the Phoenix International Raceway. Kasey Kahne won last year's race, while Denny Hamlin triumphed at PIR in February.

Photographs by coka_koehler used in background montage under Creative Commons. Thank you.