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John Sturbin, Senior Writer

John Sturbin joined the staff of RacinToday.com after a 35-year career in the daily newspaper business, the last 12 as nationally recognized motorsports beat writer at the Fort Worth Star-Telegram. He was point-man for the paper’s expanded and award-winning motorsports coverage beginning in the mid-1990s, centered around NASCAR and IndyCar series events at Texas Motor Speedway. Sturbin covered his first Indianapolis 500 in 1980, and has staffed “The Greatest Spectacle in Racing” every year since. He regularly has covered the National Hot Rod Association’s annual event at Texas Motorplex in Ennis since the mid-1980s. A native of Rome, N.Y., Sturbin first followed the careers of NASCAR Modified champions Richie Evans and Jerry Cook at Utica-Rome Speedway in Vernon, N.Y., as a fan before eventually covering both drivers as sports writer at The Daily Sentinel. While at The Sentinel, Sturbin began staffing Formula One’s annual autumn visit to Watkins Glen International during the mid-1970s. Since moving to Fort Worth in October 1978, he has covered Formula One events on street circuits in Dallas and Phoenix and at Indianapolis Motor Speedway. Sturbin’s international travels while covering professional boxing led to a freelance assignment staffing the 1989 24 Hours of Le Mans for The Associated Press. He also has authored freelance articles for numerous clients, including Texas Motor Speedway and Atlanta Motor Speedway. John has served as a voting member of the Driver of the Year media panel since 1996, as well as various industry-related hall of fame selection committees. Sturbin received the prestigious Bloys Britt Award in motorsports, as judged by The Associated Press, for a feature on IndyCar icon A.J. Foyt Jr.’s rehabilitation from devastating foot and leg injuries. He also is a past recipient of the National Hot Rod Association’s Media Award. During his tenure at the Star-Telegram, Sturbin received numerous in-house awards for motorsports coverage, including Editorial Employee of the Month and Spot News Story of the Year for his report on the death of seven-time NASCAR champion Dale Earnhardt in February 2001. In addition to his motorsports resume, Sturbin logged two stints covering the Dallas Cowboys as backup beat writer. He also has covered the NFL, Major League Baseball, NBA, NHL, NCAA football and basketball, World Gymnastics Championships and various high school and semi-pro sports. A graduate of Utica (N.Y.) College, Sturbin is a classic car and motorcycle enthusiast. He resides in Southwest Fort Worth.

Articles by John Sturbin

New IndyCar Aero Kits Take To Track In Open Test In Arizona
Saturday, Feb 10, 2018 – 9:31 | Comments Off on New IndyCar Aero Kits Take To Track In Open Test In Arizona
New IndyCar Aero Kits Take To Track In Open Test In Arizona

INDYCAR’s new-for-2018 universal Verizon IndyCar Series chassis and aero kit was unveiled en masse during Friday’s first session of the annual preseason Open Test at ISM Raceway, where 23 entries hot-lapped around the  1.022-mile oval in Avondale, Ariz.
More than 2,600 laps were completed at the facility formerly known as Phoenix International Raceway, which will play host […]

Super Test Puts Fast Jack On Top
Saturday, Feb 10, 2018 – 9:17 | Comments Off on Super Test Puts Fast Jack On Top
Super Test Puts Fast Jack On Top

By John Sturbin | Senior Writer
RacinToday.com
Jack Beckman and his Funny Car crew spent their Super Bowl LII “party” testing in the Arizona desert, and the payoff after the opening qualifying session of the 2018 NHRA Mello Yello Drag Racing Series season was _ we got game!
“Fast” Jack posted a 1,000-foot pass of 3.860-seconds at […]

Sportsmanship Played Big Part In Butner’s 2017 Success
Friday, Feb 9, 2018 – 9:15 | Comments Off on Sportsmanship Played Big Part In Butner’s 2017 Success
Sportsmanship Played Big Part In Butner’s 2017 Success

By John Sturbin | Senior Writer
RacinToday.com
Before Bo Butner knew drag racing, Bo knew selling cars as a family business. It’s a juxtaposition of values and commitment that carried Butner _ a self-described rent-a-racer _ to his first NHRA Pro Stock world championship in 2017.
“I’m a Sportsman racer and always will be,” said Butner, the 2006 […]

NASCAR Pit Crews Will Be Running Lean In ’18
Thursday, Feb 8, 2018 – 18:45 | One Comment
NASCAR Pit Crews Will Be Running Lean In ’18

By John Sturbin | Senior Writer
RacinToday.com
NASCAR is determined to extend “parity” to pit road and beyond in 2018, following a series of rules changes introduced at the close of last season.
Pit crew numbers in NASCAR’s three national touring series have been reduced from six to five, a change NASCAR Executive Vice President Steve O’Donnell […]

Brittany Force Looking Forward To A No. 1 Moment
Thursday, Feb 8, 2018 – 9:49 | Comments Off on Brittany Force Looking Forward To A No. 1 Moment
Brittany Force Looking Forward To A No. 1 Moment

By John Sturbin | Senior Writer
RacinToday.com
One more celebratory moment looms in Brittany Force’s NHRA Top Fuel championship offseason, which will conclude where it began only three months ago.
Force ended the 2017 season with a sweep at Auto Club Raceway in Pomona, Calif., where she emerged as No. 1 qualifier, race-winner and first-time world champion during […]

Pritchett’s Fastest-Ever Pass Highlights NHRA Test
Sunday, Feb 4, 2018 – 9:51 | Comments Off on Pritchett’s Fastest-Ever Pass Highlights NHRA Test
Pritchett’s Fastest-Ever Pass Highlights NHRA Test

By John Sturbin | Senior Writer
RacinToday.com
Top Fuel driver Leah Pritchett unofficially posted the fastest speed in NHRA history Saturday during Day 4 of Nitro Spring Training at Wild Horse Pass Motorsports Park in Chandler, Ariz.
Pritchett powered her Mopar Dodge dragster down the 1,000-foot distance in 3.664-seconds at 334.73 mph. Because the lap was completed during […]

Langdon A Quick Learner In Switch To Floppers
Saturday, Feb 3, 2018 – 9:26 | Comments Off on Langdon A Quick Learner In Switch To Floppers
Langdon A Quick Learner In Switch To Floppers

By John Sturbin | Senior Writer
RacinToday.com
The perfectionist in Shawn Langdon quickly has emerged in NHRA preseason testing, as the 2013 Top Fuel world champion transitions into the Funny Car category with Kalitta Motorsports.
Langdon, who earned his Funny Car license in October 2017 in anticipation of the Fuel category switch, posted a top lap of 3.911-seconds […]

Funny Car’s Robert Hight Becomes The One
Friday, Feb 2, 2018 – 18:52 | Comments Off on Funny Car’s Robert Hight Becomes The One
Funny Car’s Robert Hight Becomes The One

By John Sturbin | Senior Writer
RacinToday.com
Two-time/reigning NHRA Funny Car world champion Robert Hight proudly added the No. 1 decal to his race car between test runs during Thursday’s opening session of NHRA Spring Training at Wild Horse Pass Motorsports Park in Chandler, Ariz., as preparations began for the 2018 season-opener.
Hight, who won his first title […]

‘Red Dragon’ Has Bittersweet Return To The Rolex
Wednesday, Jan 31, 2018 – 15:45 | Comments Off on ‘Red Dragon’ Has Bittersweet Return To The Rolex
‘Red Dragon’ Has Bittersweet Return To The Rolex

By John Sturbin | Senior Writer
RacinToday.com
DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. – Returning to the Rolex 24 At Daytona in his new role as sponsor with JDC-Miller MotorSports allowed GAINSCO executive Bob Stallings to experience something completely different during the twice-around-the-clock sports car classic.
SLEEP!
“I left the track between midnight and 12:30 (a.m.) and came back at around 6 […]

Not All Owners Left DIS Wearing Gold Watches
Monday, Jan 29, 2018 – 10:03 | Comments Off on Not All Owners Left DIS Wearing Gold Watches
Not All Owners Left DIS Wearing Gold Watches

DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. _ His previously pristine, six-figure Audi race car sat in an IMSA paddock at Daytona International Speedway, where owner/driver Don Istook sized-up the racing definition of “extensive damage.”
“Every corner,” Istook said after examining the battered bodywork on his No. 11 RS Werkes Racing Audi RS3 LMS.
“Well, the left rear (panel) is OK,” […]