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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

Vickers Joins Martin As Fill-Ins For Hamlin
Thursday, Mar 28, 2013 – 18:13 | Comments Off
Vickers Joins Martin As Fill-Ins For Hamlin

Mark Martin’s stint as substitute for injured NASCAR Sprint Cup Series driver Denny Hamlin has been revised to a one-race deal.
Michael Waltrip Racing announced Friday that Martin will fill-in for the Joe Gibbs Racing driver in the No. 11 FedEx Toyota Camry only at Martinsville Speedway on Sunday, April 7. Martin will then return to [...]

Speeds Soar As IndyCars Arrive At Barber
Wednesday, Mar 13, 2013 – 8:21 | Comments Off
Speeds Soar As IndyCars Arrive At Barber

By John Sturbin | Senior Writer
RacinToday.com
Record-setting speeds marked the first of a two-day IZOD IndyCar Series Open Test Tuesday at Barber Motorsports Park in Birmingham, Ala.
The session previewing the season-opening Honda Grand Prix of St. Petersburg, Fla., on March 24 produced these by-the-numbers highlights:
_ Twenty-five drivers who hot-lapped quicker than Will Power’s official record on [...]

Divine Intervention Powering Burkart Jr. At Firebird?
Saturday, Feb 23, 2013 – 9:10 | One Comment
Divine Intervention Powering Burkart Jr. At Firebird?

By John Sturbin | Senior Writer
RacinToday.com
YORKVILLE, N.Y. – Phil Burkart Jr. is well-aware his 2013 NHRA Funny Car schedule could end this weekend at Firebird International Raceway, throttled by a lack of sponsorship. Even if that’s the case, Burkart will savor a two-race stint made possible by car-owner/chassis builder Steve Plueger…and perhaps Phil Sr.
Cold-turkey, Burkart [...]

Courtney Force Finishes Off Big Day For Women
Monday, Feb 18, 2013 – 8:09 | Comments Off
Courtney Force Finishes Off Big Day For Women

By John Sturbin | Senior Writer
RacinToday.com
NASCAR’s Danica Patrick wasn’t the only woman creating motorsports headlines Sunday.
Drag racer Courtney Force began her second season in the NHRA’s Funny Car ranks with a victory in the 53rd annual O’Reilly Auto Parts NHRA Winternationals presented by Super Start Batteries at Auto Club Raceway at Pomona.
After posting the third [...]

More Top Fuelers Involved In NHRA Cover Up
Wednesday, Feb 13, 2013 – 10:41 | One Comment
More Top Fuelers Involved In NHRA Cover Up

By John Sturbin | Senior Writer
RacinToday.com
A growing number of NHRA Top Fuel drivers will be blasting down the 1,000-foot distance this season with a sunroof overhead.
What’s next…Sirius Satellite Radio and cup-holders?
Actually, the cockpit canopy introduced by seven-time Top Fuel world champion Tony Schumacher of Don Schumacher Racing last season and approved by the NHRA Technical [...]

Andretti Adds Viso, Fourth Car To Lineup
Sunday, Feb 10, 2013 – 9:03 | 2 Comments
Andretti Adds Viso, Fourth Car To Lineup

By John Sturbin | Senior Writer
RacinToday.com
In what rates as an open-wheel marriage of convenience, Andretti Autosport’s championship-winning organization has signed IZOD IndyCar Series veteran E.J. Viso to drive a fourth fulltime entry for the 2013 season.
A native of Caracas, Venezuela, Viso will drive the No. 5 Team Venezuela PDVSA Dallara/Chevrolet during his sixth IndyCar season [...]

Brown Takes High Road On Massey’s Behavior
Friday, Feb 1, 2013 – 16:04 | 5 Comments
Brown Takes High Road On Massey’s Behavior

Reigning NHRA Top Fuel world champion Antron Brown says former teammate Spencer Massey has apologized for his embarrassing behavior during the season-ending awards banquet that led to his dismissal from Don Schumacher Racing in November.
Additionally, Brown said Massey insisted that he never directed a racial epithet toward him – the first African-American driver to win [...]

Dixon Making Bid To Return To Top Of Top Fuel
Friday, Jan 25, 2013 – 8:25 | Comments Off
Dixon Making Bid To Return To Top Of Top Fuel

By John Sturbin | Senior Writer
RacinToday.com
Count drag racer Larry Dixon Jr. among the “car guys” soaking up all things automobilia during the 42nd annual Barrett-Jackson Collector Car Auction.
“Just looking,” Dixon said via cell phone while rolling onto the grounds of WestWorld of Scottsdale, Ariz., for last Friday’s bidding activities. For the record, Dixon was “just [...]

Force Funny Cars Show Their Winter Capabilities
Sunday, Jan 20, 2013 – 9:14 | One Comment
Force Funny Cars Show Their Winter Capabilities

By John Sturbin | Senior Writer
RacinToday.com
NHRA Funny Car teammates Robert Hight and Courtney Force proved quickest off the trailer and Doug Kalitta paced the Top Fuel time sheet during the rain-shortened PRO Winter Warm-Up at Palm Beach International Raceway.
Saturday’s scheduled second day of activity in Jupiter, Fla., was cancelled by persistent rain, leaving teams with [...]

Once Is Enough For IndyCar Team-Owner Andretti
Wednesday, Jan 16, 2013 – 8:16 | Comments Off
Once Is Enough For IndyCar Team-Owner Andretti

When it comes to doubleheaders, Michael Andretti is no Ernie Banks.
Owner of the car driven by reigning IZOD IndyCar Series champion Ryan Hunter-Reay, Andretti acknowledged he has serious misgivings about the unique doubleheader weekend formats booked for three street circuits in 2013.
“It’s putting a big, big demand on the drivers, in my opinion, and the [...]