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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

Kalitta Wins Pole, Sets Sights On Schumacher At Gateway
Sunday, Sep 28, 2014 – 7:24 | Comments Off
Kalitta Wins Pole, Sets Sights On Schumacher At Gateway

Veteran Top Fuel driver Doug Kalitta ramped-up his pursuit of point-leader Tony Schumacher Saturday at Gateway Motorsports Park, racing to his sixth pole position of the season as qualifications concluded for the third annual AAA Insurance NHRA Midwest Nationals in Madison, Ill., near St. Louis.
Kalitta powered his Mac Tools dragster to a 1,000-foot performance of [...]

Force Overcomes Anniversary Miscue, Wins Provisional Pole At Gateway
Saturday, Sep 27, 2014 – 7:54 | Comments Off
Force Overcomes Anniversary Miscue, Wins Provisional Pole At Gateway

Funny Car icon John Force gift-wrapped an impromptu wedding anniversary present during qualifications for the AAA Insurance NHRA Midwest Nationals Friday, a sidebar to a weekend that will include a rare, network news interview for the reigning/16-time world champion.
Force powered his Castrol GTX High Mileage Ford Mustang to a 1,000-foot performance of 4.022- seconds at [...]

Hines Won But Lost In Pro Bike Finals In Texas
Tuesday, Sep 23, 2014 – 15:09 | Comments Off
Hines Won But Lost In Pro Bike Finals In Texas

By John Sturbin | Senior Writer
RacinToday.com
ENNIS, Texas – Andrew Hines exited Texas Motorplex Sunday fully aware his latest Pro Stock Motorcycle victory likely is being viewed as a classic no-win situation in the court of two-wheel opinion.
Hines won the final of the 29th annual AAA Texas NHRA FallNationals via a solo run when opponent Steve [...]

Sampey-Drago Leaves Fear Behind In NHRA Return
Sunday, Sep 21, 2014 – 14:48 | Comments Off
Sampey-Drago Leaves Fear Behind In NHRA Return

By John Sturbin | Senior Writer
RacinToday.com
ENNIS, Texas – Angelle Sampey-Drago says any fear she had about climbing back aboard the seat of a Pro Stock Motorcycle was resolved when she made her first test run in seven years.
“It was a different fear.  It’s because I’m a mom now,” said Sampey-Drago, a three-time NHRA world [...]

Routine Mistake Costs John Force A Countdown Victory
Sunday, Sep 21, 2014 – 7:06 | One Comment
Routine Mistake Costs John Force A Countdown Victory

ENNIS, Texas – Funny Car icon John Force was foaming at the mouth Saturday after an uncharacteristic red-light cost him a victory against Matt Hagan during the delayed Race 1 final of the NHRA’s Countdown to the Championship at the Texas Motorplex.
Force outran Hagan over the 1,000-foot distance of the Motorplex’s all-concrete surface with a [...]

Courtney Force Trashes Texas Records
Saturday, Sep 20, 2014 – 6:37 | Comments Off
Courtney Force Trashes Texas Records

ENNIS, Texas – Courtney Force had the blinders on at the Texas Motorplex Friday evening, and cranked out a blinding pass to back it up.
Force claimed the provisional Funny Car pole during second-round qualifying for the 29th annual AAA Texas NHRA FallNationals with a 1,000-foot pass in 4.039-seconds at 314.90 mph. Both numbers set Motorplex [...]

Texas Motorplex To Host Countdown Doubleheader
Friday, Sep 19, 2014 – 7:12 | Comments Off
Texas Motorplex To Host Countdown Doubleheader

ENNIS, Texas – Re-routed into the Lone Star State, NHRA’s problem-plagued Countdown to the Championship will resume at the Texas Motorplex Friday with a weekend schedule that leaves no room for error.
The 2014 opener of NHRA’s six-race playoff for its professional categories ended with a thud Sunday at zMAX Dragway in Concord, N.C., near Charlotte. [...]

American Car Culture Lives On In Upstate N.Y.
Wednesday, Sep 17, 2014 – 8:03 | Comments Off
American Car Culture Lives On In Upstate N.Y.

By John Sturbin | Senior Writer
RacinToday.com
HOLLAND PATENT, N.Y. – For many curious visitors, Mark Theobald’s hobby shop is the last business they expect to find in this sleepy, Central New York village.
“It’s a very common response,” said Theobald, owner and curator of Adirondack Motorbooks & Collectibles. “There’s only a couple of stores like this in [...]

Texas To Play Bigger Role In Countdown In 2015
Saturday, Sep 6, 2014 – 6:37 | Comments Off
Texas To Play Bigger Role In Countdown In 2015

By John Sturbin | Senior Writer
RacinToday.com
Texas Motorplex will assume a more prominent role during NHRA’s Countdown to the Championship playoffs in 2015, when the 30th edition of the AAA Texas NHRA FallNationals will be contested Oct. 15-18.
The new date will move The Plex from its current Sept. 18-21 date as the second of sixth NHRA [...]

Haas To Team With Ferrari In 2016 F1 Launch
Wednesday, Sep 3, 2014 – 7:16 | Comments Off
Haas To Team With Ferrari In 2016 F1 Launch

By John Sturbin | Senior Writer
RacinToday.com
California businessman Gene Haas will launch his foray into the FIA Formula One World Championship in 2016 with Scuderia Ferrari as technical partner.
The most successful team in the history of Formula One, Scuderia Ferrari will provide Haas F1 Team with its power unit, gearbox and overall technical support. The multiyear [...]