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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

NHRA Notes: Maple Grove Safety Questioned
Friday, Sep 30, 2011 – 9:56 | Comments Off
NHRA Notes: Maple Grove Safety Questioned

By John Sturbin | Senior Writer
RacinToday.com
Former NHRA Pro Stock Motorcycle world champion Hector Arana Sr. is questioning a long-standing safety issue at Maple Grove Raceway heading into today’s Auto-Plus® NHRA Nationals in Reading, Pa.
“I don’t know if they fixed Reading or not,” said Arana Sr., the 2009 PSM champion and rider of the Lucas Oil [...]

Wheldon Returns; New Dallara Debuts
Wednesday, Sep 28, 2011 – 7:13 | Comments Off
Wheldon Returns; New Dallara Debuts

Two-time and reigning Indianapolis 500 champion Dan Wheldon insists the six-week testing program he has undertaken for the IZOD IndyCar Series 2012 prototype chassis has made him “a more complete race car driver.”
Idle competitively since winning the 100th anniversary edition of the Indy 500 on May 29, Wheldon will return to the series this weekend [...]

INDYCAR To Roll Out New Chassis Today
Tuesday, Sep 27, 2011 – 7:42 | Comments Off
INDYCAR To Roll Out New Chassis Today

Following a series of private tests and an undisclosed amount of laps, the 2012 IZOD IndyCar Series prototype chassis is scheduled to go public today at Indianapolis Motor Speedway.
Dan Wheldon, two-time/reigning Indianapolis 500 champion, will wheel the Dallara chassis powered by a twin-turbocharged Honda V-6 engine around the 2.5-mile IMS layout during the car’s first [...]

Vandergriff Jr. Makes Two Winning Passes
Monday, Sep 26, 2011 – 7:21 | Comments Off
Vandergriff Jr. Makes Two Winning Passes

ENNIS, Texas – Bob Vandergriff Jr. says his natural athleticism kicks-in every time he rolls to the starting line in his Top Fuel dragster.
But after an impromptu victory sprint up the all-concrete Texas Motorplex Sunday afternoon, Vandergriff admitted he really needs to start hitting the treadmill.
“It’s a long way back to the starting line with [...]

Early NHRA Rounds In Texas Are Upset-O-Rama
Sunday, Sep 25, 2011 – 13:51 | Comments Off
Early NHRA Rounds In Texas Are Upset-O-Rama

(Editor’s note: This story will be updated after conclusion of racing this afternoon.)
ENNIS, Texas – Matt Hagan knocked off Funny Car points-leader Mike Neff in the opening round of eliminations of the 26th annual AAA Texas NHRA Fall Nationals Sunday morning at Texas Motorplex, where all three John Force Racing entries were unceremoniously trailered.
The upsets [...]

Cruz Pedregon Is Giant Killing In Texas
Saturday, Sep 24, 2011 – 18:19 | Comments Off
Cruz Pedregon Is Giant Killing In Texas

ENNIS, Texas _ Cruz Pedregon realizes all the numbers, team-wise, are against him every time he straps into his nitro Funny Car.
The four-car juggernaut fielded by Don Schumacher Racing and John Force Racing’s three-car armada present a formidable road-block on many fronts for a single-car team like Pedregon’s. “The Cruzer” figures that’s unfair enough – [...]

Massey Still ‘Feeling The Power’ At Texas Strip
Saturday, Sep 24, 2011 – 9:47 | Comments Off
Massey Still ‘Feeling The Power’ At Texas Strip

By John Sturbin | Senior Writer
RacinToday.com
ENNIS, Texas – After a lifetime of weekends spent at the Texas Motorplex, there is no separating Spencer Massey – 2011 NHRA Top Fuel championship contender – from the wide-eyed little boy who first “smelled the nitro” here at age 4.
“I’ve always loved living and breathing drag racing and I [...]

Test Could Play Part In Determining Champion
Friday, Sep 23, 2011 – 7:09 | Comments Off
Test Could Play Part In Determining Champion

Championship contenders Will Power, Dario Franchitti and Scott Dixon are scheduled to punch the clock for a full, eight-hour day of IZOD IndyCar Series testing today at Kentucky Speedway.
The 1.5-mile oval in Sparta, Ken., will play host to the series’ penultimate race – the Kentucky Indy 300 – on Oct. 2, with the season-ending IZOD [...]

Dalziel Wins Race, Pruett Wins Crown In GRAND-AM Finale
Monday, Sep 19, 2011 – 9:26 | Comments Off
Dalziel Wins Race, Pruett Wins Crown In GRAND-AM Finale

By John Sturbin | Senior Writer
RacinToday.com
Determined to “win or wreck,” Ryan Dalziel held off newly re-crowned Daytona Prototype champion Scott Pruett by 0.416-seconds to capture the 2011 GRAND-AM Rolex Sports Car Series season-ending EMCO Gears Classic presented by KeyBank at Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course.
Pruett and Memo Rojas clinched their third DP title in four years [...]

Dixon Wins In Japan; Power Takes Point Lead
Sunday, Sep 18, 2011 – 8:35 | Comments Off
Dixon Wins In Japan; Power Takes Point Lead

Pole-sitter Scott Dixon held off the relentless Will Power on a restart with two laps left to win Sunday’s Indy Japan: The Final and remain a factor in a revised IZOD IndyCar Series championship chase.
A self-described “stupid move” and the resulting avoidable contact penalty levied against three-time/reigning series champion Dario Franchitti just before halfway [...]