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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

‘Big Daddy’ And ‘The Snake’ Talk Drag Racing
Saturday, Feb 26, 2011 – 9:10 | One Comment
‘Big Daddy’ And ‘The Snake’ Talk Drag Racing

By John Sturbin | Senior Writer
RacinToday.com
Born and drag-raised on opposite ends of the country, they were destined to become the embodiments of East Coast innovation and California cool, with iconic nicknames to match.
“Big Daddy” Don Garlits and Don “The Snake” Prudhomme were 19- and 9-years-old, respectively, when Wally Parks floated the idea of organizing the [...]

Tasca Earned Piece Of Wally; Now Wants More
Friday, Feb 25, 2011 – 10:27 | Comments Off
Tasca Earned Piece Of Wally; Now Wants More

Long before firing-off what John Force has dubbed “The shot heard ‘round the world,” Bob Tasca III had considered the NHRA Funny Car icon an extended family member.
“I’ve described my relationship with John a number of different ways,” said Tasca, whose paternal Ford Motor Company roots in NHRA Championship Drag Racing run as deep as [...]

NHRA: Hagan Returns To Scene of Last Fall’s Fall
Thursday, Feb 24, 2011 – 9:03 | Comments Off
NHRA: Hagan Returns To Scene of Last Fall’s Fall

Three months after getting hit “square in the chin” by NHRA Funny Car icon John Force, Matt Hagan will begin the 2011 season with renewed accountability – and an unexpected endorsement.
NHRA’s 60th anniversary season will roll into the staging lanes at Auto Club Raceway in Pomona, Calif., this afternoon for the first round of professional [...]

Car Guys Set To Go To War
Wednesday, Feb 23, 2011 – 12:32 | Comments Off
Car Guys Set To Go To War

In his role as entertainment TV reporter, Marc Istook has shared face-time with any number of Hollywood’s beautiful people. From a 45-minute sit-down with Cindy Crawford to on-the-fly chit-chat
with Jennifer Anniston, Brad Pitt, Matt Damon and Francis Ford Coppola, Istook knows glitterati.
“Not a bad job,” said Istook, whose resume includes reporting on the Oscar, Golden [...]

IndyCar Series Vegas Bound
Monday, Feb 21, 2011 – 22:09 | Comments Off
IndyCar Series Vegas Bound

By John Sturbin | Senior Writer
RacinToday.com
Open-wheel racing will return to Las Vegas Motor Speedway this season, when the IZOD IndyCar Series stages its 2011 finale on the 1.5-mile quad-oval.
The finale will be staged on Oct. 16, previously listed as TBA on the schedule. And to make things more interesting, a $5 million bonus will be [...]

Emotional Waltrip Back In Victory Lane In Daytona
Saturday, Feb 19, 2011 – 6:00 | 4 Comments
Emotional Waltrip Back In Victory Lane In Daytona

By John Sturbin | Senior Writer
RacinToday.com
Ten years to the day marking his initial and star-crossed win in the Daytona 500, Michael Waltrip returned to Victory Lane at Daytona International Speedway Friday night.
Waltrip won the NextEra Energy Resources 250 – the 2011 season-opener of the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series – with a classic slingshot move [...]

‘The Day’ Is Gut-Wrenching History Times Three
Friday, Feb 18, 2011 – 13:36 | Comments Off
‘The Day’ Is Gut-Wrenching History Times Three

By John Sturbin | Senior Writer
RacinToday.com
As a hard-card carrying member of NASCAR’s Citizen Journalist corps, and as a motorsports fan, I admittedly watch an inordinate amount of programming on SPEED.
That’s not a blanket endorsement of the many hours of NASCAR happy-talk on the network, or even some of the original series that are not NASCAR-related. [...]

Mike Neff Won’t Slow Down – Can’t Slow Down
Sunday, Feb 13, 2011 – 8:17 | One Comment
Mike Neff Won’t Slow Down – Can’t Slow Down

By John Sturbin | Senior Writer
RacinToday.com
Mike Neff’s return to the cockpit of an NHRA Funny Car in 2011 promises to keep his mind working 24/7.
Neff – who helped tune team-owner John Force to his record 15th Funny Car world championship last season – has replaced mother-to-be Ashley Force Hood as driver of the Castrol GTX [...]

Massey Set To Re-Fire His Stalled Top Fuel Career
Friday, Feb 11, 2011 – 10:22 | Comments Off
Massey Set To Re-Fire His Stalled Top Fuel Career

By John Sturbin | Senior Writer
RacinToday.com
Fort Worth, Texas – Sidelined by the “rude awakening” that stalled his career in 2010, Spencer Massey plans to reintroduce himself to the NHRA Top Fuel ranks with a debut statement for Don Schumacher Racing.
“We’re excited to get the first race underway and go for that Wally,” said Massey, anticipating [...]

Racers Get Into Super Spirit
Saturday, Feb 5, 2011 – 18:26 | Comments Off
Racers Get Into Super Spirit

Fort Worth, Texas – Cheeseheads, Terrible Towels and seemingly every anchor/analyst drawing a paycheck from ESPN have descended upon Sundance Square in downtown Cowtown in anticipation of Super Bowl XLV.
Diehard fans of the NFC champion Green Bay Packers and AFC champion Pittsburgh Steelers will be joined by a contingent of 10 motorsports stars Sunday at [...]