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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

Tonglet Has His Eyes On The Biggest Prize
Saturday, Sep 25, 2010 – 13:12 | Comments Off
Tonglet Has His Eyes On The Biggest Prize

By John Sturbin | Senior Writer
RacinToday.com
Ennis, Texas – Back-to-back playoff wins and a sponsorship windfall have re-prioritized LE Tonglet’s NHRA Pro Stock Motorcycle to-do list.
“We haven’t really talked about the Rookie of the Year Award since (winning) Indy, because we really want that championship,” said Tonglet, an improbable yet bona fide first-year contender for the [...]

Dixon Is Texas Star So Far
Friday, Sep 24, 2010 – 18:15 | Comments Off
Dixon Is Texas Star So Far

By John Sturbin | Senior Writer
RacinToday.com
Ennis, Texas –  Not even a pair of lengthy clean-ups for oildowns on a hot afternoon could keep Larry Dixon from atop the Top Fuel time sheet Friday afternoon at Texas Motorplex.
And Dixon remained the provisional pole-sitter Friday evening, regaining the No. 1 spot from Brandon Bernstein on the night’s [...]

NHRA Has One Of The Great Rivalries In Sports
Friday, Sep 24, 2010 – 7:18 | Comments Off
NHRA Has One Of The Great Rivalries In Sports

By John Sturbin | Senior Writer
RacinToday.com
Ennis, Texas – Round-after-round, no current NHRA pairing promises more than the Top Fuel rivalry matching Tony Schumacher and Larry Dixon and 1,000 feet for the taking.
Both second-generation drivers, they have dominated the decade in National Hot Rod Association’s premier division, having won eight consecutive titles since 2002. Six of [...]

NHRA Notes: Drivers Love Billy Meyer’s Place
Tuesday, Sep 21, 2010 – 6:45 | One Comment
NHRA Notes: Drivers Love Billy Meyer’s Place

By John Sturbin | Senior Writer
RacinToday.com
During a time when new stick-and-ball stadiums continue to raise the “wow factor” for fans and competitors, Texas Motorplex remains the standard for big-time drag racing.
Track-owner Billy Meyer’s facility in Ennis will play host to the 25th annual O’Reilly Super Start Batteries NHRA Fall Nationals Thursday through Sunday, and a pair [...]

Helio Is The Man In Japan
Sunday, Sep 19, 2010 – 5:31 | 2 Comments
Helio Is The Man In Japan

By John Sturbin | Senior Writer
RacinToday.com
Motegi, Japan – Helio Castroneves capped a postcard-perfect weekend in the Far East for himself and Team Penske at Twin Ring Motegi Sunday afternoon, winning the IZOD IndyCar Series Indy Japan 300 in dominating fashion.
Castroneves, who started on-pole, led a race-high 153 of 200 laps around the egg-shaped, 1.52-mile oval [...]

Penske Sweeps Qualifying In Motegi
Saturday, Sep 18, 2010 – 11:14 | Comments Off
Penske Sweeps Qualifying In Motegi

Motegi, Japan –  Moments after Will Power qualified third for the Indy Japan 300, Ryan Briscoe revealed Team Penske’s not-so-secret “strategy” for Sunday’s IZOD IndyCar Series race.
“Three-wide the whole time,” said Briscoe, who officially will start alongside pole-sitter Helio Castroneves in the season’s penultimate round at Twin Ring Motegi.
“That’s potentially one option,” Castroneves deadpanned, as [...]

IndyCar Notes: Smoother Trip For Briscoe
Saturday, Sep 18, 2010 – 6:52 | Comments Off
IndyCar Notes: Smoother Trip For Briscoe

By John Sturbin | Senior Writer
RacinToday.com
Motegi, Japan – Ryan Briscoe, whose pursuit of the 2009 IZOD IndyCar Series championship ended embarrassingly at the exit of Twin Ring Motegi’s pit road, had no issues with the egg-shaped, 1.5-mile racing layout Saturday.
Briscoe topped the second, one-hour afternoon practice for Sunday’s Indy Japan 300 at 200.894 mph to [...]

Japanese Fans Remember Danica’s ‘Big Night’
Friday, Sep 17, 2010 – 21:25 | Comments Off
Japanese Fans Remember Danica’s ‘Big Night’

By John Sturbin | Senior Writer
RacinToday.com
Motegi, Japan –  Danica Patrick admittedly continues to struggle through “just a tough year”  that has seen her add an abbreviated NASCAR Nationwide Series schedule to her fulltime IndyCar Series job with Andretti Autosport.
But don’t try telling that to her Japanese fans. Twin Ring Motegi remains the site of Danica’s [...]

Power Takes His Title Fight To Motegi
Friday, Sep 17, 2010 – 12:51 | Comments Off
Power Takes His Title Fight To Motegi

By John Sturbin | Senior Writer
RacinToday.com
Motegi, Japan – If Will Power secures the 2010 IZOD IndyCar Series driver’s championship without ever winning on an oval, he will do so sans apology.
“If I win the championship, I won’t let that bother me at all. Not one bit,” Power said in the paddock at Twin Ring [...]

Sturbin: Notes On Racing IndyCars In Japan
Thursday, Sep 16, 2010 – 10:19 | Comments Off
Sturbin: Notes On Racing IndyCars In Japan

By John Sturbin | Senior Writer
RacinToday.com
Utsunomiya, Tochigi, Japan – When I was a big-time boxing writer, Europe was my playground.
Actually, Europe was the playground of undisputed welterweight (147-pound) champion Donald Curry of Fort Worth. Curry’s career became my “beat” in the early 1980s while I was a sports writer at the Fort Worth Star-Telegram.  As [...]