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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

Kanaan Becomes Free Agent
Monday, Oct 4, 2010 – 19:44 | One Comment
Kanaan Becomes Free Agent

By John Sturbin | Senior Writer
RacinToday.com
Former IZOD IndyCar Series champion Tony Kanaan has been informed by Andretti Autosport that he is a free agent heading into the 2011 season.
Kanaan’s No. 11 car is losing primary sponsorship from 7-Eleven, Inc. The Dallas-based convenience store chain notified Andretti Autosport over the weekend that it would not continue [...]

It’s Party Time For IndyCar Champ Franchitti
Sunday, Oct 3, 2010 – 6:21 | Comments Off
It’s Party Time For IndyCar Champ Franchitti

By John Sturbin | Senior Writer
RacinToday.com
In celebration of his first two IZOD IndyCar Series championships, Dario Franchitti’s open-wheel peers conspired to serve him with a pie in the face and dunk him fully-clothed into a swimming pool.
“God, I forgot about that,” Franchitti deadpanned Saturday night, shortly after securing his record-tying third driver’s championship at Homestead-Miami [...]

Penske’s Power Poised For First Championship
Saturday, Oct 2, 2010 – 7:07 | Comments Off
Penske’s Power Poised For First Championship

The month-long drip, drip, drip-and-drain of Will Power’s IZOD IndyCar Series points lead continued Friday at Homestead-Miami Speedway, where championship runner-up Dario Franchitti added a bonus point for winning the pole for tonight’s Cafes do Brasil Indy 300.
Power’s lead that stood at a comfortable 59 points prior to the PEAK Antifreeze & Motor Oil Indy [...]

Franchitti Wins Pole, Eyes Third Title
Friday, Oct 1, 2010 – 16:25 | Comments Off
Franchitti Wins Pole, Eyes Third Title

By John Sturbin | Senior Writer
RacinToday.com
Dario Franchitti’s relentless pursuit of the 2010 IZOD IndyCar Series title is based upon a simple but time-tested premise.
“Every point counts. Whether it’s the first race, the fifth race, the last race, every single one of those points count,” said Franchitti, who won the pole for Saturday night’s season-ending Cafes [...]

NHRA Notes: Bernsteins Have The Blues
Sunday, Sep 26, 2010 – 16:48 | One Comment
NHRA Notes: Bernsteins Have The Blues

By John Sturbin | Senior Writer
RacinToday.com
Ennis, Texas – Drag racing icon Kenny Bernstein will head into the offseason with his Top Fuel team’s blue color scheme intact.
Bernstein announced Sunday morning that Copart, Inc., a leading on-line vehicle auction site, will remain as primary sponsor on the Top Fuel dragster driven by son Brandon Bernstein for [...]

He Is Alive: Schumacher Captures Top Fuel In Texas
Sunday, Sep 26, 2010 – 15:41 | Comments Off
He Is Alive: Schumacher Captures Top Fuel In Texas

By John Sturbin | Senior Writer
RacinToday.com
Ennis, Texas – Tony Schumacher’s bid for an eighth NHRA Top Fuel world title regained traction Sunday at Texas Motorplex, where “The Sarge” defeated Shawn Langdon in the final of the 25th annual O’Reilly Auto Parts Super Start Batteries NHRA Fall Nationals.
Matt Hagan (Funny Car), Greg Anderson (Pro Stock) and [...]

Rain Puts Wilkerson On Pole, JFR On The Spot
Saturday, Sep 25, 2010 – 22:10 | Comments Off
Rain Puts Wilkerson On Pole, JFR On The Spot

Ennis, Texas – A rain-delayed and eventually shortened Funny Car qualifying session at Texas Motorplex Saturday saw Tim Wilkerson claim his first pole of the season, and set up a dilemma for John Force Racing.
Wilkerson moved from third after Friday’s opening two rounds to the pole via a 1,000-foot pass of 4.079-seconds and 305.77 mph [...]

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 [...]