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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

Q and A: GM’s Terry Dolan
Monday, Nov 22, 2010 – 9:01 | 9 Comments
Q and A: GM’s Terry Dolan

By John Sturbin | Senior Writer
RacinToday.com
It’s been a good week for General Motors, whose stock returned to Wall Street on Thursday via a highly-anticipated initial public offering (IPO). And at the close of business Sunday at Homestead-Miami Speedway, Team Chevy was celebrating its 27th NASCAR driver’s championship courtesy of Jimmie Johnson’s record-setting fifth consecutive Sprint [...]

Force’s Emotional Week Rolls On
Sunday, Nov 21, 2010 – 9:24 | 4 Comments
Force’s Emotional Week Rolls On

By John Sturbin | Senior Writer
RacinToday.com
John Force’s emotional wringer-of-a-week continued Saturday at Homestead-Miami Speedway, where the recently crowned 15-time NHRA Funny Car world champion was presented with Ford Motor Company’s highest honor.
But a simple letter from drag racing icon “Big Daddy” Don Garlits did more to boost Force’s spirits, following the unexpected resignation of [...]

Lotus Joins IndyCar Engine Wars
Friday, Nov 19, 2010 – 8:04 | One Comment
Lotus Joins IndyCar Engine Wars

By John Sturbin | Senior Writer
RacinToday.com
A genuine “engine war” is looming for domestic open-wheel racing in 2012, when Group Lotus will build an engine and aero kit for the IZOD IndyCar Series.
Lotus, generally credited with triggering the “rear-engine revolution” at Indianapolis Motor Speedway in 1963, unveiled plans to produce its first Indy-car engine on Thursday [...]

AAA Title Sponsor at Motorplex
Thursday, Nov 18, 2010 – 7:03 | Comments Off

AAA Texas has secured multi-year title sponsorship rights to the National Hot Rod Association’s Fall Nationals at Texas Motorplex beginning next season.
Scheduled for Sept. 22-25, 2011, the rebadged AAA Texas NHRA Fall Nationals will be the second of six races in the Full Throttle Countdown to the Championship, the sanctioning body’s playoff-style format to determine [...]

Disgruntled Tuner Austin Coil Splits With Force
Wednesday, Nov 17, 2010 – 22:24 | 29 Comments
Disgruntled Tuner Austin Coil Splits With Force

By John Sturbin | Senior Writer
RacinToday.com
Hall of Fame crew chief Austin Coil says his resignation from John Force Racing was largely a financial decision, augmented by “some animosities” lingering from Force’s winless 2009 NHRA Funny Car season.
“I had not been happy with the financial situation since the reorganization because of the economy,” Coil said during [...]

2010 NHRA Season Was One For The Ages
Tuesday, Nov 16, 2010 – 7:30 | Comments Off
2010 NHRA Season Was One For The Ages

By John Sturbin | Senior Writer
RacinToday.com
The oldest and youngest world champions in the National Hot Rod Association’s 59-year history headlined the four world championship-winning drivers crowned Monday evening during the 2010 NHRA Full Throttle Drag Racing Series awards ceremony.
John Force, 61, was feted for his record-setting 15th Funny Car world championship, while 20-year-old rookie LE [...]

The Force Will Be With Us For A While
Monday, Nov 15, 2010 – 13:06 | 5 Comments
The Force Will Be With Us For A While

By John Sturbin | Senior Writer
RacinToday.com
In the days leading up to his championship showdown with Matt Hagan, NHRA Funny Car icon John Force insisted the focus of his entire 2010 season wasn’t solely about adding another bullet-point to his drag racing resume.
“At the end of the day, this isn’t just John Force trying to win [...]

Big Hagan Lead Not Big Enough
Sunday, Nov 14, 2010 – 20:53 | Comments Off
Big Hagan Lead Not Big Enough

By John Sturbin | Senior Writer
RacinToday.com
An emotionally-exhausted Matt Hagan was left to ponder his bright future, and graciously praise 15-time Funny Car champion John Force, at the conclusion of the 46th annual Automobile Club of Southern California NHRA Finals.
Hagan finished as runnerup to the 61-year-old Force as the 2010 Full Throttle Drag Racing Series concluded [...]

Drivers Blowing Gaskets Over New Oildown Rule
Sunday, Nov 14, 2010 – 8:17 | Comments Off
Drivers Blowing Gaskets Over New Oildown Rule

NHRA’s recently revised oildown policy did not factor into either Top Fuel or Funny Car qualifying for the 46th annual Automobile Club of Southern California NHRA Finals.
But potentially championship-altering consequences remain during Sunday’s final eliminations at Auto Club Raceway in Pomona, Calif., to the chagrin of several key players.
“I don’t know how the team owners [...]

Hamlin Steals The Show At Texas Motor Speedway
Sunday, Nov 7, 2010 – 18:56 | 2 Comments
Hamlin Steals The Show At Texas Motor Speedway

By John Sturbin | Senior Writer
RacinToday.com
Fort Worth, Texas – Denny Hamlin emerged from the circus-like atmosphere at Texas Motor Speedway Sunday as NASCAR’s new Sprint Cup Series point leader, on a day when the sight of a monkey selling programs ultimately proved mundane.
Hamlin held off Matt Kenseth to win the AAA Texas 500 in a [...]