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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

Wilkerson Cool With Being Test Mule
Tuesday, Feb 16, 2010 – 9:05 | Comments Off
Wilkerson Cool With Being Test Mule

Funny Car driver Tim Wilkerson spent part of his offseason testing the National Hot Rod Association’s spec engine, a session that admittedly proved more miss-than-hit.
Wilkerson’s January test at Firebird International Raceway in Chandler, Ariz., was a followup to a similar session conducted by two-time NHRA Funny Car champion Cruz Pedregon at The Strip at Las Vegas [...]

NHRA Notes: The ‘Stang Is Back
Sunday, Feb 14, 2010 – 8:40 | Comments Off
NHRA Notes: The ‘Stang Is Back

Ford Motor Co. marked its official return to drag racing’s famed “Factory Hot Rod” wars Saturday, when veteran competitor Larry Morgan qualified a 2010 Mustang for the 50th annual Kragen O’Reilly NHRA Winternationals at Pomona, Calif.
Morgan covered the Auto Club Raceway quarter-mile in 6.645-seconds and 207.88 mph to earn the 15th spot on the 16-car [...]

Antron Brown Settling In At DSR
Saturday, Feb 13, 2010 – 14:16 | Comments Off
Antron Brown Settling In At DSR

By John Sturbin | Senior Writer
RacinToday.com
Antron Brown has learned to drive hard and travel light during his nomadic NHRA Top Fuel career, the residue of having raced for four team-owners over two seasons. But Brown believes his barnstorming days are over, as he settles in for his first full season with Don Schumacher Racing’s three-car [...]

The High Continues For Hight
Friday, Feb 12, 2010 – 9:38 | Comments Off
The High Continues For Hight

Now that he has the No. 1 decal slapped on his race car, Robert Hight wants to avoid being labeled a one-hit wonder.
So motivated, Hight launched defense of his NHRA Funny Car world championship by claiming the provisional pole after Round 1 of qualifications for the 50th Kragen O’Reilly NHRA Winternationals at Pomona, Calif. Hight [...]

The Snake Is Missing and Missed At Pomona
Thursday, Feb 11, 2010 – 10:54 | One Comment
The Snake Is Missing and Missed At Pomona

By John Sturbin | Senior Writer
RacinToday.com
First-round qualifications for the golden anniversary of the NHRA’s Winternationals are scheduled to begin Thursday afternoon, albeit with a huge void in the staging lanes at Pomona, Calif.
Legendary owner/driver Don “The Snake”  Prudhomme announced in early January he was parking his Top Fuel team and retiring after failing to land a [...]

Ashley Has Some Advice For Danica
Wednesday, Feb 10, 2010 – 9:54 | One Comment
Ashley Has Some Advice For Danica

All eyes will be on Danica Patrick again today, when the open-wheel star is scheduled to turn her first NASCAR Nationwide Series practice laps at Daytona International Speedway.
Patrick’s stock car learning curve on the high-banked, 2.5-mile DIS trioval is being accelerated following a successful, sixth-place finish in Saturday’s ARCA season-opener. Today’s Nationwide practice will be [...]

Fear Drives The Sarge Onward
Wednesday, Feb 10, 2010 – 8:14 | Comments Off
Fear Drives The Sarge Onward

Tony Schumacher concedes that his unprecedented run as NHRA Top Fuel champion now has become all about the losing.
“You know, the losing – I’m afraid to lose right now.  It’s crazy,” said Schumacher, a seven-time champion in drag racing’s premier professional class. “We’ve won six in a row.  And guess what?  It’s going to end [...]

‘The Big Go-West’ Produced Big Memories
Tuesday, Feb 9, 2010 – 7:39 | 2 Comments
‘The Big Go-West’ Produced Big Memories

By John Sturbin | Senior Writer
RacinToday.com
This was a time of cross-country road-trips, greasy spoon diners and “pit stops” wherever along America’s two-lane blacktop nature called.
Their wide-eyed to bleary-eyed adventures from Florida, Texas and Indiana transported Don Garlits, Kenny Bernstein and Bob Glidden, respectively, to the home of the National Hot Rod Association and the endless [...]

JFR Retools, Parks Neff
Saturday, Jan 30, 2010 – 8:25 | Comments Off
JFR Retools, Parks Neff

By John Sturbin | Senior Writer
RacinToday.com
John Force Racing, Inc., will compete for the 2010 NHRA Funny Car championship as a three-car operation, part of a wide-ranging corporate re-organization announced by the 14-time champion and team-owner.
Force said Mike Neff’s Ford Drive One Mustang team, which closed the 2009 season with its breakthrough victory, has been parked. [...]

Top Rookie Massey Now Top Free Agent
Friday, Jan 29, 2010 – 9:15 | Comments Off
Top Rookie Massey Now Top Free Agent

Fort Worth, Texas – Spencer Massey ended the 2009 drag racing season as the National Hot Rod Association’s top rookie competitor, and recipient of the prestigious Auto Club Road to the Future award.
But as baseball sage Yogi Berra once famously observed: “The future ain’t what it used to be.”
That hard fact was driven home for [...]