John "Jack" Curtner was born in Greenville, Ohio. He was a well know driver however he only raced in AAA sanctioned events on two occasions, both in 1922. In the Indy 500 that year he drove a Fronty-Ford. He qualified at an average speed of 85 mph but in the race was flagged after 420 miles. In June that eyar he raced at the Uniontown Speedway, qualifying at a speed of 92 mph.
In May 1928 he narrowly escaped death in a 50 mile free for all race at the Ft. Miami track south of Toledo. Curtner was in second place and pressing for the lead when his car crashed through the fence on the outside of the track. Curtner was unconscious and badly cut on one hand when aid arrived. However he soon soon regained consciousness. It was reported that he had lost a finger but this was later updated to only being seriously cut.