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Mike Harris, Senior Writer

Mike Harris has covered sports with a heavy concentration on motor sports for 43 years, including the past 40 with The Associated Press. After growing up in Madison, Wis., Harris graduated from the University of Wisconsin in Jan. 1967 and began his full-time journalism career later that year with The Rockford (Ill.) Morning Star and Register-Republic. After 18 months covering a variety of news and sports for the Rockford paper, Harris took a job as a newsman with AP in Chicago. After a brief apprenticeship on the news desk in Chicago, Harris spent five years as Indiana Sports Editor, five years as a sports writer in the Cleveland bureau and became the AP’s Motorsports Writer in January, 1980. Over the next 30 years, he covered every aspect of motorsports, as well as reporting from the LA and Seoul Olympics and the 1980 Super Bowl. Last May’s Indianapolis 500 was the 40th of his career. Along the way, Harris twice won the Frank Blunk Award, as well as the Henry McLemore Award and the Ray Marquette Award, among others. His coverage of the death of Dale Earnhardt in 2001 was honored as AP’s Story of the Year. After retiring from AP in July 2009, Harris decided to continue his career writing for RacinToday.com. He lives in Wake Forest, N.C., with Judy, his wife of 41 years. They have two grown children, Tory Harris and Lanni Isenberg.

Articles by Mike Harris

Gordon Has Climbed To Top Of Hendrick Fave List
Saturday, Sep 20, 2014 – 14:17 | Comments Off
Gordon Has Climbed To Top Of Hendrick Fave List

By Mike Harris | Senior Writer
RacinToday.com
LOUDON, N.H. – It’s been 13 years since Jeff Gordon won the last of his four NASCAR Sprint Cup titles.
So how surprising is it that the 43-year-old driver is one of the favorites in this year’s Chase for the championship?
“Jeff is still one of the best drivers out there,’’ [...]

Larson In Middle Of Chase To Win First Cup Race
Friday, Sep 19, 2014 – 13:38 | One Comment
Larson In Middle Of Chase To Win First Cup Race

LOUDON, N.H. – Kyle Larson doesn’t want anybody to think of him as arrogant or boastful. Let’s just call him confident.
And the 21-year-old NASCAR Sprint Cup rookie is getting the kind of results on the track that prove he can get the job done, even if he is a bit impatient for more.
In his first [...]

Keselowski Dominates, Wins At New Hampshire
Sunday, Jul 13, 2014 – 15:24 | Comments Off
Keselowski Dominates, Wins At New Hampshire

By Mike Harris |  Senior Writer
RacinToday.com
LOUDON, N.H. – Some teams tried stretching their fuel mileage. Others gambled on taking two tires or rolled the dice with four. No matter the strategy, nobody was going to beat Brad Keselowski on Sunday.
The 2012 NASCAR Sprint Cup champion was the class of the field in the Camping World [...]

Logano’s Homecoming Off To A Rough Start
Saturday, Jul 12, 2014 – 17:10 | Comments Off
Logano’s Homecoming Off To A Rough Start

By Mike Harris | Senior Writer
RacingToday.com
LOUDON, N.H. – Joey Logano has come a long way since his inaugural NASCAR Sprint Cup victory in a rain-shortened race at New Hampshire Motor Speedway in July, 2009.
Logano was a raw 19-year-old when things fell his way that day.
Now 24 and owner of four more Cup victories, including two [...]

Racing Reality Smacks Rookie Larson In Face
Friday, Jul 11, 2014 – 15:02 | 2 Comments
Racing Reality Smacks Rookie Larson In Face

By Mike Harris | Senior Writer
RacinToday.com
LOUDON, N.H. – It all seemed so easy for Kyle Larson at the start.
NASCAR’s latest wunderkind was sailing along in his first full season in the elite Sprint Cup series, seemingly headed for a stress-free run to his first berth in the Chase for the championship.
Then bad things began happening [...]

Helton: NASCAR Plans To ‘Stay The Course’
Friday, Jul 11, 2014 – 11:07 | One Comment
Helton: NASCAR Plans To ‘Stay The Course’

LOUDON, N.H. _ NASCAR president Mike Helton made it very clear Friday morning that the stock car sanctioning body does not believe this week’s announcement that its top car owners have formed an alliance poses a threat to the sport or to NASCAR.
“We’ve got great respect for all or stakeholders,’’ Helton said. “Any perception of [...]

Hunter-Reay Stamps Made In America On Indy 500
Sunday, May 25, 2014 – 16:24 | Comments Off
Hunter-Reay Stamps Made In America On Indy 500

INDIANAPOLIS – Talk about your All-American boy.
Ryan Hunter-Reay lived his dream Sunday, holding off a determined Helio Castroneves in a six-lap sprint to the finish to win the 98th running of the Indianapolis 500.
In doing so, the 2012 IndyCar series champion became the first American driver to take the checkered flag in the Greatest Spectacle [...]

Helio Resurfaces Yellow Submarine At Indianapolis
Saturday, May 24, 2014 – 21:48 | Comments Off
Helio Resurfaces Yellow Submarine At Indianapolis

By Mike Harris | Senior Writer
RacinToday.com
INDIANAPOLIS – Retro uniforms are not uncommon in most pro sports and retro paint schemes abound in NASCAR. But, until now, that wasn’t the case in the IndyCar set.
On Sunday, three-time Indianapolis 500 winner Helio Castroneves will start the race fourth in the 33-car field. And nobody should have any [...]

Villeneuve Returns To Indy Looking For Second Win
Saturday, May 24, 2014 – 8:40 | Comments Off
Villeneuve Returns To Indy Looking For Second Win

By Mike Harris | Senior Writer
RacinToday.com
INDIANAPOLIS – It took Jacques Villeneuve exactly one lap on the Indianapolis Motor Speedway oval to ask himself,  ”What have I done?’’
Nineteen years after winning the 1995 Indianapolis 500 the Canadian-born driver decided it was time to come back. The first few trips around the 2 ½-mile oval at speed [...]

Chase Is A Win, Win Situation For JGR’s Kenseth
Sunday, Sep 22, 2013 – 16:14 | One Comment
Chase Is A Win, Win Situation For JGR’s Kenseth

By Mike Harris | Senior Writer
RacinToday.com
LOUDON, N.H. – When Matt Kenseth won the championship in NASCAR’s top series in 2003 he was criticized for running away with the title with consistent finishes that included only one victory.
That less-than-exciting championship run helped NASCAR decide it was time to change the way the Sprint Cup was [...]