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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

The Captain On Verge Of Victory
Thursday, Nov 4, 2010 – 6:17 | Comments Off
The Captain On Verge Of Victory

There’s an old saying that good things come to he who waits. Well, Roger Penske has waited and waited and waited for a NASCAR championship.
Twenty-seven years The Captain has waited. But, thanks to Brad Keselowski, it appears the wait is over.
Keselowski goes into Saturday’s Nationwide Series race at Texas with an insurmountable 485-point lead over [...]

Harris: Farewell To A Peacemaker
Tuesday, Nov 2, 2010 – 6:19 | Comments Off
Harris: Farewell To A Peacemaker

I wasn’t sure if one of my RacinToday.com colleagues would write a column about the late Jim Hunter, one of the most popular and important people in stock car racing.
But the more I thought about it, the more I realized that each of us has our own view of this man who spent more than [...]

Harris: Survival Is Goal This Week
Tuesday, Oct 26, 2010 – 7:03 | Comments Off
Harris: Survival Is Goal This Week

By Mike Harris | Senior Writer
RacinToday.com
It’s Wild Card Week in NASCAR’s Chase for the Nextel Cup championship.
Talladega Superspeedway is always the biggest question mark among the 10 races in the stock car postseason. Anything can – and usually does – happen on the high-banked 2.66-mile oval; NASCAR’s longest oval.
Sunday’s race at Martinsville – NASCAR’s shortest [...]

Harris: Rich Memories Of Tim Richmond
Thursday, Oct 21, 2010 – 6:31 | 4 Comments
Harris: Rich Memories Of Tim Richmond

By Mike Harris | Senior Writer
RacinToday.com
The first time I met Tim Richmond was in 1980 when he showed up at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway as a rookie.
He was a bit cocky, good looking and friendly. I wrote what I believe was the first national feature about him, but I didn’t think much about it, since [...]

Harris: Their Time Will Come
Monday, Oct 18, 2010 – 14:16 | Comments Off
Harris: Their Time Will Come

By Mike Harris | Senior Writer
RacinToday.com
It may sting for a while, but Darrell Waltrip and Cale Yarborough – and their fans – should not get too upset over their failing to make it into NASCAR’s Hall of Fame in the first two five-man classes.
There’s little doubt in my mind that both of them will make [...]

Minter: McMurray Emotes At CMS
Monday, Oct 18, 2010 – 7:48 | Comments Off
Minter: McMurray Emotes At CMS

So far, this year’s Chase hasn’t drawn the TV audience or the paying fans that many in NASCAR figured it would, especially given the rules changes and other tweaks intended to make the racing on the track more exciting.
Something just seems to be missing. Saturday night’s Bank of America 500 at Charlotte showed a side [...]

Harris: Here Is My HOF Ballot
Thursday, Oct 14, 2010 – 10:22 | 2 Comments
Harris: Here Is My HOF Ballot

(Editor’s Note: Mike Harris serves on the voting panel for the NASCAR Hall of Fame. Here is how he voted in Wednesday’s election for the second class in the Hall.)
By Mike Harris | Senior Writer
RacinToday.com
Charlotte, N.C. – I voted for David Pearson, Bobby Allison, Lee Petty, Cale Yarborough and Darrell Waltrip.
It was a VERY difficult [...]

Harris: Five Not Enough For Hall This Year, Either
Tuesday, Oct 12, 2010 – 5:22 | 6 Comments
Harris: Five Not Enough For Hall This Year, Either

One of the great honors of my professional  life is being part of the voting committee for the NASCAR Hall of Fame. But, in this case, along with honor comes great responsibility.
A year ago, voting for the first class to go into the HoF, there was a great debate over whether Bill France Sr. and Bill [...]

Johnson Says Don’t Count Him In
Friday, Oct 8, 2010 – 6:53 | One Comment
Johnson Says Don’t Count Him In

It would be easy to say that now that Jimmie Johnson is back where he apparently belongs –leading the NASCAR Sprint Cup points – things will just play out normally through the last seven races of the Chase.
Johnson, hoping to make it five straight championships, stumbled in the opener of the 10-race Chase, finishing [...]

Harris: Fans Not Sprinting To Cup
Monday, Sep 27, 2010 – 12:09 | 11 Comments
Harris: Fans Not Sprinting To Cup

By Mike Harris | Senior Writer
RacinToday.com
The Chase race Sunday at Dover was competitive enough to satisfy most people.
There were lead changes, some pit stop drama and plenty of the Chase drivers right in the midst of the action up front.
What there wasn’t much of was an audience. At least not like just a few years [...]