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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

Kenseth Arrives At Richmond With Lighter Load
Friday, Sep 10, 2010 – 6:46 | Comments Off
Kenseth Arrives At Richmond With Lighter Load

By Mike Harris | Senior Writer
RacinToday.com
It appears Clint Bowyer is going to be among the 12 drivers qualifying for NASCAR’s Chase for the Sprint Cup championship. But that doesn’t mean Bowyer is feeling comfortable as he heads to Richmond leading 13th-place Ryan Newman by 117 points.
Matt Kenseth has first-hand knowledge of how nothing is set [...]

Harris: The Chase May Live Up To Its Name This Year
Wednesday, Sep 8, 2010 – 7:31 | Comments Off
Harris: The Chase May Live Up To Its Name This Year

By Mike Harris | Senior Writer
RacinToday.com
I decided to get a jump on all the stock car pundits who will be doing their Chase forecasts next week, after the regular season ends at Richmond on Saturday night.
Heading toward the 10-race Chase for the Nextel Cup championship, it looks to me like the most wide-open title race [...]

Life’s Good For One Of America’s All-Time Greats
Tuesday, Aug 31, 2010 – 7:12 | 2 Comments
Life’s Good For One Of America’s All-Time Greats

By Mike Harris | Senior Writer
RacinToday.com
Scott Pruett may be the most under-appreciated  driver in American racing.
Not that it bothers him a whole lot.
“I’m doing exactly what I’ve wanted to do since I was eight years old, racing,’’ Pruett said during an interview last year at Daytona. “I still get a real rush from driving a [...]

Jacques Hopes To Be Nimble, Quick At Montreal
Thursday, Aug 26, 2010 – 6:48 | Comments Off
Jacques Hopes To Be Nimble, Quick At Montreal

By Mike Harris | Senior Writer
RacinToday.com
There was a time when Jacques Villeneuve owned the city of Montreal.
When the driver from Quebec was racing in Formula One, whether he was winning races or struggling for points finishes, Villeneuve was THE driver when Formula One came to town. He was a favorite target of the paparazzi and [...]

Harris: History Riding Shotgun in 48
Tuesday, Aug 24, 2010 – 7:10 | Comments Off
Harris: History Riding Shotgun in 48

By Mike Harris | Senior Writer
RacinToday.com
When Jimmie Johnson and Juan Pablo Montoya collided Saturday night at Bristol, many in the crowd cheered mightily.
It’s that old “hate the big winner’’ syndrome. The New York Yankees know about that, as do the Dallas Cowboys – although they haven’t won much in recent years.
Johnson, the four-time reigning NASCAR [...]

Harris: Drivers Find Their Voices
Wednesday, Aug 18, 2010 – 7:02 | One Comment
Harris: Drivers Find Their Voices

It’s the drivers who put their lives on the line, and some IZOD IndyCar Series drivers have been thinking they should have a say in how things are done.
After a lot of talk since the beginning of the 2010 season, and a meeting two weeks ago at Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course to formalize things, the [...]

Harris: It Was Not Luck That Saved Sadler’s Life
Friday, Aug 6, 2010 – 15:13 | 4 Comments
Harris: It Was Not Luck That Saved Sadler’s Life

In a piece done for ESPN this week, Dr. Jerry Punch, a man who has seen his share of stock car crashes, pointed out just how lucky Elliott Sadler is to be racing in this era of advance safety features on the car and in the cockpit.
“If this were 10 years ago, on Monday, Elliott [...]

Harris: Letarte Ignores Criticism, Presses On
Wednesday, Aug 4, 2010 – 6:40 | Comments Off
Harris: Letarte Ignores Criticism, Presses On

By Mike Harris | Senior Writer
RacinToday.com
The end-of-season rehash and planning session last fall between crew chief Steve Letarte and his driver, Jeff Gordon, was no bed of roses.
The two had a few things to work out after a one-win, third-place season, and it wasn’t just the four-time NASCAR Sprint Cup champion who was doing the [...]

Harris: Emotion Got Best Of Helio
Tuesday, Jul 27, 2010 – 8:47 | 3 Comments
Harris: Emotion Got Best Of Helio

By Mike Harris | Senior Writer
RacinToday.com
Helio Castroneves is an emotional guy.
A few years ago, my wife and I had the good fortune to travel to Rome for an interfaith conference at the Vatican on traveling professionals in sports.
Among the others in attendance was Castroneves, who was called upon to talk about the ministry being provided [...]

Harris: New Shape, New Momentum For PT
Saturday, Jul 17, 2010 – 7:10 | One Comment
Harris: New Shape, New Momentum For PT

By Mike Harris | Senior Writer
RacinToday.com
Having fought the battle of the (stomach) bulge most of my life, I sympathize with any athlete who reaches middle age and suddenly finds out how the rest of us feel about staying in shape.
Paul Tracy is 41 years old now, approaching middle age and definitely considered elderly in his [...]