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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

Views On Road Racing Have Come Full Circle
Saturday, Jun 19, 2010 – 6:43 | One Comment
Views On Road Racing Have Come Full Circle

By Mike Harris | Senior Writer
RacinToday.com
There was a time when NASCAR drivers headed toward road courses with dread in their hearts.
“These dang cars don’t like to turn right,’’ Dale Earnhardt told me at Riverside in 1980. “I like the challenge of something different, but I don’t think a lot of these guys are very good [...]

Harris: Richter A Big Man With Bigger Heart
Monday, Jun 14, 2010 – 15:56 | Comments Off
Harris: Richter A Big Man With Bigger Heart

By Mike Harris | Senior Writer
RacinToday.com
Les Richter was a big man and the thing I noticed most about him the first time we met, in January of 1980 at Riverside International Raceway, were his hands.
When he reached out to say hello, I wasn’t sure I was going to get my hand back from those massive [...]

Roush Asks NASCAR To Trim Sims, Keep It Real
Thursday, Jun 10, 2010 – 15:30 | 2 Comments
Roush Asks NASCAR To Trim Sims, Keep It Real

By Mike Harris | Senior Writer
RacinToday.com
NASCAR has preferred that teams relied less on technology and more on good old fashioned racing experience. But those days are gone, even if NASCAR won’t allow teams to use their laptops in the pits at the races.
Since the sanctioning organization banned most testing at the end of the 2008 [...]

Q and A: BAT Boss Talks Cars
Saturday, Jun 5, 2010 – 7:58 | One Comment
Q and A: BAT Boss Talks Cars

By Mike Harris | Senior Writer
RacinToday.com
This is a big week for Bruce Ashmore and partners Alan Mertens and Tim Wardrop. The three, who have formed BAT Engineering, will make a presentation Sunday in Indianapolis to the advisory committee helping IZOD IndyCar Series CEO Randy Bernard choose a new spec car, expected to being competing in [...]

Wheldon Has An Understanding With Indianapolis
Tuesday, Jun 1, 2010 – 7:20 | Comments Off
Wheldon Has An Understanding With Indianapolis

By Mike Harris | Senior Writer
RacinToday.com
Indianapolis – A little success for Dan Wheldon always seems to surprise people these days.
The elfin Englishman was always among the favorites when he won the 2005 Indianapolis 500 and the series title while driving for Andretti Green Racing when it was a powerhouse team.
Since then, Wheldon has jumped to [...]

Indy Notes: Captain Crunched
Sunday, May 30, 2010 – 18:46 | Comments Off
Indy Notes: Captain Crunched

By Mike Harris | Senior Writer
RacinToday.com
Indianapolis – It was supposed to be another Team Penske show in Sunday’s Indianapolis 500.
Roger Penske’s team has won a record 15 of the Indy classics and it appeared he had three solid shots at making it 16 this year before uncharacteristic mistakes shot down the effort.
Helio Castroneves started from [...]

Great Scot: Franchitti Wins Second Indy 500
Sunday, May 30, 2010 – 15:21 | 2 Comments
Great Scot: Franchitti Wins Second Indy 500

By Mike Harris | Senior Writer
RacinToday.com
Indianapolis – On a track where speed is king, to get to the end of the 94th Indianapolis 500 on Sunday, all Dario Franchitti could do was slow down.
The normally speedy Scot, his fuel tank closing in on empty, was being exorted by his Target Chip Ganassi Racing team to [...]

Danica’s In Need Of Something Positive
Saturday, May 29, 2010 – 15:06 | One Comment
Danica’s In Need Of Something Positive

By Mike Harris | Senior Writer
RacinToday.com
Indianapolis – Other than her win at Twin Ring Motegi in Japan two years ago, the place where Danica Patrick has been most comfortable throughout her IndyCar career is the Indianapolis Motor Speedway.
As a rookie in 2005, she qualified fourth for the Indy 500 after a small bobble cost her [...]

Big Weekend For The ‘500 Club’ Members
Saturday, May 29, 2010 – 8:08 | Comments Off
Big Weekend For The ‘500 Club’ Members

By Mike Harris | Senior Writer
RacinToday.com
Indianapolis – The Indianapolis Motor Speedway garage area was packed with people on a sun-soaked Friday afternoon, with the biggest crowds  massed in front of two sets of garages.
At one end of Row 2, dozens of fans strained to get a glimpse of a familiar face in the Team Penske [...]

Indy Notes: Castroneves Off To Great Start
Friday, May 28, 2010 – 19:24 | Comments Off
Indy Notes: Castroneves Off To Great Start

By Mike Harris | Senior Writer
RacinToday.com
Indianapolis – If you believe in omens, Helio Castroneves is a shoo-in to win a fourth Indianapolis 500 on Sunday.
A year ago, Castroneves won the pole, the pit stop contest and the race. On Friday, he added the 2010 pit stop championship to his pole victory last Saturday. All that’s [...]