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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

Economy Has Brought Rahal Family Together
Tuesday, May 18, 2010 – 6:42 | Comments Off
Economy Has Brought Rahal Family Together

Mike Harris | Senior Writer
RacinToday.com
Bobby Rahal is a racer, but he’s also a businessman.
When no major sponsorships developed after the 2008 season, the business side of the longtime open-wheel driving star and team owner realized it made sense to shut down the IndyCar portion of his team for 2009.
The racer side was terribly disappointed.
Rahal, the [...]

Harris: Hamlin Focused On Chase
Thursday, May 13, 2010 – 9:40 | Comments Off
Harris: Hamlin Focused On Chase

By Mike Harris | Senior Writer
RacinToday.com
Denny Hamlin feels like he’s finally making up for lost time.
The rising NASCAR Sprint Cup star grabbed three of his four 2009 wins in the last 11 races and spent the winter months listening to people say he was the favorite to end Jimmie Johnson’s record string of four straight [...]

Harris: Hall Does Sport Proud
Tuesday, May 4, 2010 – 21:23 | One Comment
Harris: Hall Does Sport Proud

By Mike Harris | Senior Writer
RacinToday.com
Charlotte, NC – Walking into the new NASCAR Hall of Fame is a bit like strolling into living history.
The modern, gleaming facility in the midst of downtown Charlotte’s skyscrapers officially opens next week. But a handful of fortunate media members were invited to a preview on Tuesday – kind of [...]

Gordon Taking Different Approach This Season
Tuesday, May 4, 2010 – 6:36 | One Comment
Gordon Taking Different Approach This Season

By Mike Harris | Senior Writer
RacinToday.com
Jeff Gordon has a lot to be proud of. Four NASCAR Sprint Cup championships and 82 race wins in a career that began nearly two decades ago are nothing to sneeze at.
But Gordon is 38 years old now, and he’s been overshadowed in recent years by teammate Jimmie Johnson, who [...]

Harris: Suspense In F1?
Tuesday, Apr 20, 2010 – 7:53 | 2 Comments
Harris: Suspense In F1?

By Mike Harris | Senior Writer
RacinToday.com
The Formula One Grand Prix in China  on Sunday was one of the most entertaining races I’ve watched in some time.
Thanks to the weather, an on-and-off rain that kept everybody guessing on tires all day and had the cars throwing up roostertails that hampered visibility at times, the action was [...]

Spoiler Peepers Predicting ‘Interesting’ Weekend
Wednesday, Apr 14, 2010 – 6:43 | One Comment
Spoiler Peepers Predicting ‘Interesting’ Weekend

By Mike Harris | Senior Writer
RacinToday.com
So far, NASCAR’s decision to dump those ugly rear wings in favor of the more fashionable spoilers has been seamless.
But nobody really expected the change to make much difference on the half-mile oval at Martinsville, or even the one-mile oval at Phoenix.
The drivers and teams are expecting this Sunday’s Sprint [...]

Harris: Andrettis Search for Speed
Monday, Apr 12, 2010 – 8:08 | One Comment
Harris: Andrettis Search for Speed

By Mike Harris | Senior Writer
RacinToday.com
In the summer of 2005, longtime racing star Mario Andretti sat under a tent in the paddock during the CART weekend in Toronto and talked with great pride about grandson Marco.
“He’s got the passion,’’ Mario said, grinning widely. “He’s more like me than his dad, as far as how much [...]

Harris: Fangs For The Memories, Phoenix
Thursday, Apr 8, 2010 – 6:43 | Comments Off
Harris: Fangs For The Memories, Phoenix

By Mike Harris | Senior Writer
RacinToday.com
The NASCAR Sprint Cup series is visiting Phoenix International Raceway this week and that fires off a lot of memories, not all of them pleasant.
PIR, in the shadow of the foothills of the Estrella Mountains,  is located about 15 miles west of downtown Phoenix, just a couple of miles away [...]

Harris: Time For High-Hopers To Get In Gear
Monday, Apr 5, 2010 – 6:25 | Comments Off
Harris: Time For High-Hopers To Get In Gear

By Mike Harris | Senior Writer
RacinToday.com
A rare weekend off during the grueling business that is the NASCAR Sprint Cup season should be a time for the drivers to relax and enjoy themselves.
Unfortunately, some of them may be spending the time off stewing about the results of the first six races of the 36-race schedule.
Among those [...]

Harris: Gordon Is Having Break Problems
Wednesday, Mar 31, 2010 – 6:42 | One Comment
Harris: Gordon Is Having Break Problems

By Mike Harris | Senior Writer
RacinToday.com
Jeff Gordon used to win races in bunches.
The four-time NASCAR Sprint Cup champion has racked up 82 victories, sixth on the all-time win list.
As recently as the 2007 season, he won six times. But checkered flags haven’t come easily for Gordon in a while. His only victory in the past [...]