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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

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 on Big Weekend For The ‘500 Club’ Members
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 on Indy Notes: Castroneves Off To Great Start
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 […]

Harris: Indy In Need Of Personality
Friday, May 28, 2010 – 16:05 | 2 Comments
Harris: Indy In Need Of Personality

By Mike Harris | Senior Writer
RacinToday.com
Indianapolis – It was like old times – good old times – Thursday night in Indy.
Standing at the front of the downtown Marriott ballroom, telling stories and giving each other a hard time, were, among others,  Danny “Hollywood’’ Sullivan, “Rocket’’ Rick Mears, Tom “The Gasman’’ Sneva, Johnny “Lone Star JR’’ […]

Harris: Three Is Not A Crowd
Friday, May 21, 2010 – 6:54 | Comments Off on Harris: Three Is Not A Crowd
Harris: Three Is Not A Crowd

Much as I hate to disagree with my esteemed colleague Larry Woody, I believe his criticism of the IRL’s multiple championships is wrong.
I covered the now-defunct CART/Champ Car World Series for many years and was firmly convinced it was the toughest racing series in the world.
The drivers had to race on road courses, street circuits, […]

Economy Has Brought Rahal Family Together
Tuesday, May 18, 2010 – 6:42 | Comments Off on Economy Has Brought Rahal Family Together
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 on Harris: Hamlin Focused On Chase
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 […]