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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

McMurray Plates Up A Winner In Daytona
Sunday, Feb 14, 2010 – 22:31 | One Comment
McMurray Plates Up A Winner In Daytona

By Mike Harris | Senior Writer
RacinToday.com
Daytona Beach, Fla. – The finish of the race that seemed to take forever was worth the wait.
Jamie McMurray, NASCAR’s newest restrictor plate ace, held off Greg Biffle to win Sunday’s Daytona 500 in the second overtime period while comeback-minded Dale Earnhardt thrilled the crowd by charging from 10th to [...]

Junior Gives Crowd A Thrill
Sunday, Feb 14, 2010 – 22:01 | 8 Comments
Junior Gives Crowd A Thrill

Daytona Beach, Fla. – Dale Earnhardt Jr. discovered some of his old plate racing magic Sunday in the Daytona 500.
The crowd favorite charged from 10th to second place on the final lap of the season-opening NASCAR Sprint Cup race – it was probably the most important runner-up finish of his career.
Earnhardt, the son of a [...]

Harris: The Talk of Speedweeks
Sunday, Feb 14, 2010 – 10:23 | Comments Off
Harris: The Talk of Speedweeks

By Mike Harris | Senior Writer
RacinToday.com
Daytona Beach, Fla. – Sometimes it’s amazing what comes out of the mouths of race drivers and crew chiefs. Here are a few of the gems from this week at Daytona International Speedway:
“I wouldn’t be surprised that we will have more than one green-white-checkers (flag). Honestly. People are racing really [...]

Stewart Following The Path Of Earnhardt Sr.
Saturday, Feb 13, 2010 – 19:05 | Comments Off
Stewart Following The Path Of Earnhardt Sr.

By Mike Harris | Senior Writer
RacinToday.com
Daytona Beach, Fla. – Shades of the late, great Dale Earnhardt.
Tony Stewart knows how to win everything at Daytona International Speedway except the big one – the Daytona 500.
Smoke did it again Saturday, holding off fellow Sprint Cup stars Carl Edwards and Kevin Harvick, along with Nationwide Series regular Justin [...]

Harris: Danica Learns Hard Lessons
Saturday, Feb 13, 2010 – 17:16 | One Comment
Harris: Danica Learns Hard Lessons

Daytona Beach, Fla. – Danica Patrick seems to have as many detractors as fans, and her NASCAR debut in Saturday’s Drive4COPD 300 Nationwide Series race gave both plenty of fodder.
On the minus side, the diminutive IndyCar glamour girl quickly slid from her 15th-place starting position and eventually lost the lead draft. On her second pit [...]

Cup Drivers Enjoying Their Freedom In Daytona
Saturday, Feb 13, 2010 – 6:52 | Comments Off
Cup Drivers Enjoying Their Freedom In Daytona

By Mike Harris | Senior Writer
RacinToday.com
Daytona Beach, Fla. – NASCAR official Robin Pemberton’s ominous “Boys, have at it’’ announcement a few weeks ago gave media and race fans visions of flying race cars this week at Daytona.
With the well-publicized slump in TV ratings and visibly empty seats at most of its racetracks, NASCAR has come [...]

Happy Max Lives Daytona Dream
Friday, Feb 12, 2010 – 16:14 | One Comment
Happy Max Lives Daytona Dream

Daytona Beach, Fla. – It has sometimes been hard for people to take Max Papis seriously.
The bubbly, sometimes outrageous Italian does not often act like a 40-year-old husband and father.
“Sometimes, I like to be silly,’’ Max says with that omnipresent grin. “I like to have fun and get people a little stirred up.’’
But racing is [...]

Harris: New Rules Fuel Cool Duels
Thursday, Feb 11, 2010 – 15:26 | Comments Off
Harris: New Rules Fuel Cool Duels

Daytona Beach, Fla. – Wow! Give these guys a little extra horsepower and look what you get:
Victories by Jimmie Johnson and Kasey Kahne by margins totaling 0.019-seconds in Thursday’s Gatorade Duels.
And the battles for the transfer spots – the two Daytona 500 starting positions up for grabs in each of the 150-mile qualifying races – [...]

Stock Car Racing A Three-Letter Word For Danica
Thursday, Feb 11, 2010 – 14:54 | One Comment
Stock Car Racing A Three-Letter Word For Danica

By Mike Harris | Senior Writer
RacinToday.com
Daytona Beach, Fla. – As the stock car learning process continues for Danica Patrick, the one word that keeps popping out of her mouth is “fun.’’
“I’m still having fun now,’’ Patrick said Thursday during a press conference in a packed Daytona International Speedway infield media center. “I’m still enjoying it [...]

Danica’s NASCAR Education Begins In Daytona
Wednesday, Feb 10, 2010 – 18:44 | Comments Off
Danica’s NASCAR Education Begins In Daytona

By Mike Harris | Senior Writer
RacinToday.com
Daytona Beach, Fla. – The stock car education of Danica Patrick reached a new level Wednesday in the first NASCAR Nationwide Series practice of the 2010 season.
It didn’t take Patrick long to figure out the difference between the ARCA car she raced to an impressive sixth-place finish last Saturday at [...]