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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

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 on Cup Drivers Enjoying Their Freedom In Daytona
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 on Harris: New Rules Fuel Cool Duels
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 on Danica’s NASCAR Education Begins In Daytona
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 […]

Metal Storm Warning: A Wild Day In Daytona
Wednesday, Feb 10, 2010 – 16:24 | Comments Off on Metal Storm Warning: A Wild Day In Daytona
Metal Storm Warning: A Wild Day In Daytona

By Mike Harris | Senior Writer
RacinToday.com
Daytona Beach, Fla. – Gentlemen, start your wrecking.
Practice for the Gatorade Duel 150s began Wednesday at Daytona International Speedway and, suddenly, it was a free-for-all on the 2.5-mile oval.
Before it was all over, six drivers, including four-time defending NASCAR Sprint Cup champion Jimmie Johnson, had to roll backup cars off […]

Harris: DanicaMania Is All Good
Friday, Feb 5, 2010 – 17:44 | Comments Off on Harris: DanicaMania Is All Good
Harris: DanicaMania Is All Good

One thing I’ve noticed over the years in dealing with Danica Patrick is her infinite patience with people who want something from her.
When she first arrived in the IndyCar Series in 2005 as a 23-year-old, few gave her much of a shot. Many observers believed team owner Bobby Rahal was simply trying to take advantage […]

Harris: George Era Ends In Controversy
Wednesday, Feb 3, 2010 – 14:17 | 2 Comments
Harris: George Era Ends In Controversy

Love him or hate him, everyone who follows American open-wheel racing has an opinion about Tony George.
Now, with his sudden plunge from the top of the open-wheel world, the haters can rejoice and the supporters are left to wonder what happened, how did George go from the most powerful man in the open-wheel sport to […]

Rolex Notes: Mystery Stop Costs Ganassi
Sunday, Jan 31, 2010 – 12:27 | 3 Comments
Rolex Notes: Mystery Stop Costs Ganassi

Daytona Beach, Fla. – Chip Ganassi has won the Rolex 24 too many times to be happy about finishing second.
But for the second straight year, that’s exactly where one of his two entries wound up, with the No. 01 BMW Riley Daytona Prototype finishing on the lead lap just 52.303 seconds behind the winning Porsche Riley, […]