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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

A Few Words With: Ford’s Allison
Wednesday, Jan 27, 2010 – 10:59 | Comments Off
A Few Words With: Ford’s Allison

Longtime Ford employee Jamie Allison was named director of Ford North America Motorsports after six years serving as Ford Performance Group Manager. Allison was on hand for last week’s NASCAR Media Tour, sponsored by Charlotte Motor Speedway, and talked with RacingToday Senior Writer Mike Harris about where the Ford Motorsports program stands heading into the [...]

Tour Notes: Waltrip Set To Lift
Thursday, Jan 21, 2010 – 22:18 | Comments Off
Tour Notes: Waltrip Set To Lift

Concord, N.C. – Michael Waltrip plans to slow down some, but only on the race track.
The owner of Michael Waltrip Racing, which will field NASCAR Sprint Cup cars for David Reutimann and team newcomer Martin Truex Jr. in 2010,  says he is bringing his Cup career to a halt.
“I’m going to run Daytona – the [...]

Harris: Welcome To Populist NASCAR
Thursday, Jan 21, 2010 – 13:36 | 6 Comments
Harris: Welcome To Populist NASCAR

By Mike Harris | Senior Writer
RacinToday.com
Concord, N.C. – It seems there is some kind of populist movement under way in NASCAR.
Over the years, the wheels of NASCAR’s hierarchy have tended to turn a lot slower than the wheels on its race cars.
Part of the reason for the sanctioning organization taking its good old time making [...]

Tour Notes: Growing With McGrew
Wednesday, Jan 20, 2010 – 21:29 | One Comment
Tour Notes: Growing With McGrew

Concord, N.C. – If Dale Earnhardt Jr. fails to get back into the top echelon of NASCAR Sprint Cup competitors in the 2010 season, it won’t be for lack of effort.
The Hendrick Motorsports team, which also fields Chevrolets for four-time Cup champions Jimmie Johnson and Jeff Gordon, as well as longtime stock car star [...]

Harris: Jimmie Drives Competitors To Distraction
Wednesday, Jan 20, 2010 – 18:19 | One Comment
Harris: Jimmie Drives Competitors To Distraction

Editor’s note: The annual NASCAR Media Tour hosted by Charlotte Motor Speedway is being held this week. RacinToday has a trio of writers on the Tour and will be reporting daily with opinions, features, news and notes.

By Mike Harris | Senior Writer
RacinToday.com
Concord, N.C. – Mel Brooks once played Louis XVI in one of his zany [...]

Harvick Says NASCAR Pulling For Danica
Tuesday, Jan 19, 2010 – 16:36 | 3 Comments
Harvick Says NASCAR Pulling For Danica

By Mike Harris | Senior Writer
RacinToday.com
Concord, N.C. – Not surprisingly, one recurring question at the annual NASCAR Media Tour sponsored by Charlotte Motor Speedway is: How do you think Danica Patrick will do in stock cars?
A little over a week ago, former driver turned TV analyst Kyle Petty warned that Patrick’s chances of success are [...]

Harris: Childress-Harvick Pairing Up In The Air
Tuesday, Jan 19, 2010 – 15:25 | One Comment
Harris: Childress-Harvick Pairing Up In The Air

Editor’s note: The annual NASCAR Media Tour hosted by Charlotte Motor Speedway is being held this week. RacinToday has a trio of writers on the Tour and will be reporting daily with opinions, features, news and notes.

By Mike Harris | Senior Writer
RacinToday.com
Concord, N.C. – For a while last season, Kevin Harvick and Richard Childress were [...]

Harris: COT Change Has Teams Excited, Concerned
Monday, Jan 18, 2010 – 18:49 | 2 Comments
Harris: COT Change Has Teams Excited, Concerned

Editor’s note: The annual NASCAR Media Tour hosted by Charlotte Motor Speedway is being held this week. RacinToday has a trio of writers on the Tour and will be reporting daily with opinions, features, news and notes.

By Mike Harris | Senior Writer
RacinToday.com
Concord, N.C. – NASCAR has often been accused of being too slow to react [...]

Harris: Tour Tests Truth, Patience
Sunday, Jan 17, 2010 – 13:57 | One Comment
Harris: Tour Tests Truth, Patience

Every year about this time, I start to get antsy.
I haven’t been to a race since November and I haven’t seen most of my racing friends and colleages since the Sprint Cup awards dinner in early December.
Worse, since most offseason testing has been banned since 2009, the hot stove league that kept the winter days warm [...]

Harris: The Captain Deserves Salute
Friday, Jan 15, 2010 – 8:59 | One Comment
Harris: The Captain Deserves Salute

Roger Penske  has been a part of the auto racing scene for just over half a century, and I’ve known him for most of that time.
It was a huge honor  when I received a call a few weeks ago from longtime Penske emissary Walt Czarnecki  saying that Roger had requested that I present him when he [...]