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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: 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 […]

Harris: A Little Day Dream Believin’
Sunday, Jan 10, 2010 – 11:02 | 4 Comments
Harris: A Little Day Dream Believin’

By Mike Harris | Senior Writer
RacinToday.com
Ah, the dawn of a fresh new year. A clean slate to be written on.
If we do some serious day dreaming maybe we can come up with some scenarios 
that would make 2010 a very memorable and interesting year in NASCAR and IndyCar:
* Danica Patrick, the subject of intense scrutiny, […]

Harris: Shootout To Have An Old-Time Feel
Friday, Jan 8, 2010 – 13:40 | 4 Comments
Harris: Shootout To Have An Old-Time Feel

I’m beginning to think that nobody really retires any more.
Mark Martin came back, not once, but twice from planned retirements. Michael Schumacher is going to drive in Formula One again this year after sitting in a rocking chair for three years.
Now comes the news that the made-for-TV Budweiser Shootout, a staple of the first stock […]

Harris: Indy 500 Adapts To Times
Sunday, Jan 3, 2010 – 8:42 | 3 Comments
Harris: Indy 500 Adapts To Times

Tradition can be a wonderful thing. But not always.
It has taken officials at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway a long time to figure out that less can be more.
True, for many of the 93 years that the Indianapolis 500 has been run, the month-long schedule every year in May was the right way to go – a celebration […]

Harris: Drivers Not Athletes? Guess Again
Wednesday, Dec 23, 2009 – 10:37 | 3 Comments
Harris: Drivers Not Athletes? Guess Again

By Mike Harris | Senior Writer
RacinToday.com
When Jimmie Johnson was named AP’s Male Athlete of the Year for 2009 earlier this week, I felt a real shot of pride.
Finally, after all these years, the sport that I chose to follow got some serious attention as an athletic endeavor.
Then, listening to a local sports talk show, I […]

Harris: Let’s Give The Woman A Chance
Tuesday, Dec 22, 2009 – 7:23 | 7 Comments
Harris: Let’s Give The Woman A Chance

By Mike Harris | Senior Writer
RacinToday.com
I could be wrong, but:
I think Danica Patrick will be a success in NASCAR – though it may take a few years.
I have to laugh over the fuss created by Patrick’s decision to give stock cars a try.
The naysayers have come out in force. Why?
I guess they don’t like the […]

A Few Words With: Ralph Gilles
Sunday, Dec 20, 2009 – 8:24 | 3 Comments
A Few Words With: Ralph Gilles

Ralph Gilles, the new president and CEO of Chrysler and the company’s former head designer, sat down recently with a small group of media members, including RacinToday.com senior writer Mike Harris, to discuss his background, his new job and Chrysler’s future in racing:
Question: You have an interesting background in grassroots racing and product testing. Could […]